Arrington Done for Season

IRVING, Tex. – LaVar Arrington was just starting to get his legs under him, just starting to play the way everyone expected him to. Then, just like that, his season disappeared right before his eyes.

"I knew right away, I could tell by how it felt," said Arrington, who was locked up with Dallas TE Jason Witten when he tore his left Achilles' tendon early in the second quarter. "It was a routine play."

"That's the one thing that's sad when you lose a player," Tom Coughlin said. "He's got the Achilles' and he'll be done for the season. That's a sad moment for a guy that's really been improving week in and week out."

Arrington was definitely starting to come into his own, fresh off his best quarter as a Giant.

"I'd hate for it more because I wasn't able to show what I can do," said Arrington, who was on crutches after the game. "I knew this time was coming. The floodgates were open. I was starting to have the type of game that fans wanted to see. But it got snuffed out a little bit for now."

Before Arrington was carted away, his closest buddy on the team offered a few encouraging words.

"Since I've been in the league, I've never beaten Dallas in Dallas," Antonio Pierce said. "I told him we weren't going to leave this one on the field."

It was obvious to Arrington's defensive mates that he'll be missed.

"LaVar was playing very well," Michael Strahan said. "It's hard. He's a great player and we really need him."

"He's a good leader on this defense," Fred Robbins added. "Everyone has to step up."

Arrington was as positive as could be after the game, quite impressive considering his fate.

"I'm prepared to face the challenge," he said. "All it does for me is (make me) just work harder."

Inside the game plan

Plaxico Burress confirmed that New York planned to attack Cowboys safety Patrick Watkins, who's not especially adept at covering offensive players coming out of their breaks. Burress started the game off in style with a 50-yard touchdown catch to cap New York's opening possession.

"It was a double-move," he said. "We were targeting number 25."

Burress also added that the Cowboys defense was "discombobulated."

Burress, who later added a 44-yard reception, stated that New York really needed the quick start.

"This is definitely one of the toughest places to play," he said. "We didn't want to allow the crowd to get into the game."

All-time great: With his excellent first half, Michael Strahan tied Lawrence Taylor for the Giants all-time sack record with 132.5. Of course, Taylor had 9.5 sacks in 1981 before the NFL considered the sack an official statistic.

"I never thought I'd ever do it," Strahan said. "It took me more games…he's the greatest defensive player of all time."

Tiki the great: Tiki Barber's latest accomplishment? The league's top run defense unit. Barber slashed through the tough, athletic Cowboys defense en route to a 114-yard evening. All this fresh off a week where Barber made major news by announcing his retirement, effective at the end of the season.

"Nothing ever changes no matter what was said," Tom Coughlin said. "He's always talking to me about winning now."

"He played outstanding as usual," Eli Manning added.

Barber likes New York's gameplan of late.

"We've gotten back to our principles and our basics," Barber said. "We're running the ball."

He also admitted there was a little extra motivation knowing that Dallas boasted the best run-stoppers in the NFL.

"We have a confidence about ourselves," he said.

Mount Rushmore: Both New York and Dallas entered the game tied for third in rushing, each averaging 151.8 ground yards per game. The Giants, behind Barber, definitely got the best of this matchup. New York almost doubled Dallas on the ground 155 yards to 69.

Safety dance: LaVar Arrington recorded New York's first safety since Nov. 30, 1997 in Tampa Bay when the Giants were awarded two points following an intentional grounding call on Bucs QB Trent Dilfer.

Alone in first: The victory left New York alone in first place for the first time this season. At 4-2, New York holds a half-game lead over the 4-3 Eagles and a full game cushion over the 3-3 Cowboys. The Redskins continue to bring up the rear at 2-5. New York returns home Sunday to kick off a three-game homestand against the 2-4 Bucs at 1 p.m. Houston (2-4) and Chicago (6-0) follow Tampa into town.

"We have them next week and that's going to be a challenge for us," Barber said. "They're on an emotional high."

More importantly, the Giants improved to 3-0 in the division with two of their remaining three division contests to be played at Giants Stadium.

Closing time: The Giants have now won their last 15 road contests in which they've taken a lead into the fourth quarter. That's the longest current streak in the NFL.

Series notes: Despite the win, the Giants still trail in the regular season series with Dallas, 51-35-2. The Cowboys hold a 23-11 advantage in games played in Texas Stadium. Last season, the teams split the season series with each team winning at home. The Cowboys took a 16-13 overtime decision on Oct. 16, and the Giants earned a 17-10 triumph on Dec. 4. The Giants have swept the season series 10 times, while Dallas has 17 series sweeps. Nine of the 13 meetings between the teams in the decade have been decided by seven points or less.

Inactives: S Jason Bell, who played so well in place of Gibril Wilson in Atlanta, was unable to go because of a concussion he suffered against the Falcons. LB Carlos Emmons, WR Sinorice Moss and RB Derrick Ward were all still unable to play due to injury. Emmons might be able to play next week and will likely return to his more natural SLB post in place of Arrington. Third QB Tim Hasselbeck and OTs Na'Shan Goddard and Guy Whimper and DT Jonas Seawright were the healthy scratches, as usual.

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