The Los Angeles Rams said yesterday they had quietly traded quarterback Jeff Rutledge to the New York Giants for an undisclosed draft choice, but the Giants would not confirm the deal.

Reached at his home in New Jersey, Giants General Manager George Young said the deal was not complete.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's still tentative. It's still tentative until the darn thing is finalized," he said. "We've made some progress and I think it may occur. There's general acceptance (on the terms of the deal), but I have to have another conversation with them. If anything's settled, it won't be settled until tomorrow (Monday)."

He said the teams have been discussing the deal for several days.

"We were interested in a backup quarterback and that's what our discussion was. We have a starter in Scott Brunner." The Giants' No. 1 quarterback, Phil Simms, is out for the season with a knee injury. Their other quarterback is second-year man Mark Reed.

Both Giants Coach Ray Perkins and Rutledge played under Bear Bryant at Alabama. Rutledge was a ninth-round draft pick by the Rams in 1979.

Mononucleosis kept him from playing the first seven weeks of the 1980 season and he dislocated his right thumb, the injury requiring surgery, in 1981.

Preseason games have been a way for teams to cull players, but not in the manner taken by Houston and Dallas in their final exhibition game.

During Saturday night's sloppily played game, won by Dallas, 20-14, eight players were injured. Among them, Oilers veteran receiver Ken Burrough had a bone in his right leg broken and Cowboys offensive guard Herb Scott sprained ligaments in his left knee.

Dallas officials said Scott probably will be unable to play for three weeks and will be replaced by second-year pro Howard Richards. The Oilers have not determined how long Burrough will be out.

The Oilers' rookie running back, Stan Edwards, injured his shoulder.

For the Cowboys, Angelo King pulled a hamstring, John Dutton sprained his right foot and Ron Springs and Doug Cosbie bruised knees.

Coach Tom Landry said Scott's injury was the most serious; "The other bumps and bruises won't bother us."