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Sunday, November 14, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Cowboys 33, Giants 20

By Calvin Watkins

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The season might be over for the Dallas Cowboys, in terms of their playoff hopes, but Jason Garrett and Jerry Jones are making their evaluations.

Garrett on the team, Jones on Garrett.

The first game for Garrett resulted in a big win, 33-20, against the New York Giants. It was the Cowboys' second win of the season, first in the division and conference and it has raised doubts about how good the Giants are.

What it means:The Jason Garrett Era started off well. His offense produced the second-most points of the year and there was some balance. The Cowboys ran 27 times and threw 22 times. In a victory over the Houston Texans in Week 3, the Cowboys ran 27 times and attempted 30 passes. Garrett said he wants balance, but it's been hard this season when his team has been down, or, rather, when Wade Phillips' team was down.

Marion Barber gets benched: Felix Jones started Sunday's game vs. the New York Giants and did well. He carried 14 times for 51 yards and had three catches for 85 yards with a touchdown, a 71-yard scamper off a screen that gave the Cowboys a commanding 26-6 lead. It appears Barber didn't start because he violated team rules. But the benching was short lived. After Jones played on the first snap, Barber came in on the second play. But Jones did start the second half and drew the majority of the snaps.

Starting cornerbacks are hurt: Terence Newman was hurt on the second play of the game, a left ankle injury, but he later returned. Mike Jenkins suffered a strained neck on a tackle in the second quarter and didn't return. Orlando Scandrick and Bryan McCann were asked to fill in. Alan Ball also moved to corner in some passing situations.

Two power outages: There were two power outages within 11 minutes of each other in the second half. The first one lasted about three minutes when a bank of lights went out on the first offensive series for the Cowboys. The second one, which lasted longer, resulted in the entire stadium's power going out as the Giants held the ball.

Garrett win is pretty special: According to Elias Sports Bureau, since the start of 2000, coaches who take over in midseason are 3-13 in their first game. Gary Moeller (2000 Detroit Lions) and Jim Haslett (2008 St. Louis Rams) were the last to achieve this.

Dez Bryant and Felix Jones: If you're wondering what happened to the young players, well, they each had an impact. Jones with a 71-yard touchdown reception and Bryant had 104 yards receiving and one touchdown.

Franchise record set: Rookie Bryan McCann picked off an Eli Manning pass and returned it 101 yards for a touchdown in the first half. It was the longest interception return for a score in franchise history.

What's next: The Cowboys, who have not won at home this season, play host to Detroit. Boxer Manny Pacquaio has more wins at Cowboys Stadium than the Cowboys in 2010.