IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys did all they could to lose Sunday. Except, the New York Giants didn’t let them.

Despite four turnovers, two missed field goals and allowing a tying touchdown with 19 seconds left, the Cowboys overcame it all with a 45-yard field goal by Jose Cortez on the opening drive of overtime for a 16-13 victory over the Giants.

Both teams came in playing well, with Dallas’ Drew Bledsoe and New York’s Eli Manning the top-rated passers in the NFC. But instead of a nice early season test between two NFC East rivals, the Cowboys (4-2) gave the ball away on three of their first four drives and the slopfest was on.

The Giants (3-2) dragged the quality down by getting only two long field goals off those turnovers. They also blocked a field goal right before halftime, yet went into the break trailing 7-6.

Then the roles reversed. New York became the sloppy team – an interception and three fumbles on its first five drives of the second half – and Dallas failed to capitalize, getting only two field goals off them.

The Cowboys led 13-6 with 4:40 left, yet were dominating the Giants in all other areas. New York had only 92 yards through three quarters and didn’t convert a third down until its 10th try, with under four minutes to play in regulation.

Dallas appeared to have escaped when safety Roy Williams forced New York rookie running back Brandon Jacobs to fumble at the 1-yard line. Problem was, the Cowboys took over a few feet from the goal line and Bledsoe couldn’t easily run out the clock.

Manning got the ball back with 52 yards and 52 seconds to go. He didn’t even need that long, hitting Plaxico Burress for 28 yards, then Jeremy Shockey for a 24-yard touchdown on the next snap. The extra point tied it, then Dallas took a knee, opting to take its chances in overtime.

The Cowboys won the coin toss and Bledsoe took it from there, completing passes of 10, 13 and 26 yards right away. A pass interference penalty on Antonio Pierce gave Dallas another first down, then a third-down incompletion to Keyshawn Johnson left it up to Cortez.

He nailed the kick and the Cowboys walked off celebrating their first consecutive victories of the season, made even more important because they came against division foes Philadelphia and New York.

Bledsoe finished 26-of-37 for 312 yards, with a touchdown, an interception and two lost fumbles.

Johnson caught eight passes for 120 yards, his most since 2002, but also had a fumble. There was no sideline confrontation with Bledsoe after this one as there was last week. Bledsoe was the first to console Johnson.

Anthony Thomas started in place of injured Julius Jones and ran 21 times for 47 yards. Rookie Marion Barber III was Dallas’ most effective running back in the second half, finishing with 30 yards on 11 carries and two receptions for 21 yards.

Manning was 14-of-30 for 215 yards and a touchdown, but he ended a streak of 125 attempts without an interception and lost a fumble.

Shockey caught five passes for 129 yards and Tiki Barber had 64 yards on 14 carries. Burress had 55 yards on five catches and a fumble.

AP-ES-10-16-05 1658EDT

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