Quarterback Phil Simms' flea-flicker pass to rookie Mike Friede set up Joe Danelo's 27-yard field goal with 67 seconds to play today, giving the New York Giants a wild 38-35 upset victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
The victory broke the Giants' eight-game losing streak and was their second triumph of the season. They also broke a 12-game losing streak against Dallas and posted their first home victory over Dallas since 1970. It also overshadowed a 180-yard rushing day for the Cowboys' Tony Dorsett, who surpassed 4,000 career yards in his fourth pro season.
On the decisive play, Simms pitched the ball to Leon Perry, who tossed it back to Simms. The Giant quarterback then threw a 26-yard pass to Friede, whose leap enabled him to control the ball from Dallas cornerback Steve Wilson. Danelo's field goal followed after three running plays.
The Cowboys then threatened to score, but Giant backup safety Gary Woolford made his second -- and the Giants' fifth -- interception of the game, at the New York 12 with several seconds remaining. Interceptions also set up all four New York touchdowns in the first half as the Giants victimized Danny White, the NFC's No.3 passer going into the game.
"There were five different reasons we lost -- the five interceptions," said White, who hit 10 to 23 for 155 yards and a touchdown. "There is no way the Giants can beat us if we just play our game. This place is a chamber of horrors."
Prior to the Giant drive to the winning field goal, Dallas (7-3) gambled on a fourth and one from its 47 with 2:22 left, but Robert Newhouse was stopped for no gain off right tackle, giving possession to the Giants. Linebacker Brad Van Pelt, who also had two interceptions, was credited with the tackle. He had asked to be traded to Detroit last month, but he scarcely hid his glee afterward, answering questions to the refrain of "New York, New York" in the locker room.
"I had forgot what it feels like to win," said the eight-year veteran. "This is one of the best feelings I've had. I was fooled on Newhouse's run. It was a controlled blitz and I happened to be in the right spot."
Simms, who threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns -- the most yards by a Giant quarterback since 1971, pulled the flea-flicker on the next play. Simms lofted a 40-yard pass to Friede. In a cold rain, New York then wasted three lays to wind down the clock before Danelo's successful kick enabled the Giants to avoid tying their all-time losing streak at nine.
Van Pelt set up the Giants' first touchdown with an interception. The deive was kept alive when a personal foul against Cowboy Benny Barnes added 15 yards to a 22-yard pass from Simms to Earnest Gray.