01/01/2012 09:43 pm ET

Victor Cruz Touchdown Has Giants Leading Cowboys, 7-0

By Barry Wilner, The Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Eli Manning hooked up with rising star receiver Victor Cruz for a 76-yard touchdown Sunday night, giving the New York Giants a 7-0 lead after one quarter of their NFC East showdown with the Dallas Cowboys.

New York also was threatening at the Cowboys 16 when the period ended.

New York rallied from a late 12-point deficit to beat the Cowboys three weeks ago and take over first place in the division. Each team went 1-1 since to set up one of the biggest matchups in the history of this 50-year rivalry.

Neither team did much offensively early on a wet but relatively balmy winter's night – the rain stopped midway through the first quarter. The Giants got pressure on Romo, and he was trapped for a 12-yard loss by Jason Pierre-Paul on Dallas' second series. That gave the second-year end 16 1/2 sacks.

Chris Jones' punt went out of bounds on the Giants 4, and then New York victimized cornerback Terence Newman twice.

Tight end Bear Pascoe jumped over Newman's attempted tackle to convert a third-and-9 for 12 yards. Three plays later, Cruz, who had a 99-yard catch-and-run TD against the Jets last weekend, ran a quick out pattern, then sped past Newman and, aided by fellow wideout Hakeem Nicks' block, ran untouched to the end zone. It was his ninth touchdown of the season and 22nd catch of more than 20 yards. Five of his TD catches have gone for 68 yards or more.

Defensive end Osi Umenyiora, back from missing a month with a high ankle sprain, got the Giants' second sack on the next Dallas possession.

Manning guided the Giants from their 32 to the 16 when the quarter concluded.