- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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After Sunday's 36-31 victory over the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones accused the Giants of faking injuries in an effort to slow down the Dallas offense when it went to the no-huddle in the second quarter. Not surprisingly, the Giants on Monday denied those accusations.
"It's absolutely not true," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.
Jones' accusations stemmed from a long Dallas drive in the second quarter that resulted in a Tony Romo touchdown pass to Jason Witten. At that point, as a result of turnovers by the Giants' offense, the time of possession was heavily in the Cowboys' favor and the Giants' defense appeared tired. On consecutive plays the clock stopped due to injuries, first to linebacker Dan Connor and then to defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins.
Connor did not return to the game. The team announced he had a "burner." Jenkins did return to the game. The team never announced anything about his injury, even to which body part it supposedly was.
"Both of those players were injured," Coughlin insisted in a Monday conference call. "Connor never returned to the game. And Cullen was in a position where he needed to regroup. So that wasn't orchestrated at all."
The crowd at AT&T Stadium booed the Jenkins injury, and Witten appeared to be shouting, "He's faking!" at the officials. After the game, Jones said "No, it was so obvious it was funny. It wasn't humorous because we really wanted the advantage, and we knew we could get it if we could get the ball snapped."
The time of possession in the game's first half favored the Cowboys 21:31 to 8:29. So it's reasonable to presume the Giants needed a breather. The fact that Jenkins' injury was and remains unspecified lends credence to Jones' opinion. And the Giants did find themselves in the middle of a similar controversy following a game against the St. Louis Rams two years ago.
But for the record, they say Jones is off base.
"I don't know what kind of faking they saw, but if a guy doesn't return to the game, I don't know how that's faking," Giants safety Antrel Rolle said Monday. "They got the win, and he just needs to be satisfied with the win, because a game like that will never happen to us again. I could care less what Jerry has to say. When we face those guys again, it will be a different outcome."
21hMel Kiper Jr.
2dEric D. Williams