East Rutherford (AP) — The New York Giants used a bunch of big plays to scramble the NFC East standings Sunday.
Jacobs had the Giants' longest play of the season for just a few
minutes, then Domenik Hixon topped it, lifting New York past Dallas
The Giants (7-5) tightened the NFC East with their win,
dropping Dallas (8-4) into a tie with Philadelphia for the lead. New
York has swept Dallas this season and plays Philadelphia here next
Sunday night. The Eagles have a victory over the Giants and a loss to
The bruising Jacobs showed his versatility when
he covered 74 yards after taking a short pass from Eli Manning, his
touchdown putting the Giants ahead 21-17 in the third quarter. Not to
be outdone, Hixon went 79 yards with a punt return for a 31-17 lead in
the final period.
New York won despite huge stats for Dallas
tight end Jason Witten, wide receivers Roy Williams and Miles Austin,
and quarterback Tony Romo, who is 5-9 in December games. Witten
included his 500th career catch among a career-best 14 receptions for
156 yards. Romo went 41 of 55 for 392 yards, a career high, and three
TDs, two to Roy Williams. Austin had 10 catches for 104 yards and one
After Williams' second TD reception, a 5-yarder off
superb play-action by Romo, gave Dallas a 17-14 edge, New York answered
immediately. Jacobs galloped down the left sideline, barely avoiding
going out of bounds on his 74-yard romp.
After Nick Folk missed a
42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, Steve Smith's 25-yard
reception and Ahmad Bradshaw's 29-yard run set up Lawrence Tynes'
23-yard kick for a 24-17 lead.
Then Hixon clinched it by
surpassing Jacobs' effort with a scintillating 79-yard punt runback in
which he ran into a pile, got free, cut right and down the sideline
behind a stream of solid blocks.
Even though Dallas had the ball
for nearly 39 minutes, the Giants' ability to grab big chunks of yards
and quick points was decisive.
The Cowboys dominated possession
in the first half, if not the scoreboard. They grabbed a 10-0 lead on
Folk's 34-yard field goal and Williams' 4-yard TD reception that was
set up by two fumbles.
Ahmad Bradshaw lost the ball at New York's
26, with Jay Ratliff forcing the fumble and recovering it. Then Dallas
was helped immensely by a replay reversal one play before Williams beat
Corey Webster in the corner of the end zone.
Tashard Choice lost
the ball on a third-down run from the 7 and Giants cornerback Terrell
Thomas recovered. But the Cowboys challenged and were rewarded when
Choice was ruled down by referee Bill Leavy.
New York responded
by covering 74 yards in four plays, with top draft pick Hakeem Nicks
scoring on a 21-yard pass from Manning. Terrence Newman gambled for an
interception, but missed, and Nicks sprinted down the right sideline
for the score.
Three plays later, the Giants were threatening
again. Mathias Kiwanuka forced Marion Barber's fumble that defensive
end Osi Umenyiora — who lost his starting job this week — returned 24
yards, palming the ball in his right hand as he scooted down the left
Two passes to Steve Smith netted 27 yards, and Jacobs
surged in from the 1 with 19 seconds left. Even though the Cowboys had
possession for 21 minutes of the half, they trailed by four points at
It didn't get any better for Dallas.