ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are serious about forcing turnovers.
Eli Manning and the New York Giants couldn’t do quite enough to overcome them.
Brandon Carr returned an interception 49 yards for a clinching touchdown, and the Dallas Cowboys beat Manning for the first time at their fancy $1.2 billion stadium with six takeaways in a 36-31 victory over the Giants on Sunday night.
Tony Romo shook off a hit to the ribs that knocked him out for the final Dallas play of the first half and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jason Witten.
Manning threw three touchdown passes to Victor Cruz and had New York in position for a comeback victory despite the flurry of mistakes.
But with the Giants trailing 30-24, a pass from Manning went off the hand of running back De’Rel Scott into Carr’s arms.
The cornerback beat Manning down the sideline for Dallas’ second defensive touchdown with 1:50 remaining. Barry Church returned a fumble 27 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Church’s score was on the fourth New York turnover — the second fumble from new starting running back David Wilson, who lost control of the ball on a strip by Nick Hayden just before hitting the ground. Church scooped up the ball and ran it in.
The Cowboys went up 27-10 in the third quarter after the fifth miscue — a punt that bounced and hit Trumaine McBride while he was trying to block for the return. Rookie Devonte Holloman won a scramble for the loose ball, and Romo threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Witten.
When the mistakes stopped, the Giants made it a game again. New York went 80 yards, capped by Cruz’s second score on an 18-yard pass, and Cruz scored again from the 10 to pull the Giants within 30-24 midway through the fourth quarter.
New York got the ball back, but the Cowboys forced a quick punt. After Dallas again failed to move the ball, Carr came through with the clinching interception.
The Giants scored with 11 seconds left on Manning’s fourth touchdown, a 4-yarder to Brandon Myers. But Dallas recovered an onside kick.
Manning was 27 of 42 for 450 yards, and Romo was 36 of 49 for 263 yards. DeMarco Murray had 86 yards rushing for Dallas.
Dallas’ defense forced only 16 turnovers all last season (seven interceptions, nine fumbles).
The Cowboys had three in their first 6½ minutes playing in new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 scheme.
A play after a possible pass interference call on Dez Bryant didn’t draw a penalty and the Cowboys punted, the ball hit McBride and was recovered by Holloman at the Giants 16.
That set up Romo’s 4-yard TD throw to Witten, the eight-time Pro Bowler who had only three scores last season, for a 27-10 lead.
Romo threw a 15-yard score to Witten before halftime, and Dan Bailey also had two field goals (30 and 38 yards) by then for a 13-10 lead.
In the final minute of the first half, Romo was hit in the ribs and had the wind knocked out after being crushed between Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Trattou after throwing an incompletion. Kyle Orton came on to finish the half, but Romo was back after halftime.