View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2011 - GAME DAY - 10:51 A.M.

12-11-2011, 10:51 AM
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</font><font size="4"><u>NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font>

GIANTS' GAMEDAY: DALLAS COWBOYS HOST NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_gameday_dallas_cowboys.html)

Excerpt: "Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) (6-6) at Dallas
Cowboys (7-5)

Week 14
Today, 8:20 p.m.
Cowboys Stadium,
Irving, Texas
TV: Channel 4
Radio: WFAN 660-AM</p>

The Giants’ run defense</p>

We haven’t talked about that area as much lately, have we? Well, facing two
of the best quarterbacks in the league and a pass-heavy scheme against the
Philadelphia Eagles has pushed a trouble area for the Giants to the back burner.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys haven’t reached 100 yards in any of the previous three
games. But this week, Dallas gets fullback Tony Fiammetta back to block for
rookie running back DeMarco Murray. Fiammetta, who missed the past three games,
had led the way for Murray to run for 601 yards on 75 carries (that’s more than
8 yards per rush) over the previous four weeks. The Giants have the 23rd-ranked
rush defense but did a decent job against the last run-heavy attack they faced
in the San Francisco 49ers. Linebacker Chase Blackburn could help even more, one
week after his presence against the Packers’ passing attack allowed the Giants
to finally cover well in the middle of the field.</p>

DeMarcus Ware lines up</p>

For all of the talk about <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_david_diehl_has_boosted.html">Giants
left tackle David Diehl meeting Ware</a>, his old nemesis, perhaps the matchup
of Ware vs. right tackle Kareem McKenzie has been overlooked. Ware doesn’t just
line up on the right side of the Cowboys’ defense. He often rushes from the
other side as well. McKenzie has struggled in recent weeks, especially against
the Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews, who beat him for a sack and forced fumble
late in the first half, got past him for a near-safety and slipped by for a few
more pressures. This could be an advantage Dallas will try to exploit. </p>

<big>PAST MEETINGS</big></p>

10. Dec. 3, 2006: Cowboys 23, Giants 20
9. Sept. 9, 2007 at Dallas:
Cowboys 45, Giants 35
8. Nov. 11, 2007: Cowboys 31, Giants 20
7. Jan. 13,
2008 at Dallas (NFC Divisional Playoff): Giants 21, Cowboys 17
6. Nov. 2,
2008: Giants 35, Cowboys 14
5. Dec. 14, 2008 at Dallas: Cowboys 20, Giants
4. Sept. 20, 2009 at Dallas: Giants 33, Cowboys 31
3. Dec. 6, 2009:
Giants 31, Cowboys 24
2. Oct. 25, 2010 at Dallas: Giants 41, Cowboys,
1. Nov. 14, 2010: Cowboys 33, Giants 20</p>

Remember when ...
The Cowboys defeated the Giants, 20-8,
late in the 2008 season? That was one of only two victories for Dallas the past
six times these teams have met in Texas. In fact, the Giants are 2-0 in Cowboys
Stadium since helping to open the place with a 33-31 victory in the first
regular-season game there in 2009. They added a 41-35 win last year in a game
that wasn’t that close until they took their foot off the gas late. The Giants
have plenty of confidence heading down to an area in which they’ve played well
over the past few years. Though despite what you might have read, Justin Tuck
did not call Cowboys Stadium a “dump.”</p>


1. The offensive rhythm won’t automatically return with Miles Austin
and Tony Fiammetta back
It sounds nice for Dallas to hear one of its
top receivers and its lead blocker will play after missing four and three games,
respectively. But Austin’s hamstring issue has been bothering him since he
suffered it in the Week 2 victory at San Francisco, so the timing between him
and Tony Romo might take a while to develop again. Austin was off to a fast
start with 233 yards and four touchdowns in his first two games, but had just 14
catches and zero TDs when he returned for four games midway through the season.
He and Romo might sputter once again this time around. As for Fiammetta, he’s a
veteran, but the guy running behind him is a rookie, so it could take a few
plays or series for DeMarco Murray to get used to him again.</p>

2. The offensive line sprang a few leaks last week
Romo was sacked five times after Dallas allowed only 20 in the first 11 games.
The first two against the Arizona Cardinals came right up the middle, the first
on a blitz and the second on lineman Darnell Dockett looping around center Phil
Costa. After that, the edges crumbled, with Calais Campbell coming free off the
right side on a stunt, O’Brien Schofield blitzing untouched off the left side
and Clark Haggans recording a sack after Romo held the ball too long. This is
not the kind of game an offensive line wants to have before facing the Giants’
pass rush, which did a good job getting after Aaron Rodgers. And if you don’t
think Romo remembers the hit from Michael Boley that ended his season last year,
just keep an eye on him if he starts getting banged around.</p>

3. Not much of the secondary has changed
Yeah, defensive
coordinator Rob Ryan is now in charge and the scheme is a bit different. But the
names — Terence Newman, Orlando Scandrick, Alan Ball and Gerald Sensabaugh — are
the same. If they sound familiar, it’s because they’re the guys who have been
beaten by Giants receivers over the past few games. Eli Manning has eaten up
Dallas’ defense over the past four games: 306, 373, 241 and 330 yards passing,
as well as 10 total touchdowns. Manning and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride
have done an outstanding job at attacking the players listed above, so don’t
expect that to change. And those numbers were from before the Cowboys saw the
new, “elite” Manning as well as breakout receiver Victor Cruz.</p>


It has been a hot debate all week: Would you
rather have Tony Romo or Eli Manning? Frankly, we don’t get why that’s even a
question, especially this year. Give us the guy who keeps coming through in big
Edge: Giants</p>

Running back
This is a tough one because Ahmad Bradshaw
isn’t 100 percent and DeMarco Murray has been very good. Plus, with fullback
Tony Fiammetta back, the blocking in front of him should be
Edge: Even</p>

Wide receiver/Tight end
Another toughie. Each team has a
guy for whom defenses must account (Hakeem Nicks and Dez Bryant) and two solid
options behind them (Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham for the Giants, Miles
Austin and Laurent Robinson for Dallas). Cruz is on fire, though.

Edge: Giants</p>

Offensive line
The Giants’ offensive line did a real nice
job against the Packers with the running game but they need to string a few of
those together.
Edge: Cowboys</p>

Defensive line
Still no Osi Umenyiora here but Jason
Pierre-Paul is starting to get a lot more attention from defenses. Still, he’s
making plays. Tackle Linval Joseph is also contributing. Dallas also has good
ones in Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher.

DeMarcus Ware leads the league in sacks, and
Anthony Spencer has already tied a career-high in that department. The Giants
are hoping Chase Blackburn can come through again.

The numbers slightly favor the Cowboys (7.3
yards per pass attempt to the Giants’ 7.7, 16 TDs allowed to the Giants’ 20) but
Manning has found a way to exploit some of these Cowboys’ DBs over the past few
years. Expect him to do so again.
Edge: Giants</p>

Special teams
Despite what happened in Arizona last week,
the Cowboys have the kicking edge, as Dan Bailey has missed only three field
goals all season. Punting-wise, it’s a big advantage for the Giants. Look out
for Felix Jones, who had a 69-yard kick return against the
Edge: Even
<div id="asset-10342231" class="entry_widget_large entry_widget_right">

<big>FOUR DOWNS WITH ...</big>
Linebacker Chase

1. You’re having fun with your new jersey number (No. 93),
Got to. That’s the only number I’ve got. Might as well own it.
It doesn’t look too bad out there when I saw it on film. I got something (a
license plate with 93 on it) but we didn’t get announced or anything so I didn’t
get a chance to come out with it. But after the interception, I brushed my
jersey to let them know this is the new 93 right here. Aaron Rodgers was
probably the only one to joke about it, like, “Who the heck are you?”</p>

2. He said that?
Yeah, he said, “You were hiding from me.
I didn’t know who that 93 was.” I’ve known him for a while. He was in Green Bay
with (former Giants OL) Grey Ruegamer and Grey was his center for the
second-string offense, so I’ve met him at a few charity events. On the
interception, I don’t think he saw me because I didn’t see him. I saw him
leaning and all I saw was the arm come over the top and then the ball.</p>

3. You left your wife back in Ohio with your two kids. Did she get to
watch the game and see your interception?
She got to watch some of
it whenever the kids would let her. She did get to see the interception. She
liked it, obviously. She’s proud of me. She told me that and she knew I could do
it. Just the same thing I’ve been saying: a matter of getting the opportunity. I
play on adrenaline every week, so that wasn’t anything new for me. That’s how I
play anyway. I play emotionally.</p>

4. What has been your favorite moment <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/chase_blackburn_makes_impact_i.html">since
you came back</a>?
Shoot, probably just walking in the locker room
the first time. I was here early, and they would come in and see me here and
were happy to see me. That was the best part, the welcome back. When I was here
early in the season working out, it definitely felt kind of weird. I was working
out for everyone in the front office, me and Kawika (Mitchell). It was a weird
feeling but also a comfortable feeling. I was just hoping to be here earlier. I
want to prove it was a mistake I wasn’t here sooner.</p>


With Kenny Phillips out, expect the Giants to turn to Tyler Sash to help out
at safety. Sash played some last week against the Packers and said he made all
of the right calls when he was in there. He said he also made the proper
adjustments earlier in the season when he played against the Redskins, so the
mental part of the game hasn’t been a problem for the rookie. Time to see if he
can hang physically."</p>

GIANTS' LINVAL JSEPH MAKING AN IMPACT AS HE LEARNS TO LISTEN (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_linval_joseph_making_an.html)</p>

Excerpt: "Last Monday, less than 24 hours after posting the breakout performance of his
brief career in an otherwise painful <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_play_well_but_a_moral_v.html">38-35
loss to the Green Bay Packers</a>, Linval Joseph sent a text message to fellow
defensive tackle and locker room neighbor Jimmy Kennedy.</p>

“Thanks for yesterday. You helped bring the best out of me,” Joseph
wrote. </p>

“Keep it up, your future’s bright,” Kennedy responded.</p>

The gesture was out of appreciation for the heavy dose of advice throughout
the game from the nine-year veteran Kennedy. On the sideline, Kennedy shared
everything from tips the Packers’ offensive linemen gave away with their stances
to adjustments Joseph needed to make to counter Green Bay’s changing

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve been trying to help him with his game,” Kennedy
said. “I let him know all the things I’ve been through and the things that are
going to help him. I told him, ‘Listen to me today and you’ll have an all-star
day.’ He listened, he did it and he looked all-world out there.” </p>

And then there were the constant reminders to “stop the run, stop the run,
stop the run” from Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) coach Tom
Coughlin every time the two met in the hallways during the week. </p>

Joseph, the second-year defensive tackle, helped with that — the Packers were
held to 89 yards on 28 carries — and more. Joseph had the best game of his
career, recording a game- and career-high nine tackles, the culmination of
steady progress and simply listening.</p>

“At the beginning of the season, he didn’t listen to me as much,” Kennedy
said. “He trusts my word now but before he found himself saying, ‘I should’ve
listened to you, maaaan. I should’ve listened to you, maaaan. I should’ve
listened to you.’ Before you know it, he’s just like, ‘You know what? I’m just
going to listen to you.’” </p>

Teammates say Joseph, 23, can still better utilize his “oxlike” strength on
the field with improved technique, but he continues to take strides and will
play a substantial role when the Giants attempt to halt a four-game losing
streak against the Dallas Cowboys tonight at Cowboys Stadium. </p>

Joseph’s strength and ears have helped during his rapid ascension to starter
and vital cog in the Giants defense. After appearing in just six games his
rookie season, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/08/giants_dt_linval_joseph_slimme.html">the
Washington Redskins outbid the Giants for Barry Cofield</a>, placing the
spotlight on Joseph and rookie Marvin Austin on the interior, alongside
incumbent starter Chris Canty.</p>

But Austin’s season was wiped out by an injury in the preseason, and Joseph
has started all but one game this season.</p>

“They showed they trusted me enough to make the move and they expect a lot of
good things out of me,” the soft-spoken Joseph said.</p>

During the NFL lockout this past summer, Joseph spent his days at home in
Gainesville, Fla., riding a stationary bike at six in the morning before his
first workout session. He would get back on the bike in the afternoon before a
second workout. The schedule — mixed with some fishing on the side — became his
daily routine.</p>

That discipline goes back to his high school days as a two-way star and state
weightlifting champion at Santa Fe High School through his three years at East
Carolina University.</p>

Joseph moved to Gainesville from St. Croix with his mother, Ernestine, a
native of Gainesville, and his brother, Isaac, when he was 10 years old. </p>

Tall and lanky as a youngster, Joseph grew up playing soccer on the Virgin
Islands and took to basketball when he arrived in Florida. But within a couple
years in the United States, he began filling out.</p>

“The first time I shook his hand I told his mom, ‘This kid’s going to be a
great football player,’” said Bill Dilling, a family friend and mentor who would
take Joseph and his brother to University of Florida basketball games. </p>

Soon enough, Joseph was starring on the football field on the offensive and
defensive lines at Santa Fe, which he attended for its agricultural magnet
program despite being a two-hour bus ride away.</p>

His commitment to football was apparent from the outset. Joseph began high
school getting picked on for how weak he was, so he took to the weight room.
There, he cultivated the brute strength to become a standout Division 1 recruit
and a state weightlifting champion, bench-pressing 500 pounds at his high school
peak. </p>

By his sophomore year in 2005 he had verbally committed to hometown
University of Florida as an offensive lineman, though he hoped to eventually
move to defense. Everything seemed to go as planned. He was a football star
going to play at his dream school for Urban Meyer, who had just won his first
national title at Florida during Joseph’s senior season at Santa Fe.</p>

But a week from signing day during his senior year, Dilling, a retired police
officer, said he escorted Meyer to his weekly radio show one day. “I asked Urban
about Linval and he said he didn’t think he was going to sign him,” Dilling
said. </p>

According to Joseph’s high school counselor, Ralph Aiello, Joseph met the
NCAA’s academic qualifications, but Florida claimed it didn’t believe Joseph
would be able to handle the rigors of the course work. Aiello said the athletic
department could have gone to the provost and asked for some leeway — as the
university and other institutions do for recruits — but Florida said it wouldn’t
be able to make the provision for Joseph. </p>

Moreover, with blue-chip offensive line recruits like twins Mike and Maurkice
Pouncey — both starting centers in the NFL — coming in, Joseph was the odd man
out. </p>

Joseph was left scrambling with national signing day looming; few schools had
scholarships so late in the process. Luckily, East Carolina was interested after
his high school coach, Scott Pritchett, and Dilling, who attended the school,
reached out. Skip Holtz, East Carolina’s coach at the time, was aware of
Joseph’s talents after recruiting his teammate, Melvin Patterson, the year
before and had a spot scholarship available. </p>

East Carolina’s offensive and defensive line coaches boarded a flight to
Gainesville the next day, and met with Ernestine and Dilling for lunch. Two days
later, Joseph and his mother were on the Greenville, N.C., campus. And a week
after learning he wasn’t going to Florida, Joseph was a Pirate. </p>

“That was tough, man,” Joseph said. “They made it seem like it was my fault.
But everything happens for a reason, and I still made it.” Read more...
</p></div><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS</u></font><font size="4"><u>
<font size="3">NY GIANTS, WITH HOPES OF WINNING THE NFC EAST IN THE BALANCE, FIRED UP TO END FOUR GAME LOSING STREAK (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/hopes-winning-nfc-east-hanging-balance-giants-fired-dallas-article-1.989725)

Excerpt: "</font></font>No matter how well they played last Sunday, the feeling was the same as it’s
been for a while. All the yelling, all the studying, all the tough talking, all
the rallying – nothing has been able to chase the dark cloud that has hovered
over the Giants for the last month.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

“The losses add up and it’s tough on you mentally,” said <a title="Chris Snee" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chris+Snee">guard
Chris Snee</a>. “It hasn’t been an easy four weeks. You have to just keep
pushing through it.”</p>

As they begin the stretch run today with the first of two games they’ll play
in the next four weeks against the first-place Dallas Cowboys, the Giants know
there’s only one way out of this depressing mess they’ve created for

As safety Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle) said: “We
have to win.”</p>

It won’t exactly be a do-or-die game for the Giants (6-6) when they face the
Cowboys (7-5) at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday night, but it’s about as close as
they can come without facing elimination. Win and they’re back in first, with
control of their own destiny.</p>

Lose and the Cowboys will be two games up with three to play and they will
have clinched the tiebreakers, too. The Giants would have to win out while the
Cowboys finish 0-3 to win the NFC East they seemed to control five weeks ago.
Their hopes for a wild-card playoff spot could suddenly be in jeopardy, too.</p>

The situation seems grim, given the Giants’ long losing streak and their
history of second-half collapses under Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin). Then
again, nothing seems to bring out the passion and the toughness of the Giants
like a trip to Dallas to play the ’Boys.</p>

“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” said defensive end Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck). “You know
what’s at stake. You know what you have to do. Now you just have to man up and
do it.”</p>

They’ve done it before in Dallas, where they’ve won three of their last four
games, including both games at Jerry Jones (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jerry+Jones)’ sparkling,
still-new, $1.2 billion palace, plus the divisional playoff game at the end of
the 2007 season.</p>

Overall, they’ve won five of their last seven against the Cowboys. And in
three of the last four games, quarterback Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning)
has topped 300 yards."
<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">
<div class="module_hdr">
<h3>"GIANTS AT COWBOYS, at COWBOYS STADIUM, 8:20 p.m.</h3></div>
<div class="module">
<div class="ed_module mod_padding">

LINE: Cowboys by 3 1/2</p>

TV: Ch. 4 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth)</p>

RADIO: WFAN-660 AM (Bob Papa, Carl Banks), Nationwide on
Westwood One (Dave Sims, James Lofton)</p>

The Giants will be without S Kenny Phillips (knee), which would move Deon
Grant into the starting lineup and rookie Tyler Sash into the rotation. The
Giants are also missing DE Osi Umenyora (ankle/knee), C David Baas (neck) and LB
Mark Herzlich (ankle). They are hoping to get Mario Manningham back at WR.
Cowboys WR Miles Austin (hamstring) returns from a four-game absence, eager to
exploit the Giants’ secondary, and Tony Fiammetta returns at FB, where the
Cowboys have missed his blocking skills. The Cowboys will probably be without
their best special teams player, Danny McCray (ankle). Backup TE Martellus
Bennett (rib) is doubtful. RT Tyron Smith will wear a cast on his right hand to
protect a dislocated finger. LB Sean Lee (wrist) will wear a less restrictive
cast Sunday.</p>
<h3>KEY MATCHUP</h3>

WR Dez Bryant vs. CB Aaron Ross: The challenges don’t let up
for a Giants secondary that has been under siege for two weeks. Bryant is
playing his best football of the year and comes off an eight-catch day against
the Cardinals. Ross has been victimized by Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, and
Tony Romo will test him. Bryant’s downfield speed, combined with the return of
Austin, should take some attention away from TE Jason Witten, Romo’s favorite
target, who has been facing a lot of bracket coverage lately.</p>
<h3>SCOUT SAYS</h3>

“The key for the Giants will be to force Romo into third and long. The weak
spot in the Cowboys’ pass protection has been LT Doug Free , and he’s going to
have his hands full with Jason Pierre-Paul . That means the Cowboys are going to
have to get their running game going again but I’d look for the Cowboys to take
some shots down field. Look for (Dallas defensive coordinator) Rob Ryan to be
very aggressive, maybe moreso than usual. He’s just not going to sit back and
let Eli Manning pick them apart."</p>

Both teams have kind of bumbled their way into this showdown. The Giants are
on a four-game losing streak, even though they feel they picked up confidence in
that loss to Green Bay last week. The Cowboys have been losing games in the
strangest ways. The teams may have an intense hate for each other but they also
have one thing in common. They are maddeningly unpredictable. While both teams
need the game desperately, a Cowboy win would probably be lethal to the Giants’
chances. Then again, you never know.</p>

GIANTS 30-27: Somehow, the Cowboys are going to screw this
up.- Hank Gola"

GIANTS NEED TO DEFEAT COWBOYS TO HAVE ANY REALISTIC JOOE OF REACHING THE PLAYOFFS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/giants-defeat-dallas-realistic-hope-reaching-playoffs-article-1.989733)</p>

Excerpt: "The Cowboys are first on Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck)’s list,
ahead of the Eagles and the Redskins. There’s no team he hates more than
America’s Team.</p>

And now the Giants must beat the Cowboys to make something special of their
season.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

The Giants have put themselves in a now-or-never predicament by losing their
last four games to turn a 6-2 start into a 6-6 collapse and a two-game lead on
Dallas in the NFC East into a one-game deficit going into Sunday night’s game at
Cowboys Stadium.</p>

Big Blue vs. Big D. The loser is in Big Trouble.</p>

The emotion and intensity could set a record for any NFL game this season.
The Giants are playing for their season.</p>

“We will approach it that way,” Tuck said. “We will come out and play it that
way. We want to control our destiny. We don’t want to rely on somebody else to
get us where we want to go. Obviously, if we lose this football game, that would
be the case. We need to approach the game with that type of intensity, that it
is a do-or-die game.”</p>

If the Giants lose, they will trail the Cowboys by two games with three games
remaining. They could be eliminated in the NFC East race before they play Dallas
in the rematch on Jan. 1 if the Cowboys beat the Eagles at home on Dec. 24.</p>

If the Giants win this game, they will be in control of the division going
into the final three games. The easiest way for them to clinch is by doing no
worse than splitting with the Redskins and Jets and then beating Dallas

The Bears, Falcons and Lions all have a one-game lead on the Giants for the
two wild-card spots and all hold significant leads in the conference record

Stick any label you want on it, but the Giants have virtually no margin for
error and have to win this game at Jerry Jones (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jerry+Jones)’

Tuck never has any trouble getting emotionally prepared to play Dallas. The
silver and blue gets a lot of players worked up. As bitter as the rivalry is
with the Eagles, there’s something about the Cowboys that gets Tuck even more
fired up.</p>

“It’s just the persona of America’s Team,” he said. “Even before I got here,
I knew the history of the Cowboys and the Giants. Everybody in the country takes
a side.”</p>

The Cowboys started a trash-talking battle with the Giants after <a title="Mike Jenkins" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mike+Jenkins">Mike
Jenkins</a> called Brandon Jacobs (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brandon+Jacobs) a
bully and DeMarcus Ware (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/DeMarcus+Ware) said
Tuck is jealous of the Cowboys and wants to play for them." Read more...
</p></div></div></div></div><font size="4"><font size="3">WITH MARIO MANNINGHAM BACK AND AHMAD BRADSHAW READY AGAIN, GIANTS' WEAPONS ON OFFENSE ARE FINALLY IN PLACE</font> (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/manningham-back-bradshaw-ready-giant-weapons-offense-finally-place-article-1.989728)

<font size="3">"</font></font>Mario Manningham (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mario+Manningham)
is set to return. Ahmad Bradshaw (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ahmad+Bradshaw) will
suit up for the second straight game. Hakeem Nicks (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hakeem+Nicks), <a title="Victor Cruz" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Victor+Cruz">Victor
Cruz</a> and Ramses Barden (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ramses+Barden) are
fully healthy.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

All of those things made the unassuming Bradshaw crack a slight grin on
Friday afternoon. For the first time this season, the tailback knew the Giants
would have all of their offensive weapons.</p>

“Now,” Bradshaw said, “we’ve got enough talent to do anything we want to do
on the football field.”</p>

This sudden wealth of weapons at Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning)’s disposal
couldn’t come at a better time, because this evening, the Giants will play their
annual shootout against the Dallas Cowboys.</p>

It’s a game that recent history suggests will feature plenty of offense. The
two teams have met in the regular season eight times since 2007, and in seven of
those meetings, the winner has scored at least 31 points. The Giants are 4-4
against the Cowboys during that span.</p>

“We’ll need offense,” said Nicks. “They can put up points.”</p>

Thing is, the Giants can, too. Their 23.9 point-per-game average ranks just
11th in the league, and that’s come despite a bevy of players missing time,
limiting the offense. Barden didn’t play a down until November, and Manningham
has missed the last two games with knee ailments.</p>

Nicks missed the Patriots game with a hamstring injury, and until last week,
Bradshaw’s entire season was in doubt because of a broken bone in his left

None of that slowed an offense that ranks fourth in the league with 296.1
passing yards per game, but the injuries did make things challenging. The worst
injury was Bradshaw’s foot injury, which caused him to miss a month and allowed
safeties to focus their attention on Nicks and Cruz.</p>

As soon as Bradshaw returned last week against the Green Bay Packers, Nicks
saw that change.</p>

“They played us different,” he said. “They were watching the run more.”</p>

As everything has gone with these Giants, though, the offense still won’t be
completely whole against Dallas. The line has been completely reshuffled thanks
to David Baas (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/David+Baas)’ persistent
headaches and the moves of Will Beatty (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Will+Beatty) (detached
retina) and Stacy Andrews (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Stacy+Andrews)
(pulmonary embolisms) to injured reserve.</p>

But the receivers still can’t wait to test that Dallas secondary, especially
if the Cowboys get preoccupied with the hard-running Bradshaw.</p>

Manningham believes the unit has been disrespected all season, partly because
nobody has seen them at full strength.</p>

That will change Sunday night.</p>

“I think we’re underrated,” he said. “Very underrated. And now that we’re all
together, the sky’s the limit.”
</p></div><font size="4"><u>NY POST</u></font>

GIANTS FACE COWBOYS IN BATTLE FOR FIRST PLACE IN NFC EAST TONIGHT (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/winner_takes_control_of_nfc_east_txxnuaUHnXBNcRGHA gn8yO)

Excerpt: "It has been a long time since the Giants won a game, and it seems even
longer.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

“It does,’’ guard<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Chris_Snee"> Chris Snee
</a>said. “These losses add up, and it’s tough on your mentally. It hasn’t been
an easy four weeks. You just have to keep pushing through it.’’</p>

It will be 41 long days since the Giants hoisted up coach Tom Coughlin (/t/Tom_Coughlin)after a rousing, 24-20 victory in New
England. Forty-one days and four consecutive losses later, the Giants sit at 6-6
and are extremely fortunate to get what they get tonight: a chance for first
</p>The Cowboys (7-5) are ahead by one game in the NFC East, and whichever team
wins tonight’s clash instantly gains the upper hand in the division race.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

“We understand what a win down there can do to our team and our playoff
chances,’’ defensive end<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Justin_Tuck"> Justin Tuck
</a>said. “There are a lot of scenarios you can wrap your mind around, but why
do that when we know we can control our own destiny with a win?’’</p>

There really is no fallback position for the Giants, who are coming off an
inspiring, yet frustrating, 38-35 loss to the unbeaten Packers. They must end
this losing now if they are to be considered a serious playoff candidate.</p>

“The bottom line is winning, however it happens,’’ defensive end Dave Tollefson (/t/Dave_Tollefson)said. “At this
point, it doesn’t really matter how it happens. It just needs to happen.’’</p>

A look inside the game:</p>

BEST BATTLE: Cowboys LT Doug Free (/t/Doug_Free)vs. Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul. Each week,
it seems, JPP does something to make you stand up and take notice and not only
because he’s the team-leader with 101/2 sacks — it’s his hustle and relentless
pursuit of the ball. Free is solid but he will get (and need) help with running
backs chipping Pierre-Paul and receivers hitting him as they break off the


Who could know that a key to the Cowboys season came on Oct. 23 when Felix
Jones (sprained ankle) couldn’t play against the Rams? That forced rookie
DeMarco Murray, a third-round draft pick from Oklahoma, onto the field, and all
he did was run for a franchise-record 253 yards. Murray, with 872 yards, is
well-within reach of the having the most yards for any rookie running back in
Cowboys history, which is incredible, considering the company he is keeping:
Tony Dorsett (1,007 yards in 1977),<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Calvin_Hill">
Calvin Hill </a>(942 in 1969) and<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Emmitt_Smith">
Emmitt Smith </a>(937 in 1990).</p>


Eli Manning caused a bit of a ruckus (for him) back in September 2009 after
he signed a back wall in an ante-room within the visitor’s locker room,
commemorating the first-ever game at Cowboys Stadium. Manning penned a reminder
that the Giants won that very first game, 33-31. He won there last season as
well, 41-35. Manning is 2-0 and has completed 50 of 73 passes for 636 yards, six
touchdowns and three interceptions in Jerry Jones’ ostentatious $1.2 billion
football palace." Read more...</p>

TEAMS' PLAYOFF CHANCES, COACH'S FUTURE COULD HAND IN BALANCE (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/team_playoff_chances_coach_future_Luaute6W71W9NG0M D0oIhI)</p>

Excerpt: "ARLINGTON, Texas — Eli Manning wanted New York, wanted to play for Giants
coach Tom Coughlin. Four years later, he was a Super Bowl (/t/Super_Bowl)champion. Eight years later, he is an elite
quarterback. </p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

There are plenty of quarterbacks who have been coach-killers. Manning, who
plays whenever there is a game, has not been one of them. Tonight might very
well be his last true chance to save his coach.</p>

The stakes are enormous. A perfect storm — key players dropping like flies on
both sides of the ball, a murderous schedule — has rained on Coughlin’s eighth
parade on the sidelines the late, great Wellington Mara (/t/Wellington_Mara)summoned him to patrol. Yet here
are the 6-6 Giants, losers of four straight, still in play, spoiling for a
first-place fight against the 7-5 Cowboys. Here is Coughlin, presiding over yet
another second-half collapse, his considerable fight blunted by this haunting,
self-fulfilling prophecy, somehow still holding destiny in his 65-year-old hands
— his team’s and his own.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

It is do-or-dire — for the 2011 Giants, and for Coughlin.</p>

Coaches don’t have nine lives, and most of them don’t have nine seasons in
one place. Bill Parcells (/t/Bill_Parcells)went
three seasons without a playoff victory between Super Bowls championships. If
Coughlin, starting tonight, cannot do the best coaching job of his Giants life,
right up there with the magical Super Bowl XLII run, and get his team to the
postseason, that would mean four seasons without a playoff victory.</p>

Welcome to Coughlin’s last stand.</p>

Or what could be Coughlin’s last rodeo inside Jerry Jones’ palace.</p>

No bull.</p>

Ride ’em cowboy, Ten-Gallon Tom.</p>

There is no margin for error. It is no longer about holding your head high
after scaring the hell out of<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Aaron_Rodgers"> Aaron
Rodgers </a>and the Perfect Packers. It is no longer about fighting the good
fight, and playing the way Giants are supposed to play for 60 minutes. It is
about being Perfect Giants over these last four weeks.</p>

The sorry state of the NFC precludes the Giants from elimination should they
lose tonight, because there would still be a mad wild-card scramble among the
Falcons, Lions, Bears and Giants. But you wonder how Coughlin, on the precipice
as Dead Coach Walking, would be able to rally the troops and keep the Giants
from becoming Dead Team Walking.</p>

The irony is that five weeks after Brandon Jacobs (/t/Brandon_Jacobs)picked Coughlin up in the visiting
locker room after the upset of the Patriots, Coughlin has to pick his entire
team up.</p>

That Manning is his quarterback can be both a blessing and a curse to
Coughlin. A blessing because Manning, against the likes of Tony Romo tonight,
then Rex Grossman, Mark Sanchez and Romo again, can win the critical quarterback
showdowns and carry him to the playoffs. A curse because Coughlin — unlike Bears
coach Lovie Smith with Jay Cutler, or Texans coach Gary Kubiak (/t/Gary_Kubiak)with Matt Schaub (/t/Matt_Schaub)— cannot use the crutch that he did not
have the services of his franchise quarterback for the stretch run.</p>

Manning will have all receiving hands on deck tonight, and if David Diehl (/t/David_Diehl)and the patchwork
offensive line can keep<a class="topiclink" href="/t/DeMarcus_Ware"> DeMarcus Ware
</a>off Manning, it is hard to fathom how the vulnerable Cowboys secondary will
be able to keep Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham and Jake Ballard
under control. If Ahmad Bradshaw is healthy enough for 15-20 touches, all the
better. </p>

On the flip side, if the Cowboys can slow Jason Pierre-Paul’s maniacal pass
rush and Jason Garrett remembers to feed the ball 20 times to rookie RB DeMarco
Murray to set up Romo for nuclear strikes to Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and
Laurent Robinson — not to mention his best clutch friend, tight end Jason Witten
— the Big Blue secondary and young linebackers will be exposed
again."

GIANTS' CRUZ ON RECORD-SETTING RECEIVING PACE (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/undrafted_native_on_record_setting_rAjMCoHjL9uvgls 5B209qI)</p>

Excerpt: "When Victor Cruz (/t/Victor_Cruz)first started
as a Giant last season, he didn’t wear No. 80, he wore No. 3. Maybe that is

The last time a New York athlete emerged like this — from nowhere to stardom,
from undrafted roster fodder to probable franchise record-setter — it was John
Starks, who also wore No. 3. The former Knicks guard was a bagger at Safeway
after going undrafted — then inexplicably exploded on the scene.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

This has been a breakout season for Cruz. The Paterson, N.J., native isn’t
just contributing. He has gone from somehow making the roster to becoming one of
the most productive wide receivers in the NFL.</p><div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

The 25-year-old, in his second NFL season, is on pace to splinter the Giants’
all-time record for most receiving yards in a season, held by Amani Toomer, who
had 1,343 yards in 2002. Cruz is on pace for 1,434. He is fourth in the league,
trailing Pro Bowl regulars<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Wes_Welker"> Wes Welker
</a>of the Patriots, the Lions’<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Calvin_Johnson">
Calvin Johnson </a>and the Panthers’ Steve Smith.</p>

Cruz also has amassed those totals despite not catching a pass until nearly
five minutes into the second half of Week 2. Since then, he has racked up five
100-yard games (three straight going into tonight’s Cowboys clash) and three
others with at least 90 yards. For the season, he has caught 62 passes for 1,076
yards and seven scores. </p>

Chase Blackburn noticed Cruz long before the linebacker was signed by the
Giants last week.</p>

“I was watching [the Giants] at home,” Blackburn said, “and I’m just like,
‘Man, that’s [incredible]!’”</p>

“I’d be lying as we all would if we said we envisioned this,” offensive
coordinator<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Kevin_Gilbride"> Kevin Gilbride

The Giants always have believed in Cruz, who went undrafted in 2010 out of
Massachusetts. His agent, Jack Huntington, recalled there were several teams
that came calling, including the Bears, Buccaneers and Redskins — and to the
best of his recollection, the Broncos. Those teams just wanted to invite Cruz to
rookie camp — the Giants, however, offered Cruz a contract.</p>

“We had three area scouts to see him and they all came to the same
conclusion: that he would be a very good local free-agent try,” Giants general
manager Jerry Reese (/t/Jerry_Reese)said. “They all
saw him as productive, quick with good hands.”</p>

Cruz now has become a local legend.</p>

In 2010, he caught three touchdown passes against the Jets in a preseason
game and earned a spot on the team. But during the regular season, Cruz worked
primarily on special teams in the three games he did play. He was finished for
the year on Oct. 16 following a hamstring injury — and after barely playing on
offense, didn’t catch a pass."
</p></div>CRUZ: BIG BLUE CAN BEAT DALLAS DBs (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/cruz_big_blue_can_beat_dallas_dbs_DeI2AidueyE66z7O X6jacN)

"Before facing the Packers, Giants receiver Victor Cruz (/t/Victor_Cruz)mentioned Green Bay’s cornerbacks often
gambled and played extra-aggressively, which the Giants could use to their
advantage with big plays in the passing game.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

Cruz’s assessment turned out to be dead-on, as quarterback Eli Manning (/t/Eli_Manning)ravaged the Packers secondary in a 38-35
loss. Cruz this week turned his focus to the Cowboys defensive backfield and
once again has noticed a vulnerability he believes the Giants can exploit
tonight at Cowboys Stadium.</p>

“Watching the film we see a lot of different things,’’ Cruz said. “They like
to mix it up, play a lot of different coverages but we definitely see some areas
of weakness early on and some things we can clue in on and really
</p>“I think it’s basically confusing them with different routes, tandem routes
on one side, maybe confusing them and running some switch routes and different
things like that. I think once you start throwing different routes at them,
different route combinations at them, they tend to get confused and they lose
some men in coverage sometimes.’’<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

The Cowboys are ranked 14th in the NFL in pass defense.</p>

* Manning tonight makes his 116th consecutive start, matching Ron
Jaworski for the third-longest starting streak in NFL history, trailing
just Brett Favre (297 games) and Peyton
Manning, whose 208-game streak ended at the start of this season. ...
Second-year DT Linval Joseph is coming off his strongest game,
a nine-tackle outing vs. the Packers. Primarily a run-stopper, Joseph will be
needed tonight against RB DeMarco Murray. </p>

“His best game, without a doubt,’’ defensive coordinator Perry
Fewell said of Joseph’s performance last week. “He was hustling all
over the field. He was a man that played with passion and played with fire. And
we had been looking for that from Linval all year long. We look for that Sunday
in Dallas.’’</p>

* Deon Grant is expected to start at safety in place of
injured Kenny Phillips, who did not make the trip to Dallas,
but rookie Tyler Sash will get plenty of work, especially in
coverage situations. </p>

* Thanks to Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers,
the Giants were torched for eight touchdown passes in the past two games. It’s
the first time they’ve allowed that many scoring passes in a two-game span since
Nov. 30 to Dec. 7, 1952, when Jim Finks of the Steelers and
Eddie LeBaron of the Redskins combined for eight TD passes.

* The Cowboys have lost their last five Sunday night games. ... Perhaps
running the ball isn’t all that crucial to the Giants. They rushed for 100 yards
last week vs. the Packers but lost. The Giants this season had won their first
four games in which they ran for 100 or more yards."</p>
</div>STEVE SERBY'S Q&amp;A WITH CHRIS CANTY (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/chris_bYfWsyMrdjxDsAjGUeV94O)

"Post columnist Steve Serby tracked down Giants defensive tackle, and former
Cowboy, Chris Canty (/t/Chris_Canty)before today’s
clash in Big D.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

Q: What was it like being a Dallas Cowboy? </p>

A: Playing for the<a class="topiclink" href="/t/Dallas_Cowboys"> Dallas Cowboys
</a>is like being like a rock star. It’s very publicized, it’ s very
media-oriented. ... It’s like a circus surrounding the Dallas Cowboys. I think
it was a well-run organization ... a lot of great football minds at the time
when I was there that knew what they were doing ... but being a Dallas Cowboy is
just kind of like being a part of the circus, being a part of a soap opera so to
</p>Q: What’s it like being a New York Giant?<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


A: Being a New York Giant is more me. It’s hard-hat. It’s blue collar. It’s
come to work. Even though people in the city respect us, it’s not that circus
mentality, that Hollywood, soap opera-type of deal. ... It’s, “Go to work, do
your job.” ... Fans cheer hard when they see great effort from the team. ...
It’s knockdown, drag’em out. It’s not cute, it’s not pretty, you know? (chuckle)
But, we get it done. And that’s more who I am ... quiet, go about my business
the right way as a professional.</p>

<a href="http://www.nypost.com/blogs/giantsblog" target="_blank">UPDATES FROM

Q: Does the soap-opera aspect of being a Cowboy get in the way of
winning? </p>

A: Quite possible. Obviously there were some teams in the early ’90s, it
didn’t get in those guys’ way. (chuckle) But then again, they created some of
that soap opera, America’s Team. ... They created some of that then, and I think
in some ways it does. In some ways ... It puts the individual on the platform
rather than the team.</p>

Q: What do you think of owner Jerry Jones? </p>

A: Great businessman. [I have a] lot of respect for Mr. Jones.</p>

Q: Because of a knee injury and a detached retina, you slipped to the
fourth round. </p>

A: So you got a defensive end with a busted knee and a busted eye. I can’t
say that that’s a pretty picture. If you’re a decision-maker, and you got to
make a decision on a player, regardless of what his film showed in college,
facing those kind of medical situations, I can’t say that I would make that
choice either, to draft me. But thank God that somebody did. Thank God that
somebody gave me an opportunity.</p>

Q: Think back to that night in Scottsdale, Ariz., when you sustained
the detached retina after a fight broke out in a club. </p>

A: It was just a reminder that wrong place, wrong time is not an excuse, and
it doesn’t keep you from being a victim.</p>

Q: How scary was that when it happened? </p>

A: It’s scary when it happens, because it happened so fast. The scary part is
when you wake up in the hospital, and you realize the aftermath of what had
taken place.
</p></div>Q: You were knocked unconscious?<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


A: I don’t know whether I was unconscious or whether everything was just
cycling so fast, but I don’t remember anything until the next day.</p>

Q: What was it, a flying bottle? </p>

A: I don’t know. I didn’t see it! (laugh). But that’s believed to be what I
was hit with.</p>

Q: Was there a ruckus going on before it happened? </p>

A: Oh yeah, there was a big melee. I guess these two groups of guys were
going at it. At the time, I was out there training with other draft prospects,
and we were out for the night, and we were just trying to get out of the place.
What do you say, what do you do?
</p>Q: How long were you in the hospital?<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


A: I was in the hospital for two nights.</p>

Q: Was there a concern you would lose vision in your left
eye? </p>

A: Absolutely there was. My eyeball was cut open.</p>

Q: Did you have to wear a patch? </p>

A: When you first have it, you have to have it concealed, and you have to
have the glasses on. ... I know a little bit about what [Giants offensive
tackle] Will Beatty (/t/Will_Beatty)is going
through right now (Beatty suffered a detached retina vs. the Eagles on Nov. 20
and later was put on injured reserve). It’s frustrating. ... It’s one of those
situations, you don’t know how it’s going to work out until you go through the
process. Nobody can give you a prognosis, you have to just kinda go through it
and see what happens.</p>

Q: The draft was how soon? </p>

A: This happened in the end of January, but I had to go to the Combine ...
second or third week in February?</p>

Q: And you went? </p>

A: And I went ... by train.</p>

Q: Why did you go by train? </p>

A: Because, with the particular surgery that I had to make sure that the
retina is distributed evenly along the walls of the eyeball, they use what’s
called a gas bubble, to keep the pressure evenly distributed on the retina so it
lays flat against the walls of the eyeball. So anyway, I got a gas bubble in my
eye. So I can’t go above 5,000 feet elevation. So, I have to get across the
country, without going above 5,000 feet elevation. [I was the] only person to
take a train to the Combine.</p>

Q: What did you tell the NFL teams about their character concerns
about you? </p>

A: I told them that I think my body of work speaks for itself, I mean, who I
am speaks for itself. To be honest with you, it’s just one of those situations
where you have to rely on people that know you. [Virginia coach] Al Groh, put
some of people’s concerns to bed about the type of person that I was. But at the
end of the day, in the NFL business, character does play a role, but let’s be
frank, it’s not the most important things that teams are looking at. If this guy
is physically capable of playing, then we want him." Read more...</p>ON DEMARCO: BOYS' MURRAY SEIZES THE DAY (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/on_demarco_boys_murray_seizes_the_tBjCzpRtKO5yCbNM GUDJhN)

Excerpt: It looks like salvation for the Cowboys’ floundering season was in their
midst all along.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

The only question now is what took them so long to give DeMarco Murray (/t/DeMarco_Murray)a chance.</p>

The third-round pick from Oklahoma was one of the most prolific running backs
in the school’s storied history, but an injury to starter Felix Jones (/t/Felix_Jones)with Dallas underachieving at 2-3 was
necessary before they turned to the dynamic Murray.</p>

<a href="http://www.nypost.com/blogs/giantsblog" target="_blank">UPDATES FROM

The Cowboys haven’t looked back since Murray has emerged as a serious threat
to Tony Dorsett’s single-season rookie franchise rushing record while powering
them to the top of the NFC East heading into tonight’s matchup with the Giants
at Cowboys Stadium.</p>
<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

“We already have weapons on the outside and at quarterback, so when you throw
in DeMarco, that’s pretty much perfect balance,” tight end Jason Witten (/t/Jason_Witten)said. </p>

Murray, who enters tonight’s game with 872 rushing yards (just 107 behind
Dorsett’s team rookie mark), already is in the Cowboys’ record book after
rushing for a franchise-best 253 yards in his first start Oct. 23 at home in a
34-7 rout of the Rams.</p>

Murray figures to be even more dangerous with fullback Tony Fiammetta (/t/Tony_Fiammetta)expected back against the Giants,
considering Murray struggled in the three games Fiammetta missed due to

“I never thought it was going to be as easy as it might have looked,” Murray
said, referring to the three 100-yard rushing performances in his first four
starts. </p>

Murray had just 37 yards on 12 carries in last week’s 19-13 overtime loss to
the Cardinals and averaged just 3.3 yards per carry during the three contests
Fiammetta missed. </p>

But the Cowboys are chalking that up mostly to teams stacking the line to
stop Murray without a fullback to protect him."
[/url][url="http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/chris_bYfWsyMrdjxDsAjGUeV94O#ixzz1gEvJFCl9"] (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/chris_bYfWsyMrdjxDsAjGUeV94O#ixzz1gEvvIpgR)</div><u><font size="4">THE BERGEN RECORD</font></u>
SULLIVAN: ROUTES OF NATIVES AUSTIN, CRUZ FINALLY CROSS TONIGHT (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/Sullivan_Routes_of_Jersey_guys_Austin_Cruz_finally _cross_tonight.html)

Excerpt: "The North Jersey football paths of Victor Cruz and Miles Austin feel so
familiar, so similar that it’s hard to believe the two haven’t taken at least
some of the same twists and turns, haven’t intersected somewhere across the past
decade. Yet even though they don’t know each other much on a personal level,
there’s little doubt they are aware of each other’s football accomplishments.
How could they not, given that both of their circuitous, unlikely routes have
ended in the same place?

Tonight, Cruz and Austin can’t miss each other.<div id="storybody">

“We’ve never really crossed paths. We might have played each other once
somewhere along the line, but I was a few years behind. I don’t remember him too
much, but all my high school coaches knew him and talked about him,” Cruz said
this week at the Giants’ training facility. “I knew about him, knew that he went
to Monmouth and he kind of came in the same way I did. He had to work his way up

Tonight in Dallas, while the Giants are busy trying to save their season and
the Cowboys are likewise hoping to preserve theirs, a most fascinating subplot
will be played out in their respective offenses, featuring one wide receiver
from Garfield (/garfield) (Austin) and one wide receiver from Paterson (/paterson) (Cruz), neither of whom was supposed to end up
here. But drawing on the personality of the state that raised them, relying on
toughness, tenacity and of course, talent, they have not merely made it to the
NFL, but become record-setting, Pro Bowl-caliber stars.</p>

“We have a little Jersey thing together,” Cruz said. “Definitely.”
place. Same time. Same story?</p>

Cruz and Austin represent two of the NFL’s rarest commodities – undrafted
free agents making it big – yet are connected by more than their unexpected
ability to outrun linebackers, out-leap defensive backs and overall, outperform
more renowned teammates. They grew up only a few North Jersey borders and a few
high school seasons apart, and both managed to crash football’s most exclusive
party by way of small schools (27-year-old Austin at Monmouth and 25-year-old
Cruz at Massachusetts) and big plays.</p>

“I think it’s the blue-collar mentality we breed here with these type of
kids,” said Steve Mucha, who in his 25th season as Garfield (/garfield)’s football coach has watched Austin, Seattle’s
Luis Castillo and onetime Jet star Wayne (/wayne) Chrebet leave
Garfield for the NFL. “It’s a thread you see in all of these kids. They don’t
take no for an answer. It’s just a persistence they all have. Seeing Victor’s
situation, knowing where he came from and what he’s overcome, it makes me feel

Austin is expected to return to action tonight after a month out with a
hamstring injury, bringing one more weapon for Tony Romo’s offense to unleash on
the Giants’ overmatched secondary.</p>

“He’s a matchup problem, no doubt,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “He’s a fast
receiver and he’s a physical guy, a big guy.”</p>

At 6 feet 2 and 215 pounds, Austin’s physical profile overshadows the 6-foot,
200-pound Cruz. Austin’s relative anonymity stemmed from the fact that he didn’t
return to football from his pee wee days until his junior year at Garfield (/garfield), when he repaid Mucha’s overlooking a rare late
arrival to school with a promise to turn his basketball/track prowess back to
the gridiron. Mucha knew what sort of athlete he was getting – “I’m not an
idiot,” he said – and before long, the coach had the answers to what sort of
competitor he was getting, too."
</p></div><u><font size="4">THE NEW YORK TIMES</font></u>

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/201

12-11-2011, 11:47 AM
thanks Ro..</P>


gonna be a long day till 8:20 rolls around.....</P>

12-11-2011, 03:26 PM
thanks Ro..</P>


gonna be a long day till 8:20 rolls around.....</P> Its just rolled past here . 8.25 now ;)

i cant wait till 01.20 .... LETS GO GIANTS...LETS GO !!!

Thanks RF ...let the games begin

12-11-2011, 03:58 PM
thanks Roanoke!</P>

this is Giants' game of the year!</P>

lets hope this time tomorrow, we'll be celebrating 1st place in nfce.</P>


12-11-2011, 05:34 PM
thanks Roanoke!</p>

this is Giants' game of the year!</p>

lets hope this time tomorrow, we'll be celebrating 1st place in nfce.</p>


It is indeed, and we will.

12-12-2011, 12:26 AM
Thank you Roanoke