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Giants defeated by Cowboys; 3 impressions from the game

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  1. The Giants had chances but never clicked.**

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The Giants' one-possession deficit with 5:28 remaining in Sunday's game against the Cowboys seemed more like an insurmountable Dallas lead than a chance for a thrilling comeback in Big Blue's eventual 31-21 loss in AT&T Stadium. And that's because the team was just struggling to hang on at that point.

Penalties, inconsistency in moving the ball, and breakdowns in the defense caught up to the Giants in the second half of a game that was tied after two quarters. It became too much to overcome as one bad play became two while one good play rarely turned into another – in all three phases of the game.

2. Manning's climb through history offered no consolation.

With three touchdown passes on Sunday, Eli Manning moved past former Giants quarterback and Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle for 18th on the NFL's all-time list. But the scoring throws weren't enough to advance the Giants in the win column. Neither was Manning's fourth game of the season with a passer rating over 100.0.

Instead, the Giants' lack of production on first and third downs coupled with a momentum-killing Larry Donnell fumble in the fourth quarter did the offense in on Sunday. Outscored 17-7 in the second half, the Giants were 5-of-13 on third-down conversion attempts throughout the game, losing the time of possession ledger by more than seven minutes.

3. The team needs to regroup, get healthy over the bye week.

As quickly as the Giants turned their 0-2 start to the season into a three-game winning streak, they just as abruptly find themselves with a losing record again heading into their much-needed bye week. The momentum flipped in the other direction from the first snap last week against the Eagles when they were shut out 27-0, setting up another road game in the division against the Cowboys, who had won their previous five games and made it six straight with a victory over Big Blue. So it wasn't the ideal scenario for a Giants team that was trying to pick itself up after losing two key players -- wide receiver Victor Cruz and cornerback Trumaine McBride -- for the season because of injuries.

And the injuries continued to mount in Dallas as starting middle linebacker Jon Beason (toe) and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (calf) left the game and did not return. The Giants will have to heal up physically and mentally over the upcoming break before a second leg of the season that begins with games against Indianapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, and then Dallas again.

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