Game Story: Giants @ Cowboys

Lots of notes and tidbits from the Cowboys and Giants game.

Fast Facts

Giants record: 4-2

This time last year: 4-2

Time of game: 3:15

Attendance: 63,512

Stat worth noting: Rookie free agent CB Kevin Dockery's 96-yard interception return for a touchdown was the fourth-longest in Giants history.

Stat worth noting II: Amidst questions regarding whether or not he also planned to retire after the season, Michael Strahan responded with this stat line in Dallas: five solo tackles, two sacks and a tipped pass that led to an Antonio Pierce INT.

Turning point: While Pierce's interception was huge, Sam Madison's INT that turned Dallas away late in the first half was the turning point in this one. The Cowboys were driving to take the lead when Madison stepped in front of Bledsoe's awful pass intended for Terry Glenn at the Giants 1-yard line, preserving Big Blue's 12-7 lead.

Plays to remember: LaVar Arrington had his best quarter as a Giant. He posted New York's first tackle of the game, burst through the line and immediately dropped Drew Bledsoe for a safety, then later in the opening period fought through two would-be blockers and got a hand on Bledsoe's flea flicker pass to a wide-open Terrell Owens that would have been a sure TD for Dallas.

Play to forget: On New York's first play after Dallas had closed within 12-7, Tiki Barber was stripped by DeMarcus Ware and lost the ball at his own 11-line. Bradie James recovered the fumble by the usually sure-handed Barber, who was dazed on the play.

Numbers

1: Pass attempts it took Dallas QB Tony Romo to throw his first INT of the game – and the season. Romo had his pass batted by Michael Strahan and intercepted by Antonio Pierce.

5: Giants defensive plays until they sacked the immobile Drew Bledsoe. Michael Strahan belted the Cowboys QB for a five-yard loss.

70: The NFL-record consecutive games that Tiki Barber has been his team's leading rusher.

Quotebook

"This is a huge win for us. Coming into Dallas Monday night on the road. We were able to do enough good things to win the game." – Giants QB Eli Manning

"That was really a poor performance. Same recipe for disaster. They outplayed us, they outcoached us, they out did everything." – Cowboys coach Bill Parcells

What went right

A week after they dropped Michael Vick for seven sacks, New York continued its aggressive defensive ways, sacking Drew Bledsoe four times in the opening half and Tony Romo twice more after halftime.

The Giants started quickly, scoring on their opening drive. Eli Manning marched Big Blue 74 yards in only five plays, culminating the game-opening drive with a beautiful 50-yard pass that Plaxico Burress went up and outleaped three Dallas defenders for the score.

The Giants were able to run the ball effectively and thereby control the clock and the game. Tiki Barber had 114 yards as Big Blue averaged 4.0 yards per rush and controlled the ball for 32:29 against the league's top-ranked run defense.

Brandon Short lived out every Giants fan's dream when he absolutely drilled a defenseless Terrell Owens in the second quarter. Owens was already airborne when Short drove him to the ground in convincing fashion. James Butler later drilled a fully-extended Owens in the fourth quarter.

A wide-open Owens dropped what would have been a certain first down in the third quarter. Dallas elected to go for it on fourth-and-one from the New York 32-yard line.

What went wrong

LaVar Arrington was carted off the field with a torn left Achilles' injury in the second quarter. Arrington, who needs surgery to repair the tendon, is out for the year.

Immediately after Arrington was forced from the game due to injury, the Cowboys marched 80 yards in 10 plays for their first TD of the game.

Osi Umenyiora was also injured and left the game with a strained hip flexor. The Giants were hopeful that the injury wasn't serious. It was uncertain whether Umenyiora would be able to play against Tampa.

It was Sam Madison, not Terrell Owens, who was called for pass interference on a key second-quarter play that led to Dallas' first score.

While Owens wasn't the game-changer that he can be he did catch six passes for 98 yards and a TD.

For as well as New York's defense played, they were pretty much unable to get the Cowboys off the field on third down, when Dallas converted seven-of-11 for 64 percent.

That Parcells didn't decide to go to Romo sooner. As bad as Bledsoe was, Romo was even worse. Dallas has some serious QB issues.

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