<
>

First-quarter: Cowboys 7, Giants 5

ARLINGTON, Texas -- We have a safety, an injured starting running back and another starter missing. It's the NFC East. Cowboys lead, 7-5.

Highlights:

1. The Cowboys lost starting running back DeMarco Murray with an apparent right ankle injury after a first down run with 4:54 to play. Murray was on the field for several minutes and DeMarcus Ware, Terence Newman and Jay Ratliff came out onto the field to see how seriously he was injured. Murray needed help off the field and didn't put any weight on his right leg as he left. The Cowboys now have just one running back for the game, Felix Jones.

2. Good to see rookie right tackle Tyron Smith get into it. Former Cowboys defensive tackle Chris Canty got into it with Smith and knocked his helmet and beanie off.

3. With Jones in the game with Murray out, you see why the Cowboys still value him so much. He broke two tackles on the way to a 26-yard run after Murray was taken out of the game. On the next play, Tony Romo threw a screen pass to backup tight end John Phillips that went 12 yards for a touchdown to give the Cowboys a 7-5 lead.

4. The Giants didn't start running back Ahmad Bradshaw because of a violation of team rules. In fact, Bradshaw didn't play in the first quarter. D.J. Ware and Brandon Jacobs were the main running backs.

5. We know Terence Newman is in his 30s, but why in the world was he not on the field on the Giants' second possession of the game. Newman sat while Alan Ball was asked to cover Hakeem Nicks. Big problem, because Eli Manning completed a 64-yard pass to Nicks. It appeared the Cowboys were in a zone because Orlando Scandrick, who normally covers receivers in the slot, let Nicks go. Then Ball gave Nicks some space and then turned around and gave chase. Not sure if this was a blown coverage or if Newman just makes a better play here. After the Giants converted a 23-yard field goal for a 5-0 lead, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan talked to the entire secondary group on the sidelines.

6. Doug Free failed to contain Jason Pierre-Paul on a pass rush which forced Tony Romo to stumble, and he fell down in the end zone. The play resulted in a safety with 9:42 left. Free has struggled at times this season. But offensive line coach Hudson Houck said this week Free is playing well overall. But with your back to the end zone, you have to protect the quarterback.

7. Newman had a chance to make the first big play of the game, but he dropped a potential interception with 10:36 to play. Newman jumped the route on a pass intended for Victor Cruz. It was the first throw of the game directed toward the rookie wideout.

8. Interesting lineup to start the game for the Cowboys as Barry Church and Sean Lee started at inside linebacker with Bradie James and Keith Brooking on the bench. The Cowboys expected the Giants to pass on first down, and they came out with a three-receiver set out of the shotgun.

9. Good to see safety Danny McCray playing on special teams on Sunday night. He missed practice all week with a high-ankle sprain. He made the tackle on the first punt of the game.

10. You know it's a big game when Romo comes out for the coin toss. Hadn't seen that in a while.