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Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 6:27 AM

Giants' win streak ends at 4 with loss to Cowboys

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)n
The New York Giants are still alive in the NFC East.n
Realistically, their playoff hopes suffered a major setback in an
24-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.n
Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes and led a drive that set upn
Dan Bailey's 35-yard field goal on the final play, ending then
Giants' four-game winning streak.n
''We have a five-game schedule left,'' coach Tom Coughlin saidn
after the Giants (4-7) come up short.n
''Every game is critical. We want to prepare and work as hard asn
we possibly can, stay together and try and win football games. Wen
lost a game we were all excited about having a chance to win. It'sn
gone. Let's go win five games and give ourselves a chance to holdn
our heads up high.''n
The victory moved the Cowboys (6-5) into a first-place tie withn
idle Philadelphia in the NFC East with five games left.n
It left the Giants wondering about what they gave away in twon
losses to Dallas.n
The latest defeat left the Giants little margin for error. Theyn
need to win the final five games, and get a lot of help.n
''We knew we had to win this game to give ourselves a chance andn
keep the dream alive as coach Coughlin said,'' said Terrell Thomas,n
who has guaranteed a win earlier in the week.n
''We'll see what happens, but right now we're a team that lostn
another game in the division.''n
Romo hit two third down passes on the 14-play drive that coveredn
the final 4:45 after New York tied the game on a 4-yard touchdownn
pass from Eli Manning to Louis Murphy Jr., and a 2-point conversionn
run by Andre Brown.n
Romo hit Jason Witten on TDs of 20 and 2 yards, and Dallas got an
defensive touchdown on a 50-yard fumble return by Jeff Heath.n
The Giants, seeking to become the second NFL team to win fiven
straight after losing the first six, rallied over the past month ton
get into position to challenge for a playoff spot. They knew thisn
was a key game because they had lost to Dallas in the season openern
after turning over the ball six times.n
After another loss to the Cowboys, the Giants face a toughn
battle to remain relevant in the playoff picture.n
''Our mindset is that we've got to win five,'' Manning said.n
''We have five games left and we have to win every one. That's then
only way to possibly give us a chance. We don't know if that'sn
going to be good enough, but we know that's the only way.''n
The Cowboys faced their own challenges after a blowout loss ton
New Orleans before a bye week.n
Romo and his team answered to end a week in which owner Jerryn
Jones said coach Jason Garrett would return next season.n
True to form, New York tried another comeback after fallingn
behind 21-6 in the third quarter.n
But Romo took it from the Giants on the final drive that startedn
at the Dallas 20 on a cold and blustery day. He hit Dez Bryant on an
19-yard pass on third-and-8 and added throws of 17 yards to Milesn
Austin and 13 to Cole Beasley, the latter on third-and-10 from then
New York 28.n
With the wind howling, a long field goal would have been tough.n
Instead, that play gave Dallas a first down at the 15 and Baileyn
converted after Romo took a couple of kneel-downs.n
''Everyone understood how important the game was for bothn
teams,'' Romo said. ''They won four in a row to put themselves backn
into position. They had a home game. I could tell by their wordsn
leading up to it that they were confident. That's what makes then
game great. It was a big buildup, but we understood that the gamen
was going to be played on Sunday.''n
The Giants' tying drive was kept alive by a 22-yard pass fromn
Manning to Victor Cruz on third-and-8 from the Dallas 27. Beforen
that, the Cowboys seemingly took control with a 65-yard drive Romon
capped with his second touchdown pass to Witten.n
The drive continued because of a roughing-the-passer penaltyn
against Mathias Kiwanuka on a play that Beasley fumbled after an
catch at the Giants 20 and New York recovered.n
Manning's 27-yard pass to tight end Brandon Myers brought Newn
York within 21-13. The final 10 yards were covered after safetyn
Jeff Heath and linebacker Bruce Carter failed to touch Myers aftern
he fell catching the ball. He got up and scored.n
The Giants handed the Cowboys the season opener, committing sixn
turnovers in a 36-31 loss. Two of those miscues were returned forn
touchdowns and two others led to 10 points.n
New York continued that pattern in the rematch.n
Cruz caught a pass near midfield and had the ball stripped byn
Orlando Scandrick. Heath picked it up and had a clear path to then
end zone.n
The fumble return started a run of four straight scores.n
Manning hit Rueben Randle on passes of 21 and 22 yards to set upn
Josh Brown's 21-yard field goal. Romo sandwiched passes of 14 andn
17 yards to running back DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar around an
30-yard run by Murray on the next drive, setting up a 20-yard TDn
pass to a wide-open Witten.n
Runs of 9 and 37 yards by Brandon Jacobs on consecutive playsn
got New York to the Dallas 4, but it settled for another shortn
field goal.n

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