Giants 37

(7-6, 4-3 away)

Cowboys 34

(7-6, 5-2 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:20 PM ET, December 11, 2011

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX 

1 2 3 4 T
NYG 5 10 7 1537
DAL 7 10 3 1434

Top Performers

Passing: E. Manning (NYG) - 400 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: F. Jones (DAL) - 16 CAR, 106 YDS

Receiving: H. Nicks (NYG) - 8 REC, 163 YDS

Eli Manning, Giants rally past Cowboys in 4th, halt slide after blocked FG

Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Never count out Eli Manning and the New York Giants -- not in a game, or in the division race.

Down by 12 late in the fourth quarter of a game they had to win for a realistic chance to make the playoffs, the Giants put together two touchdown drives in the final 3:41 and Jason Pierre-Paul preserved it with a blocked field goal for a 37-34 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

Just like that, the Giants' four-game losing streak was done. And the NFC East race is cracked open, with New York reclaiming the inside track.

"We needed to have a locker room celebration," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We were starving for this."

New York's recent skid was filled mostly with narrow losses to division leaders. The Giants (7-6) appeared headed to another setback trailing 34-22 with 5:41 left, but a series of clutch plays on their part and meltdowns by Dallas changed everything. The teams are tied, with the Cowboys headed to the Meadowlands for a season-ending rematch on New Year's Day.

"We knew what was on the line," Cowboys linebacker Bradie James said. "But those guys made one more play than we did."

Dallas has gone from winning four straight to losing two in a row, both in dramatic, frustrating fashion that involved missed kicks by rookie Dan Bailey, who'd been so good for so long this season. The Cowboys also lost running back DeMarco Murray to a broken right ankle, ending his record-setting rookie season.

"We certainly know we've got our work cut out for us," team owner Jerry Jones said in a brief statement.

Neither team led by more than five points for most of this back-and-forth game until Tony Romo threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with no one else around. He strutted into the end zone, putting Dallas up 34-22 with 5:41 left.

Yet instead of that ending the excitement, the fun was just beginning.

Manning -- who'd already pulled out five wins in the fourth quarter this season -- mounted an eight-play, 80-yard drive capped by an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ballard. The play had to withstand a video review to make sure he really got the ball past the front of the goal line before his knee landed inches shy of the stripe.

New York's defense followed with a three-and-out, and the Giants got another break when Dallas' usually reliable punter, Mat McBriar, had a 33-yarder, letting Manning take over at his 42 with 2:12 left.

Two penalties on the Cowboys' defense helped, as did completions of 21 and 18 yards to Ballard. Brandon Jacobs scored on a 1-yard run with 51 seconds left and D.J. Ware followed with the 2-point conversion.

Romo still had 46 seconds left. He hit Miles Austin for gains of 22 and 23 yards to set up Bailey for a 47-yard field goal that would force overtime. The rookie who'd made four winning kicks, but was coming off a game-losing debacle the previous week, split the uprights -- only it didn't count because Coughlin called a timeout.

On the do-over, Bailey's kick was clipped by the outstretched arms of Pierre-Paul. He'd been a disruption all night, sacking Romo for a safety early in the game and forcing a fumble in the second quarter.

"I rushed the center, put my hands up and got the block," Pierre-Paul said.

Manning was 27 of 47 for 400 yards and two touchdowns. It was his third 400-yard outing this season, and the club racked up 510 yards, its most since having 512 in December 2009.

Jacobs ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Hakeem Nicks had seven catches for 154 yards, including an early 64-yarder. Mario Manningham had two catches for 62 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown reception.

"Guys stepped up and made some big plays," Manning said. "It won't mean anything unless we finish the season strong. That's the mindset. We can't relax now or feel great about ourselves."

Romo was 21 of 31 for 321 yards with four touchdowns, two in the fourth quarter.

Laurent Robinson caught four passes for 137 yards and a touchdown, with a 74-yarder. Austin, who'd missed the previous six weeks with a hamstring injury, caught four passes for 63 yards with a touchdown.

Felix Jones ran for 106 yards, and caught six passes for 31 yards. He started the season as Dallas' featured running back, and will end it that way, too, now that Murray is gone. The rookie got his foot twisted awkwardly at the end of an 8-yard run in the first quarter. He finished his season with 897 yards, with a franchise-record 253 coming in one game.

"This one's going to hurt, it's going to sting, but we've got to figure out how to do things a little better and play our best game of the season next week," Romo said. "We need to get a win next week and get back going."

The Cowboys have lost six straight Sunday night games. They are 0-3 against the Giants at Cowboys Stadium. Romo also continued his trend of winning in November, then slumping in December.

Game notes

New York RB Ahmad Bradshaw did not start as punishment for breaking an unspecified team rule. He finished with 12 yards on eight carries, all in the second half. ... Romo went over 20,000 yards passing for his career, joining Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Danny White as the only Cowboys to do so. ... Cowboys C Phil Costa sustained a concussion, pushing rookie Kevin Kowalski into action for the first time. His snaps were OK, but he seemed flummoxed early in the final drive.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2823
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays7858
Total Yards510444
Yards per play6.57.7
Total Drives1312
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-53-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

nygSF9:50Tony Romo Sacked By Jason Pierre-Paul In End Zone For -9 Yards
Drive info: 2 plays, -8 yds, 0:31
nygFG7:10Lawrence Tynes 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 66 yds, 2:35
dalTD2:59John Phillips 12 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Dan Bailey Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 4:18
nygTD12:48Brandon Jacobs 1 Yard Run (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yds, 5:04
dalTD6:31Laurent Robinson 9 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Dan Bailey Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 6:19
nygFG1:07Lawrence Tynes 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 0:22
dalFG0:20Dan Bailey 49 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 49 yds, 0:48
dalFG7:47Dan Bailey 49 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 41 yds, 5:11
nygTD4:39Mario Manningham 47 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 85 yds, 3:12
dalTD12:49Miles Austin 6 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Dan Bailey Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 80 yds, 1:31
dalTD5:52Dez Bryant 50 Yard Pass From Tony Romo (Dan Bailey Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 49 yds, 0:54
nygTD3:20Jake Ballard 8 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yds, 2:27
nygTD0:51Brandon Jacobs 1 Yard Run (D.J. Ware Run For Two-Point Conversion is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 58 yds, 1:26

Research Notes

NEXT LEVEL: Coming into Sunday's game, Romo had struggled passing against 43 defenses. Against the Giants, Romo threw well against the 4-3 defense, going 9 for 12 for 102 yards and three touchdowns.
NEXT LEVEL: Tony Romo continued to throw well in 3 or more wide receiver sets going 11 of 17 for 211 yards and a touchdown against the Giants on Sunday. This continued a strong trend for Romo who in his last seven games this season has now completed 73.2 percent with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions.
NEXT LEVEL: Seventy-four of Brandon Jacobs' 101 rushing yards came between the tackles. Jacobs averaged more than five yards per carry, and almost half of those after first contact.
NEXT LEVEL: Eli Manning is averaging more air yards per pass attempt this season than in any of the previous three. A major reason may be the presence of both Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham, as Manning is throwing longer passes to them this season than he did to any receiver since the start of the 2008 season. Manningham (151 air yards) and Nicks (144 air yards) led the Giants on Sunday.

ManningWith 400 yards passing on Sunday night, Eli Manning now has 4,105 yards for the season. That's the most in a single season in Giants history.

Cowboys wide receiver Laurent Robinson has been a touchdown machine since Week 8 of this season. But what about before that? Robinson, who came into the league in 2007, only had four career receiving touchdowns up until Week 7 of this season but has eight receiving touchdowns since then.
Brandon Jacobs has 56 rushing touchdowns as a New York Giant. That passes Tiki Barber for the most rushing touchdowns in Giants history. It took Barber 2,217 carries to accomplish this. Jacobs, has less than half of Barber's carries, 1,056 carries to be exact.
Eli Manning now has 6 game-winning drives in the 4th qtr or OT this season. That's the most of any player, one more than Tim Tebow. It also matches the most for any player over the last 2 seasons. Matt Ryan had 6 last year.
Eli Manning now has 21 career 300-yard passing games. That is tied with Phil Simms for the most in Giants history.

ESPN Stats & Information