EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes and the desperate Dallas Cowboys beat New York 30-10 Sunday to spoil Steve Spagnuolo’s debut as interim coach and the return of quarterback Eli Manning to the Giants’ starting lineup.
Prescott threw a go-ahead 20-yard score to tight end Jason Witten with 7:38 to play to break a 10-all tie.
Rod Smith scored on an 81-yard pass play with 4:08 to play and he added a 15-yard scoring run a little more than a minute later after an interception by linebacker Sean Lee.
Prescott, who was 20 of 30 for 332 yards also threw a 50-yard scoring pass to Dez Bryant as the Cowboys (7-6) stayed in the playoff hunt with three games left in the regular season. Dan Bailey added a 21-yard field goal as the Cowboys finished with 454 yards.
New York fell to 2-11.
Manning, who got a standing ovation taking the field, threw a 1-yard TD pass to Rhett Ellison late in the second quarter that gave New York a brief 10-3 lead. Aldrick Rosas had a 39-yard field goal. Manning finished 31 of 46 for 228 yards with a touchdown and two late interceptions.
The game capped a hectic week for the Giants that started Monday with the firing of second-year coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese and saw Spagnuolo promoted from defensive coordinator to interim coach. He coached the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11.
The moves came with the Giants spiraling out of control in a season where much was expected following their first playoff appearance since 2011. Fans were also upset with the benching of Manning days earlier in a loss to Oakland, a decision that ended the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s streak of 210 consecutive starts.
This game was close until the final minutes. Dallas broke things open with a 54-yard catch and run by Cole Beasley on a third-and-2 from the Dallas 26. Beasley broke a tackle by Landon Collins and Collins hurt his ankle eventually making the tackle.
With the Giants safety off the field, Prescott found Witten, a longtime Giants’ nemesis, all alone on the next play.
Smith took another short pass on a long TD catch and run and then he almost walked into the end zone.
Bailey, who usually never misses a field goal against the Giants, had a 53-yarder hit the right upright in the second quarter and he was wide right from 50 in the third.
The first half ended 10-all with both teams having long opening drives that ended in field goals and then getting late touchdowns passes.
Manning found Ellison from a yard out to cap a 68-yard drive and Prescott drove the Cowboys 75 yards in four plays with Bryant breaking a tackle and scoring from 50.
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