Giants, Cowboys play a thriller in Dallas

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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.

Giants put it together in all phases, get back in win column

Giants put it together in all phases, get back in win column

SAN FRANCISCO — In the bottom of the eighth inning Monday, with the Giants finally running away with one, Johnny Cueto started blowing into a giant wad of bubble gum. He held two hands out, ready to catch remnants of an explosion as Brandon Crawford and Kelby Tomlinson looked on and smiled. 

A few minutes later, players started migrating to the dugout rail as they have done in each of the three starts Ryder Jones has made. They are ready to cheer on a rookie’s first big league hit, even if the wait has been an excruciating one for the third baseman. 

Bruce Bochy likes to say that your personality is better when you’re winning, and his players certainly showed that Monday in snapshots here and there. They woke up to a report that there were fractured in the clubhouse, caused in large part by the new closer. They denied it, they met as a group, and then, finally, they won. 

Jeff Samardzija pitched as he has for two months, the top of the lineup came through over and over again, and Brandon Crawford paced a golden night with the gloves. A 9-2 win over the Rockies was just the second since June 11 and it snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Rockies. Any win is meaningful at this point, but this one seemed to mean just a little bit more given the drama of the day. 

“Despite what people might think, we still have a pretty good group here and we get along just fine,” Crawford said. “We’re all rooting for each other.”

It’s one thing to support teammates off the field, and there’s been no indication that the Giants aren’t doing that. It’s quite another to be hand-in-hand between the lines, and for much of this season, Samardzija has been on an island. 

The right-hander has been Bochy’s best pitcher since Madison Bumgarner went down in the hills outside Denver. But he entered Monday with a 2-9 record and 4.74 ERA inflated by faulty defense. He hasn’t grumbled, but he has grown accustomed to the worst, and when Nolan Arenado bounced a ball deep to the hole in shortstop with two on and two outs in the third, Samardzija figured the game was probably tied. 

“I’m thinking maybe they charge it in the outfield and maybe make a play at home,” Samardzija said. “But with a guy like that at shortstop, things change so fast.”

Crawford scooped the ball on the edge of the grass. He would have liked nothing more than to make an otherworldly throw to first to nail his World Baseball Classic teammate, but he knew the best chance was at third. A couple of days ago, Crawford and Jones discussed how the rookie should cover third on such a play. Jones played it perfectly, retreating in time to catch Crawford’s inning-ending throw. 

“The best thing (about Crawford) is he doesn’t even talk about it,” Samardzija said.

No, Crawford put the spotlight on Jones.

“That’s a pretty heads-up play,” he said. “We talked about it and he was there. It was a funny coincidence.”

The play held the lead, and the Giants kept pushing. The top four hitters in the lineup finished with 10 hits, six RBI and six runs. Brandon Belt had an RBI triple in the five-spot. Crawford drove in a run behind him. Gorkys Hernandez and Kelby Tomlinson added insurance from the bottom. Bochy watched it all from the top step and saw a group collectively relax.

“Just quit fighting it so much,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent in this offense. There’s no reason they can’t put consistent runs on the board. Tonight I just thought the at-bats were so much better and the focus was. Once it started rolling, guys felt better about themselves, and it just got contagious.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' skid-snapping win over Rockies

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' skid-snapping win over Rockies

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — On a day that started with controversy, Giants players called a meeting following batting practice. Perhaps they were talking about when and where to stretch. Perhaps a reminder was given to keep clubhouse complaints in the actual clubhouse. 

Or, perhaps, the players just decided that enough was enough. 

In a rare display, the Giants put a clean and complete game together. They beat the Rockies 9-2 at AT&T Park, getting just their second win since June 11 and snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Rockies. 

Jeff Samardzija continued his hot streak, the lineup was opportunistic and flashed some power, and the defense sparkled at times. Here are five things to know from the throwback night … 

—- Samardzija walked off to a standing ovation after throwing 112 pitches. He was charged with two earned in 6 1/3 innings. Ignore the record and ERA for a second — his FIP is 3.37 and his xFIP is 2.95. He really is having a very good and underrated season. 

—- Here’s another one for your Samardzija file: Over the past two months, he has 82 strikeouts and three walks. 

—- It was a good day in the race for another Brandon Crawford Gold Glove. Adeiny Hechavarria, one of the few in the National League who even approaches Crawford, was traded to the Rays. Crawford added to the reel by gunning a runner down on third and making a nifty spin-and-throw in the fourth to rob Ian Desmond of a hit. 

—- There are nights where Denard Span looks like a game-changer, and this was one of them. He had a single, walk and triple in his first three plate appearances, scoring twice as the Giants built a 5-0 lead. He was spry in center, too 

—- Nolan Arenado was 0 for 4. Apparently that’s legal now. (It was actually his ninth 0 for 4 or worse against the Giants, in 81 games.)

—- Bonus sixth fact since the Giants won a game: Sam Dyson, acquired basically for free, is the new setup man. That didn’t take long, and it probably won’t be changing anytime soon. Dyson gave up a single but struck out the other three batters he faced.