Wed, Oct 25, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Giants fluster hapless Cowboys

POORThe Giants defense took the game to Drew Bledsoe to such a degree that he was benched at halftime, but his backup didn't do much better

AFP , DALLAS, TEXAS

Wide receiver Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys runs past Michael Strahan of the New York Giants at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, on Monday.

PHOTO: AFP

The New York Giants recorded six sacks, four interceptions, including one for a touchdown as they flustered quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo in a 36-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Monday.

The win was the third in a row for the Giants (4-2) and moved them into sole possession of first place in the NFC East, one-half game ahead of Philadelphia (4-3) and a game ahead of the Cowboys (3-3).

Tiki Barber, who has announced he plans to retire after the season, rushed for 114 yards and Eli Manning threw for a pair of touchdowns for the Giants.

But it was the defense that put on a prime time performance.

Perennial Pro Bowl end Michael Strahan recorded two of the sacks, linebacker LaVar Arrington tackled Bledsoe in the end zone for a safety and rookie Kevin Dockery sealed the win when he returned an interception of a pass by Romo 96 yards for a touchdown with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter.

The Giants held a 12-7 halftime lead when Parcells decided to make the switch from Bledsoe to Romo.

Bledsoe completed seven-of-12 passes for 111 yards in the first half and scored on a one-yard run with 3:51 left in the second quarter.

But Bledsoe was also sacked four times and threw an interception on a 2nd-and-goal play from the New York 4 with 1:38 left in the second quarter. Although Terry Glenn was well covered by right cornerback Sam Madison, Bledsoe still lofted the pass for his receiver and Madison made the interception at the 1 and returned it four yards.

The sellout crowd at Texas Stadium turned against Bledsoe, chanting "Romo, Romo, Romo," as the backup quarterback took the field at the start of the second half.

The cheers died down quickly as Romo's first pass was swatted by Strahan and intercepted by linebacker Antonio Pierce, who returned it six yards to the Dallas 14.

Despite getting intercepted three times, Romo did show some positive signs, completing 14-of-25 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns but he was no Clint Longley.

This was Terrell Owens' first Monday night game as a member of the Cowboys. But even the wide receiver that commands more media attention than any other player took a back seat to the quarterback controversy that now exists in Dallas and New York's defensive performance.

Owens finished with six catches for 98 yards, including an eight-yard touchdown from Romo early in the fourth quarter.

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