Cow­boys out to avenge lone loss against Giants

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LOS ANGELES:

The Dal­las Cow­boys aim to avenge their lone de­feat of the sea­son and clinch the NFC East ti­tle tomorrow when they clash with a New York Giants team whose pur­suit of an NFL play­off spot has been slowed by a sud­denly sput­ter­ing of­fense. The 11-1 Cow­boys, led by the dynamic rookie duo of quar­ter­back Dak Prescott and run­ning back Ezekiel El­liott, have al­ready be­come the first team to se­cure a post-sea­son berth.

Prescott says he’s learned a lot since the Cow­boys’ 20-19 loss to the Giants in week one, and he’s ea­ger to turn the ta­bles. “I watched back the tape, and I shake my head some­times at the things I did or the throws I didn’t make be­cause I wasn’t trust­ing it,” Prescott said of his of his first NFL game, which came two weeks af­ter the Cow­boys lost Tony Romo with a bro­ken bone in his back. Now Prescott is the NFL’s third-ranked passer with 19 touch­down tosses and two in­ter­cep­tions and he’s look­ing for­ward to an­other shot at the Giants.

“They’re the only blem­ish on our record right now. And just to be able to go up there at their place and be able to do what they did to us the first game, we’re ex­cited for the op­por­tu­nity.” The Giants have strug­gled to ful­fill the prom­ise of that open­ing vic­tory. Al­though they still have a slim chance of catch­ing the Cow­boys for the divi­sion crown, they must win their last four games and hope the Cow­boys lose an­other. “This is a play­off game for us, in my mind and so are the rest of them,” Giants re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham jr said of the pres­sure on the Giants in the fi­nal stretch of the sea­son.

RG3 back for Browns

A 24-14 de­feat to the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers last week dropped New York to 8-4. The ad­di­tions of rookie re­ceiver Ster­ling Shep­ard and the re­turn of re­ceiver Vic­tor Cruz have failed to yield ex­pected im­prove­ments in of­fense. Quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning ranks 22nd in passer rat­ing and in ad­di­tion to 22 touch­downs has thrown 12 in­ter­cep­tions. Nev­er­the­less, Man­ning was bullish on the Giants’ chances this week. “Hey, we’re the only team to beat Dal­las,” Man­ning said on his ra­dio show. “And we’re go­ing against them at home now, and we’ve been play­ing great at home. So this is a chance to prove that we are a good team and we are a play­off team.”

Else­where in week 14, the Hous­ton Tex­ans seek to stop the rot in a key AFC South clash with the Colts in In­di­anapo­lis. Three straight de­feats have dropped the Tex­ans to 6-6, the same record as the Colts and Ten­nessee Ti­tans-al­though the Tex­ans still hold a tie-breaker edge should the divi­sion come down to that. The Colts, mean­while, are on the rise, hav­ing won three of their last four. “We know what sit­u­a­tion we’re in,” Colts run­ning back Frank Gore said. “We just want to go out there and try to get a win. Get a win and put us in a bet­ter sit­u­a­tion.” With time run­ning out for Cleve­land to avert a win­less sea­son, the Browns will have Robert Grif­fin III start­ing at quar­ter­back af­ter an 11-game ab­sence re­cov­er­ing from a shoul­der in­jury.

Quar­ter­back Colin Kaeper­nick will get the start­ing nod for San Francisco against the New York Jets, even af­ter 49ers benched him in a dis­mal 26-6 loss to the Bears last Sun­day in Chicago-where Kaeper­nick was sacked five times and com­pleted just one pass. Su­per Bowl cham­pi­ons Den­ver could have quar­ter­back Trevor Siemian back against the Ti­tans as his sprained left foot con­tin­ues to im­prove. “You want to play, you want to play well,” Siemian told re­porters af­ter tak­ing prac­tice snaps on Thurs­day. “(I’m) try­ing not to be stupid about it.” —AFP

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