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SportsFootballGiants

Explosive Cowboys overwhelm Giants’ secondary

Three Cowboys pass plays accounted for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

Dez Bryant of the Cowboys catches the ball

Dez Bryant of the Cowboys catches the ball against Brandon Dixon of the Giants for what would be a 50-yard touchdown in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 10, 2017. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Abbie Parr

Dez Bryant shed Brandon Dixon and turned a short pass into a 50-yard touchdown.

Cole Beasley eluded Landon Collins and turned a short pass into a 54-yard gain to set up another touchdown reception.

Rod Smith slipped inside against Kelvin Sheppard and turned a short pass into an 81-yard score.

Three little throws by Dak Prescott, 185 big yards.

Those extra-large plays Sunday at MetLife Stadium went a long way toward helping the Cowboys hang yet another loss on the Giants in a season overloaded with them. Prescott threw for a career-high 332 yards and the three touchdowns as Dallas claimed a 30-10 win that dropped the Giants to 2-11.

“We just didn’t execute our assignment,” Dixon said. “That’s all.”

It’s a recurring nightmare for the Giants. After a strong defensive showing in 2016, they entered Sunday’s game ranked last in overall defense and in pass defense this season.

The defensive difference this year?

“Injuries,” said Collins, who wore a walking boot after spraining his left ankle — the same one that he sprained earlier in the season — when he finally caught Beasley. The result of that play hurt the safety, too.

It was a 10-10 game in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys had third-and-2 at their 26 and Prescott fired a pass to Beasley at about the 30. Collins said he thought the receiver was going toward the sideline from there, but Beasley went inside, taking the ball on a trip to the Giants’ 20.

“It was really just all my fault,” Collins said. “ . . . It hurts really big because it ties the defense down. Then you have to go back out and try to make a stop.”

Collins couldn’t go back out again, which didn’t help, and that stop wasn’t forthcoming. On the next play, Prescott hit Jason Witten in the end zone between Dixon and Darian Thompson with 7:38 left.

The Cowboys’ next possession lasted 25 seconds. It was third-and-3 from the Dallas 19. Even though he’s a running back, Smith was split out. Prescott found him on an inside slant and Smith took off, making it a 23-10 game.

“Rod did a great job, and it was fun to watch him run,” Prescott said.

A 15-yard touchdown run by Smith then made it 30-10 and gave the Cowboys three touchdowns in a span of 4:41.

After the Giants grabbed a 10-3 lead in the second quarter, the Cowboys responded with a touchdown 29 seconds later.

On second-and-6 from midfield, Prescott connected with Bryant on a slant. Dixon, making his second NFL start after being promoted from the practice squad on Nov. 28 because of cornerback injuries, had the coverage. Bryant shed Dixon’s arm tackle attempt at the 40 and scored with 1:38 remaining in the half.

“He isn’t hard to bring down,” Dixon said. “I just took a wrong angle to the ball.”

And the Giants finished on the wrong side of the final score again.

“It’s real frustrating because I know we practice hard every day,” Dixon said. “We came out with a good game plan. But they won, so they were the better team today, I think.”

New York Sports