The Dallas Cowboys slumped to their worst start in 21 years and may face the rest of the National Football League season without quarterback Tony Romo, who broke his collarbone in a 41-35 loss to the New York Giants.
Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes last night in Arlington, Texas, to extend the Giants’ winning streak to four games and leave the Cowboys with a 1-5 mark for the season.
“It was our first divisional game at Dallas, a tough situation against a good team, and we found a way to win,” Manning said during a news conference. “We overcame a lot.”
New York has a 5-2 record and moved into sole possession of first place in its division. The Cowboys haven’t had such a bad beginning to a season since the 1989 team went 0-8 en route to a 1-15 campaign. The 1970 Cincinnati Bengals are the only NFL team to make the playoffs after a 1-5 start.
Romo fractured his clavicle early in the second quarter when he landed on his left side while being tackled by Giants linebacker Michael Boley. Romo returned to the sideline with his non-throwing arm in a sling.
It’s unlikely the three-time Pro Bowl selection will play again this season, said Selene Parekh, an associate professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Duke University. A fractured clavicle usually takes six to eight weeks to heal if surgery is performed and eight to 10 weeks without surgery, Parekh said in an e-mail.
‘Extensive Time’ Out
Dallas coach Wade Phillips said he doesn’t know how long the Cowboys will be without Romo, who told reporters he’ll find out the extent of the damage today.
“I’m sure this will be the most extensive time I will have missed,” Romo said in a news conference. “It’s going to be tough. You just have to keep fighting and I’ll support this team in any way I can.”
The Cowboys opened a 10-0 first-quarter lead as Manning threw two interceptions before completing a pass to one of his receivers.
Dallas rookie Dez Bryant got the first of his three touchdowns on a 93-yard punt return 6:07 into the second quarter to push the home team’s advantage to 20-7.
In the final five minutes of the second quarter, Manning threw his second touchdown of the game to Hakeem Nicks and then hooked up with Steve Smith for a 14-yard score that put New York ahead 21-20. Lawrence Tynes made it 24-20 with a 53-yard field goal two seconds before halftime.
Manning’s Fourth Touchdown
The Cowboys managed one first down in seven possessions after Romo’s injury. Dallas drove to New York’s 6-yard line early in the fourth quarter before Jon Kitna threw four straight incomplete passes, including one on fourth down.
Bryant had two touchdown receptions from Kitna in the final 3:17 for the Cowboys before the Giants sealed the win by recovering an onside kick with 39 seconds left.
The loss is Dallas’s third straight against the Giants, who won both meetings between the National Football Conference East Division rivals last season.
The Giants are tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the best record in the NFC and have a one-game lead over the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East.
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