And the Cowboys finish a frustrating season by losing to their division rival. There will be no playoffs in Dallas.
Sunday night’s regular-season finale functioned as an NFC East championship game, and it also functioned as a showcase for the Manning-to-Cruz connection. Manning capped off his best season as a pro by completing 24 of 33 passes for 346 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Cruz caught six passes for a whopping 178 yards, a total that gives him 1,536 yards for the season, third in the NFL behind Calvin Johnson and Wes Welker.
“It’s a great feeling,” Manning said on NBC after the game. “Our guys stuck together this whole season.”
Tony Romo shook off a bruised hand to have a solid night, completing 29 of 37 passes for 289 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, but as was so often the case this season, a big play went very badly for Romo when he was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak. That was the story of Romo’s season: He often played very well, but too often came up short in the biggest moments.
And that’s how the Cowboys’ season has come to an end. For the Giants, the season continues with a playoff game against the Falcons on Sunday.