Giants lose key players in loss to Cowboys

Updated: September 10, 2007, 1:38 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

IRVING, Texas -- The New York Giants lost more than a game on Sunday.

Top defensive player, end Osi Umenyiora, and the Giants' new starting running back, Brandon Jacobs left with knee injuries.

In addition, quarterback Eli Manning bruised his throwing shoulder late in the game and left before the Giants fell short to the Dallas Cowboys 45-35 on Sunday night.

After the game, Manning said the shoulder was just bruised and sore but he did say that he would have an MRI.

Umenyiora landed awkwardly while making a tackle on the Giants' first defensive stand. Team officials said X-rays showed no break, but they were planning on getting further tests done upon returning to New York.

Jacobs had six carries for 26 yards in his first start, replacing the retired Tiki Barber. Then he sprained a knee in the second quarter and was ruled out, too. Coach Tom Coughlin said after the game that Jacobs' injury was an MCL, but the extent of the injury wasn't known.

Giants backup cornerback Kevin Dockery left the game late in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.

Manning threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Ward with 7:20 left that got New York within 38-28. After botching a 2-point try, the Giants got the ball back on Romo's only interception. Manning followed with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, their third connection of the night, to make it 38-35.

But Manning didn't return, sidelined by a bruised throwing shoulder, and the Giants were out of rallies.

"I didn't want to go in there and make anything worse, land on it or get hit on it and make something where I miss next week," said Manning, who was 28-of-41 for 312 yards and four touchdowns with an interception.

Dallas couldn't escape the injury bug, either.

The Cowboys lost nose tackle Jason Ferguson to an arm injury in the first quarter. Owner Jerry Jones said after the game Ferguson could be done for the year. ESPN's Ed Werder reported that Ferguson has a torn biceps.

He returned to the bench during the game still in pads with his arm heavily bandaged.

Umenyiora, who led the NFC with 14 sacks two years ago, was hurt while dragging down Dallas running back Julius Jones. He spent a few plays trying to get comfortable on the sideline, then went to the locker room, accompanied by several team staffers. He walked under his own power.

As expected, Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman was inactive, and Giants defensive end Michael Strahan played, recording four tackles and an assist.

Newman has a partial tissue tear in the base of his right foot that kept him out of the last three preseason games and practice this week. Jacques Reeves, a fourth-year player, made his second career start in Newman's spot.

Strahan sat out all of training camp while contemplating retirement before he decided to rejoin the Giants this week. The seven-time Pro Bowler was in uniform for the start of his 15th season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.