|Romo, defense push Cowboys ahead of Giants|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 14 December 2008 17:47|
tepped in front of a receiver for an interception.
The NFC East champion Giants, trying avoid consecutive losses for first time since starting 0-2 last season, had only 132 total yards.
Romo's TD came in the second quarter. The Giants challenged that Romo had crossed the line of scrimmage before hitting the wide-open Crayton, but replays confirmed Romo released the ball in time.
Terrell Owens dropped the first pass thrown his way by Romo on the opening series, but had three catches for 38 yards.
Owens was booed during pregame introductions and after dropping a deep catchable ball near the left sideline - after Romo's first pass was an incompletion to tight end Jason Witten. The fans were cheering when T.O. caught a 25-yard pass late in the first quarter, after which he shared a fist-bump with Witten when they got back to the huddle.
T.O. and fellow receivers Roy Williams and Crayton each met individually this week with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett about their roles in the offense. Witten, one of Romo's closest friends, is the team's leading receiver.
Owens' 25-yard catch came on a drive that stalled after Romo was sacked on consecutive plays. T.O. had a 6-yard catch on the scoring drive for the Cowboys, who need a win to improve their precarious playoff position.
Manning hit Steve Smith for a 14-yard gain on third-and-11 to the Cowboys 19, but was sacked for the second time by DeMarcus Ware on the next play. Ware regained the NFL sacks lead with his 18th this season, and has 51 1/2 in his four seasons.
The seven sacks matched a season high for the Cowboys. Manning was sacked by Ware on the Giants' first snap.
New York was at Texas Stadium for the final time, its first game under the hole in the roof since last January's playoff game that provided a bitter ending to Dallas' 13-win season and helped propel the Giants to the Super Bowl title.
This time, the Giants have already clinched the NFC East. But they had to win to clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs and still were in contention for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Aided by a 32-yard pass-interference call against Terence Newman, who dropped to the ground and sprawled on his back in disbelief after the penalty, the Giants got to the Dallas 35 on their second drive before punting.
The Giants were without 264-pound running back Brandon Jacobs, their leading rusher with 1,002 yards and 12 touchdowns. He didn't practice this week after aggravating his injured left knee in last week's loss to Philadelphia.
Romo came back and led the Cowboys to three straight victories before they lost 20-13 last week against Pittsburgh, when the Steelers got the game-winning touchdown on the return of an interception of a pass that was intended for Witten. Dallas had one more chance after that, but Romo's fourth-down pass was incomplete to Witten, who never turned to see the ball - on a play that Owens said he was open.