Giants beat Cowboys to win NFC East

2012-01-01 20:41:48

The Dallas Cowboys head into the offseason wondering what went wrong after a late-season collapse.

Eli Manning threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns, Victor Cruz shredded the Dallas defense for 178 yards and the Giants captured the NFC East with a 31-14 win in the NFL's regular season finale Sunday night.

Manning connected on 24-of-33 throws while Cruz had six catches, including a 74-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.

The Giants (9-7) earned the No. 4 seed in the conference and will host Atlanta next Sunday at 1 p.m. (et).

Sunday's win came three weeks after the Giants rallied from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to shock the Cowboys, 37-34.

In this winner-take-all game at Met Life Stadium, Tom Coughlin's squad raced out to a 21-point lead in the first half and saw it trimmed to a touchdown in the fourth quarter before pulling away.

Tony Romo, despite an injured right hand, connected on 29-of-37 passes for 289 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception, but the Cowboys (8-8) lost for the fourth time in five games to miss out on the postseason.