ARLINGTON, Texas - Preston Parker may not have been involved in the plays at the end of the game that decided Sunday night's 27-26 loss to the Cowboys, but his three dropped third-down passes certainly kept the Giants from putting the game away earlier.

"I don't know what happened," he told Newsday after the game. "I just know I have to make them. I could have put us in a better situation."

Parker, playing for the injured Victor Cruz, dropped the first one late in the first half. On third-and-12 from the 22, the ball went off his hands and the Giants had to settle for a field goal with 14 seconds left that gave them a 13-6 lead.

On the first drive of the third quarter, Parker let Eli Manning's pass go through his hands on third-and-2 from the 12. Again, the Giants had to settle for a field goal that made it 16-6.

Parker's third drop came with 9:46 left in the game on third-and-8 from the Dallas 38. The Giants punted.

"We have to cash in, especially when we're close to the touchdown," Parker said. "Those are important. Instead of getting threes, get six. We need six."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Parker said he didn't think his drops snowballed on him or weighed on his mind as they accumulated.

"You just have to keep working," he said. "It happened. It's a game, a football game."

He finished with two catches for 26 yards, but it's the ones he didn't hold on to that likely will stick with him the most.

"Gotta make those plays," he said. "That's all."