Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes and the  Giants won an all-or-nothing game to claim the final spot in the NFL playoffs, beating the Dallas Cowboys 31-14 on Sunday night.

The regular season went down to the last game, and it was coach Tom Coughlin's Giants (9-7) who won the NFC East and returned to the postseason for the first time since 2008.

The loss left Jerry Jones' Cowboys (8-8) out of the playoffs for the second straight year.

New York won three of its final four games and earned a wild-card home game next Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons (10-6). The Cowboys lost four of their final five games in their first full season under coach Jason Garrett.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)