Cruz: Dallas D 'came to play'

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Quarterback Eli Manning and his two most dangerous deep threats, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, credited the Cowboys' defensive scheme for holding the Giants' passing game in check.

Manning, who has feasted on the Cowboys' secondary in past games in Dallas, threw for just 192 yards in Sunday's 29-24 victory.

Nicks was held to four catches for 46 yards and Cruz to just two receptions for 23 yards.

“Dallas does a good job not giving anything easy in the passing game and they’ve got a good rush from their front four," Manning said. “If you can rush four guys and get to the quarterback where they don’t have a lot of time to move around or let guys get open, it can be tough. Not every team can do it. They are talented and had a good plan."

One of the offseason goals for the Cowboys was to shore up the cornerback position by drafting Morris Claiborne and signing Brandon Carr.

But the Giants receivers believed it was the scheme, not personnel, responsible for Sunday's slowdown.

“I think it was just a matter of them playing some good schemes defensively," Cruz said. “They kept two people in my area for most of the time. They kept a safety over the top and they just played two man on the outside. It’s difficult to get a lot of the things we want done when they’re playing that coverage. We have to understand that, and continue to push forward, and hopefully we can run the ball well -- we did run it well in certain spots."

Said Nicks: “Dallas approached the game schematically different, trying to take me and Cruz a lot the whole game ... they doubled the slot and they doubled the outside a lot and tried to make the inside game and the running game pick up as well."

The passing game struggles showed up on third down where the Giants were 3-of-15. The Giants made only 11 first downs.

“On third down, we couldn’t get anything going," Manning said. “They challenged us to run on first and second downs keeping the safeties high the whole time. We ran it OK, but we didn’t run it well enough to get them out of it so we could take some shots down the field."

Cruz, without a touchdown dance in two games against Dallas this season, put the afternoon in perspective.

“Defense came to play and I think offensively we had some miscues," he said, “but as a team, as a full team effort, we all came to play, man. I think any victory is a good one, no matter how it comes out."