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Dottino: Coughlin, Giants Beat Themselves Down In Dallas

Terrell Thomas Played In His First Regular Season Game In Three Years
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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By Paul Dottino
» More Columns

ARLINGTON, TX. – Tom Coughlin needs to look no further, then themselves  whenever he wants to tell his team that self-inflicted wounds usually prove fatal in the NFL. The Giants turned over the ball six times in their 36-31 road loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Coughlin also will use this stat to encourage his defense, which limited Dallas to 10 points on four turnovers — Barry Church returned a fumble 27 yards for a TD and Brandon Carr took back an interception 49 yards for a TD to account for the remaining two miscues.

GAMEBALLS

Offense – WR Victor Cruz. He overcame a bruised heel two weeks early and put up five catches for 118 yards and three TDs. He outran two defenders for a 70-yard score that cut the deficit to 13-10 just before the half. He also extended to make a twisting 10- yard TD catch to slice it to 30-24 with 8:47 to play.

Defense – CB Terrell Thomas. He looked as if he never missed a beat despite playing his first regular season game in three years (two torn ACLs). Thomas handled nickel corner and collected six solo tackles, an assist and one broke up pass. He did not allow a completion longer than 11 yards – registered by Miles Austin when Thomas tripped on a crossing route in the second quarter.

Special Teams- WR Rueben Randle. He cleanly handled five punts (one fair catch) for a combined 20 yards. But his 14-yard return with 5:48 left in the fourth set up the Giants at their own 45, down by six.

GASSERS

Offense- RB David Wilson. Coughlin was very angry at Wilson for coughing up two fumbles on eight touches, so much so that he benched him for De’Rell Scott with nearly 13 minutes left in the game. Wilson’s first miscue came at the Dallas 8 on the Giants’ second possession. Wilson got himself benched after a fumble at the Giants 24 – Church took it back. Wilson also whiffed on a second-quarter sack by DE George Selvie.

Defense– MLB Mark Herzlich. He simply was too late getting to the ball almost all night. He came in after starter Dan Conner suffered a burner late in the first half. Immediately, QB Tony Romo fired two completions to TE Jason Witten down the middle of the field, the latter for a 15-yard TD and a 13-3 lead.

Special Teams – CB Trumaine McBride. He was charged with a muffed punt return with 5:44 left in the third because an errant bounce ticked him on the leg while he was engaged with an opponent. Leading 20-10, Romo turned this into a 4-yard TD pass to Witten late in the third quarter.

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