Notebook: Nicks, injuries & stats

Hakeem Nicks wanted the ball.

With the Giants leading 24-14 late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game and situated at the Dallas' 4-yard line, the receiver believed there was a play for him to make.

"Once I got down there, I told Eli (Manning) in the huddle, I said 'E, throw it up to me,'" Nicks said. "Let me get in there."

His quarterback obliged and Nicks made the play to put the finishing touches on the Giants win. The receiver played through a sprained hamstring that he suffered last week and finished the game with five catches for 76 yards and the touchdown.

"We were all in this week, that was the theme, we were all in and we knew what we wanted to do and this is a game I definitely didn't want to miss," Nicks said.

Nicks practiced just one day this week but vowed during the week that he would play and he lived up to his promise and made some big plays. On Victor Cruz's 74-yard touchdown pass, he blocked Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins out of the play to give Cruz the space he needed to get to the end zone.

The receiver said that his hamstring held up fine in the game.

"I did a good job of keeping it warm throughout the game," Nicks said. "Kept some Icy Hot on it and what not. It stayed warm and held up pretty good throughout the game."

INJURY UPDATE: Tight end Jake Ballard missed his second straight game with a sprained PCL but said that it's a "great possibility" that he could play next week against Atlanta.

Ballard said he knew he wouldn’t have the chance to play again this season unless the team made the playoffs. He said he's going to need to see some things this week but sounded optimistic about returning for what would be his first career playoff game.

"I'm definitely getting better every day and going to go in there tomorrow and move around and see how it feels and definitely strive to play in this game and practice this week," Ballard said.

Running back Da'Rel Scott hyperextended his right knee but said that he's feeling good. He said that it happened on a punt, getting twisted up on a play although he was a little foggy on the exact details. He said he would not miss any time.

STATS: After plenty of big plays last time the teams met, the longest passing play of the game for the Cowboys was 34 yards. … Cowboys tight end Jason Witten had just three catches for 12 yards the last time these teams played but finished with seven catches for 69 yards on Sunday. … Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham, who has had great success in his career vs. Dallas, was not even targeted in a game in which nine different Giants caught a pass.