Perhaps the Dallas Cowboys could use a little of what the New York Giants had at the end of the season - a turnaround - if they hope to win their third straight Super Bowl.

The Giants (9-7) capped a season-ending six-game winning streak by beating Dallas 15-10 Saturday as the Cowboys (12-4) rested injured halfback Emmitt Smith and played quarterback Troy Aikman less than a half. Despite the streak that followed a seven-game slide, the Giants missed the playoffs.Dallas, which already had clinched the NFC East and a first-round playoff bye, lost for the second time in three weeks and third in seven. Now, the Cowboys seem beatable heading into their first postseason under new coach Barry Switzer.

"We're where we want to be," Switzer said in downplaying the poor finish. "Everything in the past doesn't count."

The past worked against the Giants, however, particularly the losing streak in October and November that left them all but dead.

New York did everything it could to overcome it, but it needed help entering the final weekend. It had to end Dallas' 14-game NFC East winning streak and hope Tampa Bay could upset Green Bay.

The Giants did their part, getting the winning points on a third-quarter safety caused by Jessie Armstead's sack. However, the Packers (9-7) earned their way to the postseason by ripping the Bucs 34-19, winning the tiebreaker with the Giants on a better conference record (8-4 to 6-6).

"I have very mixed feelings," said William Roberts, one of the last members left from the Giants' two Super Bowl championship teams. "We didn't expect it to end like this. We wanted to beat Dallas and keep playing. I'd love to have one of those gifts we gave away back again."

During its losing streak, New York lost five games by a touchdown or less.

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"It's bittersweet to finish by winning six in a row," defensive tackle Erik Howard said. "But it was just a matter of a little too late. Regardless of whether we made the playoffs, it was important to beat Dallas."

The Cowboys did little against the Giants, gaining a season-low 183 yards, including just 27 in the second half when New York held the ball for 23:17.

Cowboys guard Nate Newton wasn't worried.

"If we sell out each game we are going to the Super Bowl," he said. "Till somebody knocks us off, we are the best team."

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