EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ. — With a no-huddle offense and no-fooling-around defense, the New York Giants snapped the Cowboys’ 11-game winning streak with a 10-7 victory Sunday night, preventing Dallas from clinching the NFC East.
Dallas (11-2) hadn’t lost since the season opener against the Giants (9-4), who solidified their position in the NFC playoff chase as the top-wild card team. New York still hopes to catch Dallas in the division, and it can thank a stingy, aggressive defense for still having that opportunity.
Missing star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, the Giants couldn’t stop rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott from rushing for 107 yards. But New York’s pressure stymied the other Cowboys rookie standout, quarterback Dak Prescott, blanked receiver Dez Bryant until 2:13 remained — he fumbled away the ball on that play — and held Dallas to one conversion in 15 third-down attempts.
The Giants had three sacks, continually made Prescott uncomfortable, and he threw two picks.
New York’s offense was unsightly much of the night, blanked at halftime with only 84 net yards. Then it switched to the no-huddle and put together a short drive to Robbie Gould’s 39-yard field goal, making it 7-3.
But Odell Beckham Jr., stepped up, as he often does, and sped through the Cowboys on a 61-yard touchdown play. Beckham caught Eli Manning’s pass at the Giants 48 and raced all the way to the end zone for the lead the defense preserved.
Manning was 17 for 28 for 193 yards, one TD, one interception and two fumbles. His main adversary was linebacker Sean Lee, who had 18 tackles.
There wasn’t much offense in the opening 30 minutes — Prescott threw for 101 yards and Manning had only 80. That was no issue for Dallas, which simply let Elliott control matters with 15 rushes for 86 yards; 2 more yards than the Giants had in total offense. The one big play was Prescott’s 31-yard TD pass to Terrance Williams as the Giants completely bit on a play-action fake.
New York was plagued by sloppiness and poor blocking in the second straight game in didn’t score in the opening half. Dallas got to Manning three times in that half, forcing fumbles on two of those sacks. Lee seemed to be in on every tackle for the Cowboys, forced one fumble and recovered another.
Dallas came close to extending its 7-0 lead on the final play of the first half, but Dan Bailey’s 55-yard field goal attempt hit the crossbar.
Prescott had thrown for a touchdown and not been intercepted in five straight games, a rookie record. He got a TD early Sunday when he connected with the wide-open Williams for a 31-yard score, but the string ended when Bryant slipped as Prescott threw and Janoris Jenkins picked off the second-quarter pass.
Prescott finished 17 for 37 for 165 yards.
Cowboys: Host Buccaneers on Dec. 18
Giants: Host Lions on Dec. 18