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Giants 31, Cowboys 14: Quick Reaction

The New York Giants are NFC East champions after Sunday’s 31-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, meaning they are headed to the playoffs for the first time in three years. Here is a quick look back at the game.

It Was Over When …

Eli Manning hit Hakeem Nicks with a four-yard touchdown pass to give the Giants a commanding 31-14 lead with 3:46 to play.

Turning Point Of The Game

With Dallas having crept within 21-14 after trailing 21-0 at halftime the Giants were struggling to find some offense. On a second down play from their own 25-yard line, the Giants pulled off a play reminiscent of Manning to David Tyree in Super Bowl 42. Under a heavy rush, Manning spun out, found Victor Cruz deep downfield and simply flung the ball in his direction. Cruz came down with it for a 44-yard gain that set up a Lawrence Tynes’ field goal and helped the Giants re-establish control of the game.

Three Stars

- Eli Manning: The Giants quarterback was 24-of-33 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran his way out of trouble on a couple of occasions, and played another tremendous, mistake-free game.

- Victor Cruz: Six catches for 178 yards, including the aforementioned 44-yarder and a 74-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. The amazing second-year player from UMass just keeps making huge plays.

- The Giants Defense: Impossible to single out one player here. Huge plays all night by Michael Boley and Jason Pierre-Paul; two sacks for Osi Umenyiora in his return to action; an interception by Antrel Rolle; a sack and a forced fumble by Justin Tuck; a well-called game by defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

What’s Next?

The Giants host the Atlanta Falcons (10-6) at MetLife Stadium Sunday (1 p.m. ET/FOX) in a first-round NFC Playoff game.