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Stumbling Cowboys have a Giant problem

October 24, 2006|From the Associated Press

IRVING, Texas — The New York Giants contained Drew Bledsoe so thoroughly he got benched at halftime. Tony Romo's promotion thrilled Dallas Cowboys fans -- until he threw an interception on his first snap.

That's how it went Monday night: The Giants made all the big plays, the Cowboys made the big mistakes.

"That was really a poor performance," Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells said. "A recipe for disaster. It was a real bad performance. And there's really no excuse for it."

Eli Manning threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress on the fifth play, LaVar Arrington sacked Bledsoe for a safety soon after, and the Giants fended off several potential momentum-changers, beating the Cowboys, 36-22, to stake a big head start in defense of their NFC East title.

A week after sacking Michael Vick seven times, New York got four against Bledsoe -- two by Michael Strahan, tying Lawrence Taylor's club record of 132 1/2 -- and two against the more-mobile Romo.

More important for the Giants (4-2) were their four interceptions.

Sam Madison picked off Bledsoe on a potential go-ahead pass into the end zone in the second quarter, costing the quarterback his job, at least for the rest of the night. But Parcells said that wasn't the only play that drove his decision to bench Bledsoe, who finished seven for 12 for 111 yards and left without comment.

"Too many mistakes," Parcells said. "Too much improvisation."

Romo was intercepted three times, with Kevin Dockery taking the last one 96 yards with 2:33 remaining, leaving Parcells staring down with his arms folded, out of answers for Dallas (3-3).

"I don't feel very good about the situation right now," said Romo, who completed 14 of 25 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns. "I definitely would have liked to have performed better. Hopefully next week that will change."

Will Romo get another chance?

"I don't know yet," is all Parcells would say.

The Giants, however, face two serious injuries. Arrington tore his left Achilles' tendon and is probably done for the season, and defensive end Osi Umenyiora missed most of the second half because of a hip injury.

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