1:00 PM ET, December 4, 2005
Dallas (7-4) at NY Giants (7-4) Sunday 1:00 pm EST
The first meeting was a sloppy but exciting affair that featured eight turnovers - four by each team - on October 16 at Dallas. The Cowboys emerged with a 16-13 victory when Jose Cortez, who is no longer with the team, kicked a 45-yard field goal 3:47 into overtime.
The Giants tied the game in dramatic fashion when Eli Manning hit tight end Jeremy Shockey with a 28-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Manning threw a 24-yard pass to Plaxico Burress before connecting with Shockey, who got away from safety Roy Williams on a crossing pattern. Shockey finished the game with five catches for 129 yards.
But Dallas won the coin flip in overtime and Drew Bledsoe went to work, completing 3-of-4 passes for 49 yards, including a 26-yarder to tight end Jason Witten, to set up the winning field goal. Bledsoe completed 26-of-37 passes for 312 yards and one touchdown, but lost three fumbles.
Keyshawn Johnson was his top receiver, catching eight passes for 120 yards.
Both teams are coming off overtime losses. The Cowboys lost at home, 24-21, to Denver on Thanksgiving while the Giants lost at Seattle, 24-21. Both teams were also victimized by missed field goals.
The Cowboys had a chance to snap a 21-21 tie with 7:42 left in the fourth quarter, but Billy Cundiff, who was signed to replace Cortez, hooked a 34-yard field goal attempt wide left. The previous week, Cundiff kicked a career-high 56-yarder.
The Cowboys' four losses are by a total of 13 points, with the last two defeats coming on game-ending field goals.
The Giants could have moved a game ahead of Dallas in the NFC East if Jay Feely had made a field-goal attempt from 40 yards out on the final play of regulation or had converted on his two chances in overtime from 54 yards and 45 yards. But the usually reliable Feely missed all three.
Feely had made 23-of-25 field-goal attempts this season before the three straight misses.
Josh Brown's 36-yard field goal with 2:45 left in overtime lifted Seattle to the win.
The Giants tied the game when Manning hit Amani Toomer with an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:59 left in the fourth quarter and then connected with Shockey on the two-point conversion.
Manning recorded the second 300-yard game of his career, completing 29-of-53 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Shockey had 10 catches for 127 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown, and Burress added six receptions for 109 yards.
Tiki Barber rushed for 151 yards on 26 carries, raising his season total to 1,118 yards.
Cornerbacks Terrence Newman and Anthony Henry will match up against Burress and Toomer and Williams will look to get physical with Shockey.
The Giants should have their hands full with Johnson, fellow receiver Terry Glenn and Witten, who had nine catches for 82 yards in the loss to Denver.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin was a wide receivers coach under Cowboys coach Bill Parcells from 1988-90 with the Giants. Their last year together was the last time New York won the Super Bowl.
Matchup to watch: Johnson looks to again take advantage of second-year cornerback Curtis Deloatch.
Series: The Cowboys lead, 51-33-2.
Next week: Dallas hosts Kansas City, December 11 NY Giants visit Philadelphia, December 11
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Manning faces difficult test
Both teams are coming off bitter losses in Week 12, in games they could have easily won. The winner here will have the outright lead in the division, and a win for the Cowboys would give them the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Giants. If you like the physical football, this is your game. Both coaches will play conservative schemes in what could be a low-scoring game, but both teams are capable of generating offense in the passing game if they need it.
The difference may be at the quarterback position, where Eli Manning may give the Giants the edge. Will the Cowboys come after Manning and take a chance with man-to-man coverage, or will they sit back and play some soft coverage schemes and force the Giants to be patient? Will both teams try to control the clock with the running games? Which quarterback will do the best job of managing the game and eliminating mistakes?
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New York Giants
|Avg Points Allowed||17.1||18.2|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||DAL|
|Rush Yds Allowed||DAL|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|NY Giants leads 6-4|
|Oct 16, 2005||DAL 16, NYG 13|
|Jan 2, 2005||DAL 24, @NYG 28|
|Oct 10, 2004||DAL 10, NYG 26|
|Dec 21, 2003||DAL 19, NYG 3|
|Sep 15, 2003||DAL 7, @NYG 7|
|Dec 15, 2002||DAL 7, @NYG 37|
|Oct 6, 2002||DAL 17, NYG 21|
|Dec 9, 2001||DAL 20, NYG 13|
|Nov 4, 2001||DAL 24, @NYG 27|