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Experts react to Giants' win over Cowboys


Tom Coughlin's 100th regular-season win as the Giants' head coach moved his team into first place in the NFC East.

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> Highlights: Giants defeat Cowboys

Propelled by four takeaways and a touchdown in all three phases of the game, Big Blue defeated Dallas, 27-20, on Sunday at MetLife Stadium to improve to 4-3 on the year. The Giants split the season series with their divisional rival after letting one slip away against the Cowboys in the opener.

"Well, it's a happy group tonight," Coughlin said after the game. "The exhilaration of victory, especially when most people tell you you can't, that's a great thing."

With that, here's what experts and analysts around the NFL are saying about Big Blue:

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, cornerback, New York Giants.

"There's the Matt Cassel factor here—he threw interceptions on three straight series midway through the Giants' 27-20 win over the Cowboys on Sunday in New Jersey—but credit Rodgers-Cromartie for being in the right place at the right time for two picks totaling 70 return yards and one touchdown. His 58-yard return on a early-third-quarter pick gave the Giants a 17-13 lead, and New York never trailed after that."

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Dwayne Harris, wide receiver/kick returner, New York Giants.

"Dallas 20, New York 20. Fourth quarter. Huge drive by Matt Cassel and company to tie it up. So what does Harris—signed by the Giants from Dallas in free agency last spring—do? He takes the kickoff at his goal line, gets two key blocks 18 and 22 yards downfield, and sprints past everyone for a 100-yard kick return. He couldn't have picked a better time for his first touchdown as a Giants returner."

"The Giants won ugly, won on the long Harris sprint and a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie interception return for a touchdown. They won by a 27-20 count despite mediocre performances from their two best players, Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr., a result reminding everyone who cares about the NFC East that Coughlin remains a pretty good bet to win it."

"I'm taking the Giants [to win the NFC East] because they have the most stability at quarterback, and that's the most important position going down the stretch, as well as the defense. And Eli's the most stable quarterback in this division."

"The Giants (4-3) did not want to take a two-game losing streak into November. The Giants' next three games are at New Orleans, at Tampa Bay and at home against the New England Patriots."

Dan Graziano, ESPN

"The Giants possessed the ball for only 22 of the game's 60 minutes but won it by winning the turnover battle (three takeaways, no giveaways) and scoring on special teams. This was a sloppy game that was begging for someone to play great, and Rodgers-Cromartie delivered."

"It was the first time since Nov. 4, 1951 in which the Giants scored on both an interception return and kickoff return in the same game. The last time it happened? Tom Landry got the interception return and Emlen Tunnell had the kickoff return. Both are Pro Football Hall of Famers."

"Eli Manning presented Coughlin with a game ball in the middle of the Giants' celebration in their locker room, a nice gesture after a much-needed triumph. But this latest victory was not theirs because Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. took starring roles; rather, because Harris found a way to live up to expectations and bury the team that let him walk, the Giants find themselves in first place heading into back-to-back road games with New Orleans and Tampa Bay."

"At this point, wins are what matter. And the Giants barely got a big one, using touchdowns on offense, defense and kickoff return in the same game for the first time since 1951."

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