Giants, Cowboys play a thriller in Dallas

927057.jpg

Giants, Cowboys play a thriller in Dallas

From Comcast SportsNetARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Eli Manning stood on the New York Giants' sideline in disbelief when it looked as if the Dallas Cowboys had scored a go-ahead touchdown with 10 seconds left.What was encouraging is what he didn't see: a replay on the giant videoboard that hangs above the field at Cowboys Stadium, where the Giants still have never lost following a wild 29-24 victory Sunday.Officials reviewed and overturned Dez Bryant's apparent 37-yard touchdown catch, ruling his hand hit out of bounds, and the Cowboys couldn't get into the end zone after the overturned reception."I couldn't quite believe they were able to hit a touchdown in that situation. I kind of kept looking for the replay," Manning said. "You know the game was not going to be over until that clock hit zero."This was the 20th time in Manning's career that the Giants rallied in the fourth quarter to win. And this comeback came after New York blew an early 23-0 lead."It speaks about our resiliency. We know how to win these games," receiver Victor Cruz said. "We've been in a bunch of them."After their sixth win in seven games since a season-opening home loss to Dallas, the Giants (6-2) hurriedly cleared out of Cowboys Stadium trying to get home as quickly as possible with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the East Coast.The Giants are 4-0 in Arlington since Jerry Jones' football palace opened in 2009 with a New York victory."I'm very disappointed right now," Jones said. "I thought after all that, our defense played well enough, our offense kept going and I thought we were going to get a chance to pull one out."Coupled with Sunday losses by Philadelphia (3-4) and Washington (3-5), the Giants strengthened their hold on the NFC East lead halfway through their schedule.New York led 23-0 just 2 minutes into the second quarter when defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown. That was the third of four interceptions thrown by Tony Romo, and Dallas (3-4) finished with six turnovers.But the Giants didn't score again until Lawrence Tynes made a 43-yard field goal with 10:20 left for a 26-24 lead. He kicked a 37-yarder with 3 minutes remaining in the fourth for his fifth of the game.Stevie Brown set up Tynes' last field goal with a fumble recovery and also had two interceptions."We have good leadership, good people," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "They're fighters in that locker room. ... Sometimes it comes out differently than it was designed."Dallas got to the Giants 19 on one of its last drives. On fourth-and-1 with 1:03 left, Romo scrambled and was picked off by Brown.After New York failed to get a first down on three running plays and Dallas used all three of its timeouts, the Cowboys got the ball back with 44 seconds left at the 30. They got to the Giants 37 before Bryant's catch between two defenders in the back of the end zone was overturned."We scratched and scraped," Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty said. "At the end, we still had to have a little luck to pull that one out."Manning completed 15 of 29 passes for 192 yards with an interception.Romo threw for a career-high 437 yards while completing 36 of 62 passes. Jason Witten broke his own Cowboys team record with 18 catches, which resulted in 167 yards. Miles Austin had nine catches for 133 yards and Bryant had five catches for 110 yards.The Giants led 13-0 in the first quarter after Romo's first two interceptions.Brown, who has five interceptions in six games, stepped in front of Bryant and had a 37-yard return to set up Tynes' 37-yard kick that made it 6-0. Three plays later, Corey Webster's 37-yard interception return led to Andre Brown's 1-yard TD.Michael Coe recovered at the Dallas 15 when Bryant fumbled after fielding a punt over his head, setting up a 26-yard field goal.Three plays later, Pierre-Paul broke off a block and jumped to grab the ball. He punctuated his first-ever pick and touchdown by dunking the ball over the crossbar.Things were so bad then that Jones was booed when he came on the videoboard during a public service announcement about breast cancer awareness. On another unrelated video during that same timeout, coach Jason Garrett got the same treatment when his image appeared on the screen."I've been to boo school so to speak," Jones said. "Seriously. I'm sure the fans had the same feeling I did. I was frustrated, mad and knew that we had dug ourselves a hole that was going to take super effort to get out of."Dallas scored the last 10 points of the half, then added two more touchdowns in the third quarter to go ahead. Romo faked a handoff and rolled right for a 1-yard score on fourth down, ending the play with an emphatic spike.After the Giants went three-and-out, the Cowboys drove to the 1 again. Romo faked another handoff and started rolling right, when he then shuffled the ball ahead to John Phillips for a 1-yard pass that put Dallas up 24-23.None of that mattered after the closing sequence."Just tough when you think you've won the game," Romo said. "It switches as that moment. You put a lot into it, obviously. We put a week's worth (of emotion) in that one game.NOTES:The only Cowboys with more passing yards in a game are Don Meredith (460 in November 1963) and Troy Aikman (455 in November 1998). ... The only other time Dallas had three 100-yard receivers was Nov. 10, 1963, at San Francisco. ... Tynes is now the second-leading scorer in Giants history. His 17 points Sunday pushed his career total to 535 (113 field goals, 196 extra points). He passed Brad Daluiso's 526 points. The career leader is Pete Gogolak's 646.

Reports: Ex-A's catcher Suzuki agrees to deal with NL East team

Reports: Ex-A's catcher Suzuki agrees to deal with NL East team

Kurt Suzuki is headed back to the National League.

After three seasons in the American League with the Twins, the former A's backstop has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Braves.

News of the agreement was first reported by SB Nation.

Suzuki will reportedly make $1.5 million, according to Fox Sports. He has a chance to make an addition $2.5 million in incentives.

The 33-year-old Suzuki was drafted by the A's in the second round of 2004 MLB Draft. He made his debut with Oakland in 2007 and was the starting catcher until a 2012 trade to Washington. A year later, the Nationals traded Suzuki back to the A's for the final five weeks of the season.

Prior to the 2014 season, Suzuki signed with Twins. In three seasons with Minnesota, Suzuki hit .263/.316/.364 with 75 doubles, 16 home runs and 160 RBI.

Suzuki will likely serve as a back-up to catcher Tyler Flowers.

Colts fire GM Ryan Grigson after five seasons

Colts fire GM Ryan Grigson after five seasons

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ryan Grigson spent tens of millions in free agency, trying to turn the Indianapolis Colts into a Super Bowl contender.

When most of those big investments went belly up, the first-time general manager paid the price.

On Saturday, Colts owner Jim Irsay fired Grigson after five up-and-down years that ended with Indy missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98.

"It was a tough decision, well thought out and in the end the right decision for the Colts," Irsay said.

Initially, Grigson looked like a genius.

He hit it big on his first four draft picks - quarterback Andrew Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen and receiver T.Y. Hilton - and used a series of shrewd, cost-effective moves to deliver one of the greatest turnarounds in league history.

But when Grigson's costly misfires like first-round bust Bjoern Werner in 2013, trading a first-round pick for Trent Richardson in 2014 or loading up on a group of aging, high-priced free agents to make a Super Bowl run in 2015 and an anxious fan base, Irsay had no choice.

The timing, almost three weeks after the season ended, was strange - and comes after many thought the delay meant Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano were both safe.

Each agreed to contracts last January that was supposed to keep them together through the 2019 season.

Thirteen months later, Grigson is gone and Pagano's fate may rest in the hands of a new GM.

Grigson, by trade, was a gambler who refused to play it safe.

"I think the guys that sit on their hands, they've got to live with themselves and look in the mirror and realize they didn't take any chances," he once said. "They've got to look at themselves and say, 'Did I even deserve this opportunity?' If you just sit on your hands and say, 'I'm going to play it safe all the time,' you might be middle of the pack. But if you don't take a swing, you're never going to hit it out of the park."

Irsay appreciated Grigson's unconventional style and penchant for taking chances.

What he didn't like was the underwhelming payout.

In five seasons, Grigson made 15 trades for players and only one, Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis, played in Indy's season finale. Grigson also drafted 38 players - 18 of whom finished the season with the Colts. Eleven were out of the NFL.

Then there was free agency, where Grigson signed dozens of expensive players. Only 11 were still on Indy's roster when the season ended, 18 others were out of the NFL.

With an estimated $60 million to spend in free agency this year and a chance to get the Colts righted for the prime years of Luck's career, Irsay couldn't afford to roll the dice again with Grigson so he made the change.

The 44-year-old Purdue graduate's blunt personality didn't always mesh with coach Chuck Pagano. Irsay even acknowledged last summer that the two men needed to resolve their differences before he gave them the extensions.

Players didn't always get along with him, either.

"Thank God. 'Unwarranted Arrogance' just ran into a brick wall called karma," Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee posted on Twitter after word first leaked.

Grigson also drew the wrath of Patriots' fans by tipping off NFL officials that Tom Brady was using improperly inflated footballs during the 2015 AFC championship game. The Deflategate controversy eventually led to a four-game suspension for Brady as well as a fine and the loss draft picks for the Patriots.

And despite Irsay's repeated pleas to better protect Luck, Grigson, a former offensive lineman, never quite figured it out.

Luck missed 10 games because of injuries over the past two seasons and was sacked 41 times last season. The first real glimmer of hope appeared in December when the Colts held Minnesota and Oakland without a sack in back-to back games - the only times all season they didn't allow a sack.

When Grigson arrived, the Colts were coming off a 2-14 season and were about to release Peyton Manning and several other aging veterans in a salary cap purge.

So Grigson cleaned house.

He fired Jim Caldwell, hired Pagano and revamped the roster with low-budget free agents to work with the cornerstone of the future, Luck.

It worked. The man once dubbed by a previous boss as a "great" expansion team general manager, turned the Colts into a surprising 11-5 playoff-bound team.

Indy finished 11-5 each of the next two seasons, too, and advanced one step deeper in the playoffs each season.

The steady progression turned the Colts into a trendy Super Bowl pick in 2015, a trek that was derailed by a litany of injuries that forced the Colts to use five different quarterbacks just to finish 8-8.