Hakeem Nicks out vs. Cowboys

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks' bizarre contract year took another unexpected turn Sunday when he was ruled inactive for a key game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Nicks missed practice Wednesday and was a limited participant Thursday and Friday due to an abdominal injury he says has been bothering him all year.

Nicks insisted all week that he would play in the game, but the Giants' training and coaching staffs apparently determined that the receiver is unable to play against the rival Cowboys.

Playing in the final year of his contract, Nicks has been a disappointment from a production standpoint. He has yet to catch a touchdown pass this year and hasn't shown a consistent rapport with quarterback Eli Manning as the Giants' passing game continues to lack big-play ability.

Nicks said last week that his agent recommended he get the abdominal injury checked out, and he strongly hinted that his contract situation was the reason for that suggestion.

Without Nicks, the Giants are thin at wide receiver. Second-year wideout Rueben Randle leads the team with six touchdown catches and will surely be elevated to start along with Victor Cruz.

But while Randle's chances could increase, Nicks' absence likely requires the Giants to utilize either Louis Murphy or Jerrel Jernigan neither of whom has been reliable enough to make a contribution this year.