Cowboys handle Giants, inch closer toward capturing NFC East crown

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Mike McCarthy had interrupted a reporter on Thursday.

“Hate to cut you off,” the Cowboys coach said. But “you have to get to 10 wins before you talk about it.”

McCarthy was referring to playoff scenarios and his longstanding philosophy that his team first secure 10 wins and only afterward discuss playoffs.

But with a 21-6 road victory against the Giants on Sunday afternoon, the Cowboys hit that 10-win precipice. Several scenarios in later Sunday games could allow them to clinch a postseason berth by Week 15’s end.

The Cowboys extended one recent club theme in their win: a plethora of takeaways. Granted, they have played three straight games against opponents without their 2021 starting quarterback. Nonetheless, an opportunistic group of defenders facing quarterback Mike Glennon after contests against Taysom Hill in New Orleans and Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen at Washington has now snagged four takeaways in each of the last three contests. The Cowboys’ three-game streak of four takeaways was the club’s best mark since 1994.

Dallas Cowboys safety Malik Hooker (28) celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Sunday’s spurt began with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence knocking both Glennon and the ball, cornerback Jourdan Lewis securing the interception and returning it 18 yards to set up the Cowboys’ first touchdown.

Lawrence also knocked a ball loose from Devontae Booker, defensive tackle Carlos Watkins recovering the fumble. Safety Malik Hooker grabbed a deep prayer from Glennon for the Cowboy defense’s third takeaway of the day. And then, to seal what was trending toward an established outcome, cornerback Trevon Diggs leapt for a Glennon end-zone heave to secure his league-leading 10th interception.

The Cowboys flipped early takeaway-gifted possessions into 9 points on a day when the Giants…

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