Game recap: Cowboys 31 — Giants 21

Recap: The Giants couldn’t keep up with Dallas in the second half as they dropped to 3-4.



Need to Know: Larry Donnell’s fumble on what would have been a first-down catch with 11:05 left in the fourth quarter proved costly, setting up Tony Romo and the Cowboys (6-1) for their fourth and final touchdown. Donnell fumbled a second time late in the game.

Romo was 17-for-23 passing for 279 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. He wasn’t sacked and had no incompletions in the second half.

The Cowboys’ Gavin Escobar caught two TD passes, Terrance Williams one. Dez Bryant had nine catches for 151 yards for Dallas.

DeMarco Murray ran 28 times for 128 yards and a score and became the first NFL player to open a season with seven straight 100-yard rushing games.

A week after the Giants were shut out, Eli Manning was 19 for 31 for 229 yards and three TDs, two to Odell Beckham Jr.

The Giants’ Cullen Jenkins (calf strain) and Jon Beason (toe) left the game and did not return.


Links: AP recap | Box Score


What’s Next: After a bye week, the Giants host Indianapolis Monday Nov. 3 at 8:30 p.m.

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

I picked the Giants to win today, but I guess this is going to be one of those seasons where we don’t know which Giant team team to expect each week.

Last week, we got the comatose Giants. Today, we had a cognizant group that appeared to be opportunistic early on, but then slid back into that coma.

For the record, I’m not going to expect a whole lot going forward. Neither should you.

The Giants are 3-4 heading into their bye week, but a killer schedule awaits them on the other side: Indianapolis, Seattle, San Francisco and the Cowboys again. They are already three games behind Dallas in the division and by Week 12 when they meet again could be in an even deeper hole.

What I liked….Odell Beckham, Jr. Although I lobbied hard for the Giants to take Zach Martin over Beckham, it looks like Beckham was worth the selection. He’s smooth. I see good things ahead for him…the offensive line did not give up a sack after surrendering eight last week….Danlel Fells continues to fly under the radar, catching another TD.

What I didn’t like…..The Giants had a handle on DeMarco Murray and it looked like they were going to lock him down after he twisted his ankle, but then failed to do so….Prince had a nice battle going with WR Dez Bryant all afternoon making a few nice plays, but Bryant got the better of the play catching nine passes for 151 yards…Donnell’s fumbles really hurt, especially the first one….and the Giants are still trying to figure out who was supposed to cover TE Gavin Escobar (3 rec, 2 TDs) another one of Jerry Jones’ supposed hare-brained draft picks.

Giants lose Beason, Jenkins to injury

Giants defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins and linebacker Jon Beason left Sunday’s game in Dallas because of injuries in the first half (AP, Oct. 19).

Jenkins had a calf strain, Beason of a toe injury. The Giants said after halftime that both players were out the rest of the game. X-rays on Beason’s toe were negative.

NFL Week 6 GameDay: Giants at Dallas

The Giants (3-3) try to put their shutout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles behind them when they travel to Dallas to play the 5-1 Cowboys.

Kickoff: 4:25PM EDT
Site: AT&T Stadium
Surface: Matrix artificial turf
Weather: Partly cloudy, high 70s (if retractable roof is open)
TV: FOX — Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Charissa Thompson (Field reporter)
Radio: WFAN 660AM, 101.9FM — Bob Papa, Carl Banks, Howard Cross SIRIUS: 133 (NYG), 85 (Dal) XM: 85 (Dal)
Referee: Jerome Boger
The Line: Cowboys by 6 1/2; O/U 48

The Series: Dallas leads 59-42-2 and has won three of past four meetings.

Last meeting: Cowboys 24 at Giants 21 (11/24/13). Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant caught nine passes for 86 yards and tight end Jason Witten had two touchdown catches. Cowboys safety Jeff Heath scored on a 50-yard fumble return.

Last meeting at Cowboys Stadium: Cowboys 36, Giants 31 (9/8/13). Dallas wide receiver Miles Austin had 10 catches for 72 yards. Cowboys defense had three interceptions, including cornerback Brandon Carr’s 49-yard interception for a touchdown.

Injuries

Giants:

OUT: RB Rashad Jennings (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring)

PROBABLE: LB Jon Beason (toe), P Steve Weatherford (left ankle)

Cowboys:

OUT: LB Bruce Carter (thigh), T Doug Free (foot)

DOUBTFUL: DE Jack Crawford (calf)

PROBABLE: WR Dez Bryant (shoulder), LB Cameron Lawrence (thigh), LB Rolando McClain (groin, not injury related), RB DeMarco Murray (illness), T Jermey Parnell (chest), QB Tony Romo (back, ankle), T Tyron Smith (ankle), DE Anthony Spencer (knee, foot)

Giants Notes

Quarterback Eli Manning has won four of five starts at AT&T Stadium & has a 100-plus rating in three of those five. Manning has started 157 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL.

Running back Andre Williams leads NFC rookies with 228 rush yards.

Wide receiver Rueben Randle had 5 catches for 101 yards last year in Dallas. Tight end Larry Donnell has four touchdowns, the past three coming on the road. Donnell is tied for the lead among NFC tight ends with four receiving touchdowns. Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.. made five of his six catches on first down (83.3 percent).

In past the three meetings in Dallas, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had four sacks and scored a touchdown on a 28-yard interception return. Pierre-Paul is the only defensive end in the NFL with two interceptions for touchdowns since 2012. Safety Antrel Rolle has an interception in three of the past four games; those three have him tied for the NFL lead.

Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins had two sacks last year against Dallas. Defensive end Damontre Moore has a sack in two of the past three games.

Cowboys Notes

The Cowboys have won five in a row and are 5-1 for the first time since 2007.

Quarterback Tony Romo aims for his third win in a row against the Giants. Romo has a 100-plus QB rating in seven of his past 11 starts against the Giants. He had a 110.2 rating last week and is third in the NFC (100.5).

Running back DeMarco Murray leads the NFL with 785 rush yards and six rushing touchdowns. Murray has 100-plus rushing yards in all six games this year and joined Jim Brown (1958) as the only players with 100-plus rush yards in a team’s first six games. In the past three meetings, he has 391 yards from scrimmage (130.3 per game), including 303 on the ground (101 per game).

Since 2011, Bryant has 38 receiving touchdowns, the most in the NFL. Wide receiver Terrance Williams has four touchdowns in the past four games.

Tight end Jason Witten has 900 career catches. Whitten, 32, is the second-youngest to reach this mark. In 2012, he had a career-high 18 catches and 167 yards against the Giants.

Cornerback Brandon Carr had an interception for a touchdown at MetLife last year. Defensive end George Selvie had a sack and fumble recovery last year in Dallas. Safety Barry Church has 22 tackles and two forced fumbles in their past three meetings.

NFL Week 6: Giants can surprise Boys

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

This game could be one of those hidden land mines like last week’s whitewashing at the hands of the Eagles. No one saw it coming. Everyone to a man felt the Giants would either win the game or put up a lot of points in a close loss. This week, the Cowboys are flying high and appear to be unbeatable. No one is buying that the Giants can hang with Dallas this afternoon. The betting line, which opened at Cowboys -4, has ballooned to 6 1/2.

So, can the Giants win this game? Yes, they can. Consider this…

No home field advantage. Dallas owner Jerry Jones built one of the league’s biggest and best venues and has reaped the monetary benefits the past few years. He did not, however, foresee the downstream effect that year-after-year he’s got to fill that stadium. What has happened is many unsold and secondary market tickets are falling into the hands of fans of the opposing team. In a recent home game vs the Houston Texans, QB Tony Romo had to go to a silent count due to the noise from the thousands of Texans fans. Expect many fans to show up in Giant gear today and do the same thing.

On offense – the Giants will try to run the ball (surprise!), and this week they may succeed. Dallas may not be able to crowd the box like Philly did last week. With the cowboys best linebacker, Bruce Carter, out today they just don’t have the defensive depth and ability the Eagles do. Their defense has been competitive this season but are shallow and have benefited from the offense hogging up the clock, which has kept them off the field. If the Giants can wear them down up front, they can open up the offense and make a game of this.

We know Eli will show, he loves this building. The offensive line may not be under the duress they experienced last week, so expect a better performance and results. RB Andre Williams will fight for yards and we believe he will get them. With Victor Cruz gone, TE Larry Donnell has to get more looks and WR Rueben Randle has to make more plays. He has been getting the targets (49 targets, 28 receptions), but for the offense to be successful, Randle has to use his size and ability more aggressively. The Cowboys would be foolish not to keep a keen eye on rookie Odell Beckham Jr., which could open up Preston Parker to be a silent weapon. The Giants have to get into the red zone more than once this week. When they do, Donnell and WR Corey Washington should be in the lineup to create mismatches.

On defense – the main objective is to slow down RB DeMarco Murray, the league’s leading rusher. Easier said than done. Last week, MLB Jon Beason was nowhere near 100% and was rusty. Expect him to be hitting the holes faster and do a better job closing on the ball. The Giants will need to get some speed on the field, and they will have options at their disposal. Devon Kennard is back from a hamstring and Jayron Hosley will be the slot corner. As long as Hosley doesn’t get isolated by a bigger receiver on the outside, he can be an effective play-maker. Kennard, combined with Jacquian Williams should be able to limit edge runs by Murray.

DE’s Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, Damontre Moore and Robert Ayers should also have a better showing. Both Cowboy tackles, Tyron Smith and Doug Free, are injured. Smith (ankle) will play but Free (foot) will not. He will be replaced by Jeremy Parnell, who has just two NFL starts under his belt. The Giants may be able to finally get some pressure off the edge and hurry Romo.

Special teams – Josh Brown did not get back on the field after the opening kickoff last week. That’s always a bad sign. The Giants will be satisfied with the special teams if they don’t turn the ball over and don’t allow a big run back. That would be considered a win. Yes, that’s what its come to.

Prediction: Giants 34, Cowboys 27.

Troubled Harvin not Giants material

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

With the Giants down Victor Cruz for this season and possibly part of next, many Giant fans may be wondering this morning why their team did not try to land Seattle Seahawks KR/WR Percy Harvin when his availability became known. Instead, it was the Jets who swung the deal.

The Giants are in need of a top WR, no doubt, but there are a bunch of reasons for the Giants to pass on Harvin.

First off, let’s talk about the positives the Seahawks realized by dealing him. Harvin was a cancer that was blowing up team chemistry. He was just as volatile a weapon off the field as he was on it. He “wasn’t a fit” according to sources and the Seattle Times is reporting on a long litany of ills involving Harvin, including blackening the eye of teammate Golden Tate before last year’s Super Bowl (Seattle Times, Oct.17).

Harvin also has a propensity for getting or being injured. After playing in 45 of the first 48 games of his career, which began in Minnesota in 2009, Harvin played only nine games in 2012 and then hip surgery held him to only one regular season game after being traded to Seattle in 2013. This year, the Seahawks vowed to keep him healthy, but his attitude was worsening (he refused to take the field in the Seahawks’ final drive last week) and a recent thigh injury was threatening to keep him out this week.

The Seahawks, who signed Harvin to a six-year, $67 million contract in March of 2012 (of which $25.5 million was guaranteed), decided it was time to cut it’s losses. He is still owed approximately $7 million for this season, which is guaranteed, and his cap numbers for the next four years read as follows: 2015: $10.5 million, 2016: $9.9 million, 2017: $9.95 million, 2018: $11.15 million. In short, Harvin wasn’t worth keeping.

For the Giants, who have approximately $8.9 million in cap space, trading for Harvin would not only chew up that cushion but create cap issues going forward. Plus, they would not trade a mid-round draft choice for an oft-injured, overpaid prima donna who is by many accounts a “ticking time bomb.”

Talent-wise, he would be a perfect fit. He’d bolster the WR corp as well as give them a gamebreaker in the return game. But let’s be realistic. With the Giants focusing on leadership-type players, Harvin is a player the Giants make a point of steering clear of. Under the new “knuckleheads need not apply” edict at QDTC these days, he’s not an option.

My take is that the Seahawks thought that Harvin could give them that extra dimension, and they were right, initially. He helped them win a Super Bowl, but he’s not a team player. It’s been written the Seahawks have been shopping him for awhile and, with that heavy price tag, had few – if any – takers until they were able to unload him on old friend John Idzik and the 1-6 Jets, who are doing everything they can to change the narrative on their dismal start to the season.

It’s also possible that Seattle did not want Harvin in their immediate path. They not only wanted to trade him out of the conference, they wanted to trade him to a losing team with expendable cap space in the AFC that they won’t face for a few years. No team fits that destination better than the Jets, who are 1-6, have over $24 million in cap space and don’t play the Seahawks in the regular season until 2016.

GEICO SportsNite: Victor Cruz calls in

Victor Cruz joins GEICO SportsNite via phone to discuss his season-ending knee injury. Plus, Gary Myers of the Daily News on the Giants’ game against the Cowboys.

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Cruz talks rehab, will show short video to team on Saturday

Victor Cruz said he has prepared a short video for his Giants teammates for this week.

He told reporters on a conference call that rehab for his injury will take four to six months and he expects to be ready by training camp next year.

Cruz will wear a brace on his knee for six weeks and will work on his rehab at the Giants facility for a few months.

He has not seen the play of the injury and has no plans to watch it.

Cruz said it was an idea of his and one of the team’s video guys to record a message for the team. He said he hasn’t spoken to the team as a whole just yet, but has had many players contact him and he’s reached out to some.

The surprise video will be shown to the team before the Dallas game, he said. Cruz wouldn’t reveal what the video contains.

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