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NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

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  • NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

    HERE NOW THE NEWS

    THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER.

    NEWARK STAR LEDGER

    GIANTS' KENNY PHILLIPS RULED OUT FOR COWBOYS' GAME

    "As expected, the Giants have
    downgraded safety Kenny Phillips from doubtful to out. He didn't travel to Texas
    with the team for Sunday's game vs. the Cowboys.


    Phillips suffered a sprained knee in this past Sunday's loss to the Packers.
    He didn't practice all week and did only light jogging and backpedaling on the
    side. His injury was to the medial collateral ligament and there's a chance he
    could return on Dec. 18 against the Redskins.




    Phillips' absence means the Giants will start Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant
    against Dallas. Expect rookie Tyler Sash to play as well. Sash, a special-teams
    contributor who has dressed for every game this season, saw some time on defense
    in the season opener against the Redskins and against Green Bay when Phillips
    left.




    "We've been blessed at the safety position, as far as injuries all season,"
    Sash said. "Nobody's really gotten hurt until Kenny and it's not something
    serious that he's going to be out for a long amount of time."




    Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell's ability to call games has been hampered
    by changes in personnel because of injuries
    . But Sash said his play against
    the Packers has him encouraged by his knowledge of the defense.




    "It showed the coaches were confident in me, throwing me in there Sunday
    night," he said. "I made all the right calls, all the checks and got everybody
    lined up so that always helps from the trust aspect."

    GIANTS FACE COWBOYS WITH HAKEEM NICKS, MARIO MANNINGHAM, AND VICTOR CRUZ ALL HEALTHY

    Excerpt: "Victor Cruz looked around the offensive huddle yesterday and saw Hakeem Nicks
    and Mario Manningham standing alongside him.


    “So I said, ‘We’ve got the big three back!’ And everybody started laughing,”
    the Giants’ wide receiver said. “But
    it’s always good to have the guys back at full strength and just be able to get
    us all clicking on the same page.




    “When all three of us are out there, there’s just a different energy in the
    huddle.”




    Sunday's game against
    the Dallas Cowboys
    will mark only the third time in six games the Giants
    have had their “big three” on the field at the same time.




    It began with a hamstring issue that knocked Nicks out of the victory over
    the New England Patriots. Then, a lingering knee issue for Manningham got worse
    and kept him out of the past two games.




    But Manningham practiced all three days this week and is listed as probable,
    meaning the banged-up Giants are healthy in at least one key area.




    “I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Nicks said. “We know what we’re
    capable of doing now that we’ve got the opportunity to do it, to click as a unit
    and contribute on all cylinders.”




    Manningham, who said last week there were things “floating” in his knee and
    that surgery was a possibility, has looked “quick” and “sharp” to coach Tom
    Coughlin in practice. Manningham said he has improved because of intense leg
    workouts in the weight room.




    “I was doing it (earlier in the season), but I wasn’t doing it thinking
    something was going to happen a few weeks later.




    I was doing it to just get a workout in,” he said. “It helps the swelling and
    strengthening.”




    Manningham’s presence should help the Giants’ offense as a whole.




    Also helping: the return of running back Ahmad Bradshaw, the occasional
    clutch grab by Ramses Barden, Jake Ballard’s continued success and even Travis
    Beckum’s 67-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers this past weekend that
    included a few nifty cut-backs after the catch.




    “I just wanted him to get in the end zone,” Nicks joked. “All that cutting,
    he’d better get in there.” Read more...

    COWBOYS HOPE TO CONFUSE ELI MANNING ON SUNDAY, SAYS ROB RYAN

    "Few defenses have been able to befuddle Giants quarterback Eli Manning this season.
    The quarterback is fourth in the NFL in passing yards (3,705), fifth in
    touchdowns (23) and sixth in passer rating (96.0), which adds up to arguably the
    best season of his eight-year career.


    Rob Ryan, the outspoken Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator, told reporters
    in Dallas that his defense’s goal is to confuse quarterbacks and “make them play
    left-handed.”




    And he thinks Dallas is going to be able to do that against Manning on Sunday
    night. Exactly how remains a question.




    “We’re going to find out Sunday night because we’re going to do it,” Ryan
    said.



    Whether Ryan will have linebacker and sackmaster DeMarcus
    Ware to aid in Manning’s befuddlement is up in the air.




    Ware, the NFL’s sack leader with 15, is still dealing with the effects of a
    stinger he suffered in the Cowboys’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday
    and was limited in practice today."

    GIANTS-COWBOYS GAME PREVIEW: A LOOK AHEAD TO SUNDAY'S HUGE NFC EAST BATTLE

    "This is going to be a bit redundant if you read Sunday's Giants gameday package. I did the gameday
    this week because Jorge is handling the Sunday story. Be on the lookout for
    that, by the way, because it should be a doozy.


    Anyway, as I was saying, I wrote a lot about Sunday's game already because
    our breakdowns are as comprehensive as they get. Still, I couldn't just skip the
    blog preview because I know we need a spot for all of your predictions.



    So here goes.




    * * * *




    SUNDAY'S GAME: at Cowboys, Cowboys Stadium, 8:20 p.m.,
    NBC




    PLAYERS TO WATCH




    Offense: We spent a lot of time the other day breaking down
    what David Diehl has meant to the Giants in his return to left
    tackle and about his
    reunion with his old nemesis
    in Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware.
    And rightfully so, because that should be a good matchup.




    But I realized after that story ran we probably overlooked RT Kareem
    McKenzie
    a bit.




    You see, Ware doesn't just line up on the right side of the Cowboys' defense
    (i.e. the left side of the Giants' line). He bounces all over the place and
    often attacks an opponent's right tackle. That would be McKenzie.




    Given the way McKenzie struggled last week against Packers LB Clay Matthews
    (by my count, he had three pressures and the sack/forced fumble against McKenzie
    while also getting around him for a near-safety), one would have to think the
    Cowboys would send Ware to that side often on Sunday. Look to see how the Giants
    are able - or unable - to block that up.




    Defense: In the interest of writing something that won't
    overlap with Sunday's breakdown, how about we take a look at what the Giants
    worked on in practice after it popped up as a trouble spot against Green
    Bay?




    It was their Cover-2 defense in the red zone, which was an issue when Packers
    WR Donald Driver had an uncontested touchdown after S Antrel
    Rolle
    didn't slide over to help and CB Corey Webster
    didn't sink far enough. As I broke
    down in my game review
    , what the Packers did was run the outside receiver
    (Jordy Nelson) on a short in cut. At that point, Webster should've released
    Nelson to CB Aaron Ross, who had the short zone near the hash,
    and dropped to help with Driver running the corner route behind him. The
    communication broke down between Webster and Rolle, who was back deep because
    Kenny Phillips had just left with a knee injury.




    This week, the Giants worked on those two-receiver combos and on how they
    would pass off, or stay with, receivers. Look to see if the Cowboys try to run
    the same combo the Packers ran. But also realize Dallas knows the Giants will
    adjust, so look for a different wrinkle thrown in there. What might that be?
    Well, my guess would be what's called (among other things) a "pivot" or "bounce"
    route by the outside receiver. That receiver might start running the in cut and
    then pivot or bounce (hence the names of the route) back to the outside.




    A route like that, which the Giants often run down near the goal line (think
    the interception
    against the Seahawks
    ) might take advantage of Webster's seeing the in cut
    and then dropping to cover the corner route, thus vacating the short zone. Look
    for Miles Austin or Laurent Robinson to be the
    WRs that run it, too.




    Then again, the Giants are probably anticipating such adjustments as well.
    It's a chess match, this game of football. And that's why we love it.




    THE LINE: Cowboys by 3½. Over-under 49.




    ONE MORE THING: Watch out for Cowboys KR Felix
    Jones
    . He had a 69-yarder against the Cardinals and nearly took it the
    distance."

    GIANTS RULE OSI UMENYIORA AND DAVID BAAS OUT FOR SUNDAY'S GAME AGAINST THE COWBOYS

    Excerpt: "3:41 p.m. UPDATED with the Cowboys' questionably listing five as
    questionable.



    Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora and
    center David Baas have been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Cowboys, as
    expected, after a week in which they didn't practice.




    Umenyiora will miss his second straight game with a high-ankle sprain
    suffered against the Saints. Baas will also miss a second game with headaches
    that popped up shortly before Sunday's game against the Packers. Tom Coughlin
    has yet to give a detailed account of Baas' injury.




    Also ruled out were rookie linebackers Mark Herzlich (ankle) and Spencer
    Paysinger (hamstring).




    Meanwhile, safety Kenny Phillips (knee) is listed as doubtful. He
    ran on the side today
    but that's not enough to give him a decent shot to
    play on Sunday. Expect him to be downgraded to out on Saturday because he's
    unlikely to travel to Texas. Rookie Tyler Sash will probably see increased time
    in Phillips' absence, though Sash likely won't start. Deon Grant and Antrel
    Rolle will be the top two safeties.




    The Giants listed several key players as probable: running backs Ahmad
    Bradshaw (foot) and Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), linebacker Michael Boley
    (hamstring), wide receiver Mario Manningham (knee), defensive end Dave Tollefson
    (knee) and cornerback Prince Amukamara." Read more...

    GIANTS' MICHAEL BOLEY, AHMAD BRADSHAW, AND BRANDON JACOBS RETURN TO PRACTICE

    "1:49 p.m. UPDATE There I go talking out of turn again. Boley, Bradshaw
    and Jacobs are all listed as probable after working in a limited capacity
    today.



    Tom Coughlin was expecting Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs back to practice
    today. He was correct.




    Coughlin was hopeful Michael Boley would be back as well. His wishes were
    realized.




    All three players are practicing today as the team gets in its final full
    workout before Sunday's game against the Cowboys. Don't be surprised if all
    three are designated as questionable on the official injury report.




    Elsewhere, safety Kenny Phillips (knee) continues to run on the side. He
    believed he had a shot to play as of Thursday but it would seem he's more likely
    to sit out.




    Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee/ankle) is still out of action and not
    expected to play. Same with center David Baas (head/neck), who wasn't on the
    practice field at all.




    Wide receiver Mario Manningham (knee) continues to practice and should be
    able to play. Same with defensive end Dave Tollefson (knee).




    Linebackers Mark Herzlich (ankle) and Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) remain
    out."

    NY DAILY NEWS

    GIANTS' WR VICTOR CRUZ SAYS FORGET FOUR GAME LOSING STREAK, BIG BLUE IS READY TO RUN THE TABLE AND SURGE INTO THE PLAYOFFS

    "
    They have lost four straight games in all manner of ways, dropping blowouts
    and heartbreakers and falling when game-ending drives have come up short. Their
    once-proud defense has been gashed repeatedly. And whenever they are on the
    verge of getting healthy, another key player suffers a serious injury.



    But the Giants refuse to act like a 6-6 team in a tailspin, because somehow,
    they control their own destiny. If Big Blue can beat first-place Dallas (7-5) at
    what figures to be a raucous Cowboys Stadium on Sunday night, it will once again
    sit atop the NFC East and once again be headed toward a playoff berth.




    And wideout Victor Cruz thinks not
    only that it will all happen, but that the Giants will run the table starting
    Sunday.




    “I think the way we played this past Sunday (against Green Bay), although we
    lost, was definitely one of the most exciting ways we’ve played, most
    aggressive, we put it all together, on special teams, on defense,” Cruz said. “I
    definitely see us winning these last four and getting into the playoffs.”




    It’s a rosy outlook for a team that hasn’t won since Nov. 6, but the Giants
    still carry significant swagger and determination.




    “We still have the opportunity to accomplish our goals,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka
    said. “Obviously, we’ve let some of them slip. But that’s in the past. We can’t
    do anything about that now.”




    The Giants believe they can beat the Cowboys, and they draw on that 38-35
    loss to the Packers as proof. The result was disheartening, said defensive end Dave
    Tollefson
    , but unlike in the blowout loss in New Orleans a week earlier, the
    Giants found strong points in the setback to Green Bay.




    Their running game showed signs of awakening, and while the defense struggled
    to contain Aaron Rodgers, it
    held the Packers to 3.2 yards per carry. Granted, the defensive resurgence came
    against one of the worst rushing attacks in the league, but the Giants still
    took solace in the effort.




    “You gotta take something positive,” said Tollefson. “If you don’t, you’re
    just going to be dragging your feet. If you’re always looking at the bad, it’s
    going to give you that negative mind-set. You’ve got to stay positive.”




    The defiant Giants have done that throughout this week, hardly acting like a
    .500 team. Instead, Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs
    matched Cowboys DeMarcus Ware and Mike
    Jenkins
    verbal blow for verbal blow.




    And Kiwanuka has insisted that the Giants haven’t even given a second thought
    to their four-game losing streak.




    That nasty string is behind them, he says, and the only thing they see in
    front of them is a path to the playoffs that goes straight through Arlington,
    Tex.




    “For us in the locker room, we’re more focused on the fact that our goals are
    still attainable,” Kiwanuka said. “We still have the opportunity to win games,
    win games in our division, win our division, go into the playoffs and win the
    Super Bowl. That’s all we’re focused on.”

    DALLAS COWBOY'S OWNER, JERRY JONES, WANTS GIANTS' JUSTIN TUCK TO KNOW THAT $1.2 B STADIUM IS MORE A CASTLE THAN "DUMP"

    Excerpt: "
    Justin Tuck doesn’t
    remember calling Cowboys Stadium a dump. But if he wants to call Jerry
    Jones
    ’ home turf that, the Cowboys’ outspoken owner wouldn’t care.



    Jones just wants Tuck to get one thing: His $1.2 billion structure in
    Arlington is a beautiful and pricey dump. And Jones tried to drive that point
    home on Friday, when he spoke about Tuck’s disdain for Dallas during a radio
    interview.




    “Hopefully, that’s the competitive spirit in him,” Jones said. “I would tell
    him this: He’s never been in a more expensive dump in his life.”




    Tuck insisted Thursday that he has never called Cowboys Stadium a dump, but
    he did refer to the building as “crappy” in 2009.




    ANDREWS ON REBOUND
    Stacy Andrews, who is
    on injured reserve after being hospitalized for pulmonary embolisms in his lungs
    last Saturday, is taking blood thinner medication but expects to be ready to
    play again in six months.




    The offensive lineman stopped by the Giants’ locker room, along with brother
    Shawn Andrews, a
    former Giant. Stacy said he battled strange pains around his rib cage for three
    days last week.




    “At first it was just a little pain up in here, and my backside,” he said. “I
    thought I had popped a rib or something like that, and I just brushed it off.
    And I just practiced through the pain Friday.”




    Andrews even ignored it when he coughed up blood twice that day. But when he
    was sitting in meetings on Saturday and still battling pain, he went to see team
    trainers, who immediately had him sent to the hospital.




    “It could have been bad,” he said. “I’m just thankful that the man upstairs
    sent me a pain I could not tolerate.”




    LONG-AWAITED RETURN
    Jerrel Jernigan has
    been waiting for a chance to return punts ever since he lost the job during the
    preseason. And on Sunday night against the Cowboys, he could finally get his
    shot.




    With the Giants thin at cornerback, the rookie wideout is expected to replace
    starting CB Aaron Ross
    as top punt returner. Jernigan struggled to handle punts in preseason, but he
    said that Ross and CB Corey Webster have
    helped him." Read more...


    NY POST

    GIANTS' ROOKIE, TYLER SASH, SET TO START FOR PHILLIPS

    "Tomorrow night the Cowboys will again have speedy No. 1 wideout Miles Austin.
    They will again have their fullback, Tony Fiammetta. They will be showcasing a
    running and passing offense that could be at its peak.



    And they will be facing a defense that is surely not.




    The Giants’ defense has been mostly ineffective the last two weeks — they
    were awful against the Saints and just a bit better against the unbeaten
    Packers. In tomorrow’s first-place NFC East battle in Dallas, the Giants will be
    seeing a healthy Cowboys’ offense, they likely will be missing one of their
    secondary’s stalwarts (Kenny Phillips) and they will be relying on two rookie
    sixth-round draft picks (safety Tyler Sash and linebacker Jacquian Williams) to
    play key roles in key spots.

    UPDATES FROM
    OUR GIANTS BLOG





    While Austin returns after a four-game absence and Fiammetta after a
    three-game hiatus, the Giants defense gets nobody back who was out. The Giants
    are missing Osi Umenyiora again, and their linebacking depth has been
    compromised, because of injuries to Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger.




    “Crazy thing about this league is at some point, you’re going to be called
    upon,” defensive end Dave Tollefson said. “No one cares if you haven’t done it
    for two months, three months, a year.”




    Sash, the Giants’ rookie safety out of Iowa, has played just a handful of
    defensive snaps this season. With Phillips almost surely out with a sprained
    MCL, though, Sash should see a significant number of snaps.




    Not exactly an easy challenge — the Cowboys have an excellent quarterback, a
    strong running back, impressive wide receivers and a superb tight end. And the
    Giants will be on the road. In a nationally televised game.




    “I’m definitely excited,” Sash said. “We’ve got to win this game. There’s no
    way around it. It’s Sunday night football. The stage is set. We’ve got to go out
    there and just get the job done.”




    Though the Giants have had a staggering number of injuries at seemingly every
    position other than quarterback, Sash pointed out the safety spot has been
    healthy (Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant have all played in every game).




    “This is the first time all year that I’ve gotten actual reps during
    practice,” he said.




    Despite Sash’s inexperience, Tollefson praised the rookie’s preparation and
    poise.




    “The guy’s a hell of a player,” he said.




    Sash did get to play eight snaps last week once Phillips got hurt, and he
    said getting his feet wet helped. Meanwhile, Sash’s fellow sixth-round pick —
    Williams — has played far more this season. But the athletic linebacker had some
    tough moments against Packers tight end Jermichael Finley last week, and
    tomorrow, he will be matched up at times on Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten.




    According to Williams, Witten’s biggest strength is probably mental.




    “Smart,” Williams said. “He’s a good route runner.”




    Nevertheless, fellow linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said he thinks Williams is
    up to the challenge.




    “If you just watch his athletic ability, he can pretty much match up with
    anybody in the league,” he said.




    Tomorrow night there will be times when Williams has to match up with Witten.




    The two rookies could play key roles for the short-handed
    defense."

    RYAN BIG FAN OF MANN'

    "Rob Ryan is a big fan of Eli Manning, but the same can’t be said of Giants
    offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.



    Rex’s long-haired twin brother, now running the Cowboys’ defense, showered
    Manning with praise yesterday but wasn’t exactly complimentary of the pass-happy
    ways that earned Gilbride a notorious sideline punch from Ryan’s dad Buddy in
    1994.




    “He really wants to pass the ball every down,” Ryan said of Gilbride, who he
    will face tomorrow night when Dallas plays host to Big Blue at Cowboys Stadium.
    “They’ve been a great running team before, but if I think he had his choice,
    they’d throw every down.”

    But if Ryan was seemingly dismissive of Gilbride’s pass-first approach, he
    was anything but down on the person who will do the throwing for the Giants in
    this crucial NFC East matchup that Ryan labeled a “must-win” for 7-5 Dallas.




    Ryan agreed with Manning’s description of himself as an elite quarterback,
    saying the game film of the Giants’ past two games — though they ended in a
    49-24 loss to the Saints and a 38-35 loss to the Packers — gave the Cowboys’
    first-year defensive coordinator chills.




    “If you watch [the Giants’] tape their last two games, you don’t want to
    watch it,” Ryan said. “Eli Manning threw 22 straight completions against the
    Saints, then hung up 35 points on the world-champion defense.”




    Manning, who is 5-2 against the Cowboys since the 2007 playoffs and has won
    his past two trips here, gets Ryan’s vote to be included in the discussion of
    the top-five passers in the NFL.




    “The guy’s playing excellent,” Ryan said. “He does a great job, has an
    unbelievable touch. He’ll stand in there in the face of a damn hurricane and
    throw the ball.




    “We’ve played some great quarterbacks during the course of the year, and this
    guy’s no exception. He’s really playing well, and he’s in that elite group, for
    sure.”




    To slow down Manning, Ryan will have to out-maneuver Gilbride, his father’s
    famous nemesis when they were on the same Houston Oilers staff that day 17 years
    ago.




    Ryan recalled the punch as “unfortunate” yesterday but said jokingly that
    Gilbride got off easy.




    “Dad never really landed [the punch],” Ryan said. “I’ve seen him throw a hell
    of a lot harder punches than that.”

    DON'T FORGET, HEAT ON THE COWBOYS, TOO

    Excerpt : "Three hours of winning football tomorrow night in Dallas can expunge a month
    of angst for the Giants and alter the course of their season.



    The three hours it will take for the Giants to beat the Cowboys would erase
    the four-game losing streak they will carry into Cowboys Stadium.




    It would flip the fickle fate of the NFC East. It would right the reeling
    Giants’ season. It suddenly would transfer the pressure of being the pursuer
    from the Giants to the Cowboys.




    UPDATES FROM
    OUR GIANTS BLOG




    As this game of massive importance has approached, the focus has been fixated
    on the Giants and their struggles, their current slide after the promising 6-2
    start and their propensity in recent years under Tom Coughlin’s watch to fold in
    the second half of seasons.

    For all who bleed Giants blue, these are all reasons to be fearful. A Giants
    loss, after all, surely would spell doom to their playoff hopes.



    Pressure? Of course there’s immense pressure on the 6-6 Giants.




    But you easily can make the argument there’s at least as much — if not more —
    pressure that lays at the feet of the 7-5 Cowboys in this game.




    A Giants win would put them in first place in the NFC East and make the
    Cowboys, who play the Giants in the regular-season finale on Jan. 1 at MetLife
    Stadium, have to chase the Giants.




    “The season’s on the line,’’ cornerback Corey Webster said yesterday.




    “There’s pressure on both teams — given the stakes of this game, given the
    intensity of it, given the fact that this game could make or break whoever’s
    going to win the division,’’ linebacker Michael Boley said.




    Consider the respective mindsets of the two teams entering the biggest game
    of the season for both.




    The vibe around the Giants this week — you could feel it inside their locker
    room yesterday — was remarkably positive for a team that hasn’t won a game in
    more than a month. That’s because they came away from Sunday’s 38-35 loss to the
    Packers feeling good about themselves because they nearly knocked off the
    champions.




    Conversely, the Cowboys’ inexcusable 19-13 overtime loss to the lowly
    Cardinals last Sunday in a game that featured possibly the worst clock
    management this season in the final seconds, not only breathed life into the
    Giants’ fading division chances, but it threatens to doom the Cowboys’ playoff
    hopes.




    Can you imagine the excruciating fallout Coughlin would have been subjected
    to around here this week had he made the same egregious misuse of timeouts as
    Dallas coach Jason Garrett did?




    If you think the Cowboys are entering this game planning a parade to
    celebrate an NFC East title, think again. They’re vulnerable. Talented, but
    vulnerable, and the Giants, lets not forget, have beaten the Cowboys in Dallas
    the last two seasons.




    “We’ve got to win the game,’’ Giants defensive end Dave Tollefson said. “If
    we lose, we lose a lot more than just a game. We don’t want to leave Dallas
    having lost control of what we need to happen. Throughout this four-game losing
    streak we’ve always at least still had some sense of control. If we don’t win
    this week, we lose all of that control.’’ Read more...





    GIANTS' RBS BRADSHAW AND JACOBS LISTED AS PROBABLE

    "Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and Brandon Jacobs (hamstring) are listed as probable
    for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, with each Giants running back doing
    limited work in practice Friday.



    LB Michael Boley (hamstring) also did limited work in practice and is
    probable for the game.




    Boley, Bradshaw and Jacobs missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.




    WR Mario Manningham (swollen knee) is probable to return after missing two
    games, saying Friday, “I feel like I’m 100 [percent].”




    S Kenny Phillips (sprained MCL) is doubtful and almost certainly won’t play.
    C David Baas (headaches), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle), LB Mark Herzlich (ankle) and
    LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) are out.




    *




    OT Shawn Andrews, who learned last Saturday he had blood clots in his lungs,
    spoke about the episode. Andrews felt pain last week (coughing up blood in the
    shower last Friday) but resisted going to the hospital, shrugging it off and
    believing it was not anything severe.




    Finally, during a Giants meeting Saturday, the pain was overwhelming enough
    to send Andrews to the hospital, where he learned about the clots. Andrews said
    it could have been fatal if he did not seek attention.




    He now has to take injections for another two days, followed by further
    medication.




    “We’ll have an appointment scheduled within two to three months to see if
    they’re all gone,” Andrews said. “If not, take no more than six months and it
    should be gone.”




    Andrews said he can eventually play again.




    “No long-term impact at all,” he said. “I’m excited about
    that.”

    THE BERGEN RECORD

    WEBSTER READY FOR SHOWDOWN WITH COWBOYS

    Excerpt: "Corey Webster's face lit up as he spoke, becoming almost as bright as the
    fluorescent orange sneakers he wore after practice.



    The Giants cornerback is not worried that his team has lost four in a row or
    that yet another second-half collapse could be under way.




    But he does know what's at stake Sunday night when the Giants (6-6) travel to
    Cowboys Stadium to face Dallas for first place in the NFC East.




    "It doesn't get any bigger. Sunday night football. Dallas Cowboys against the
    New York Giants," Webster said Friday. "The stakes are high enough.




    "We all know what's on the line right here. The season's on the line."




    And that's exactly the kind of game Webster wants to be involved in —
    especially since the Giants will be about as healthy as they're going to get
    heading into the season's final quarter. They face three division games,
    including two against Dallas (7-5).




    "I. Love. It. This is what you live for," Webster said.




    The Giants will have their entire receiving corps, with Mario Manningham
    rejoining the team after missing the past two games with a sore and swollen
    right knee. He is listed as probable.




    It will be just the third game this season that the Giants' top four
    receivers – Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Manningham and Ramses Barden – will be on
    the field together.




    Despite saying last week that surgery was a possibility because there were
    bodies "floating" around in his knee, Manningham said "I feel like I'm 100
    [percent]." Read more...

    THE NEW YORK TIMES

    NADA

    GIANTS 101

    GIANTS' MITCH PETRUS BRINGS MUCH NEEDED FIRE TO OFFENSIVE LINE

    Excerpt: "It was Week 12 and the smashmouth New York Football Giants were ranked 32nd in running the rock. Say
    what?


    Well, Week 13 and last minute player scratches shifted an already ailing
    offensive line that may have had a hard time opening holes for Darren Sproles.
    Enter Mitch
    Petrus
    to some pretty heavy rock music, please.



    The entrance tunes request is due to my first encounter with #62 on the field
    last season. It was the 2010 Detroit at New York game in Week 6. He was back near the endzone,
    waiting for a kickoff—playing air guitar to AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night
    Long.” He was so full of energy that I couldn’t help but notice him and how he
    brought something extra out there with him.




    Back to the o-line shifting. Most, I’m sure, were nervous about David
    Diehl
    moving back to LT, Kevin
    Boothe
    sliding over more to C and Petrus being inserted as LG for #10, #44
    & #27. Little did they realize the spark (read: mean streak) that this would
    provide in the trenches—in his very first NFL start, mind you.




    Everything happens for a reason and players have to be ready to step up
    whenever their number is called…yadda, yadda, yadda.




    Petrus obviously was prepared for his. He harnessed his “hypeness” and
    focused on the task at hand.




    Watch game film and pay close attention to how #62 took care of 1st round NT,
    B.J. Raji (no slouch—dude can play). Petrus held him to one solo tackle. Raji
    has over 20 pounds on him and a “spin move.” Didn’t matter.




    The more time Petrus gets in on the line, the more he will show he’s got that
    “Rich Seubert” in him. Just remember I said that…




    Interesting game match-up this weekend for Mitch who grew up in Arkansas and
    played for the Razorbacks in college. If anyone out there doesn’t know Jerry
    Jones’ affection for them (AK Razorbacks) doesn’t know this division. Just
    sayin’.




    A true test will be going against Dallas’ fast, rushing 3-4, but Diehl will
    help and from what Petrus has exhibited on-field — he’s in stance and ready for
    his call of duty."

    GIANTS AT COWBOYS: NFL WEEK 14 GAME PREVIEW

    "The New York
    Giants may be coming off of a 38-35 loss to the Green Bay Packers, but the G-Men
    are walking with a swagger again, as they took some very positive things out of
    the football
    game, including the revival of their pass rush and running attack.


    The Giants go into Dallas trailing the Cowboys by one game in the NFC East,
    and desperately needing this game to get back in the thick of the NFC playoff
    race. The Giants still control their own destiny in the division race – but they
    won't if they lose in Dallas, and will instead find themselves faced with a very
    difficult uphill climb.




    It's by far the biggest game of the season for these Giants, and the result
    will play a huge factor in their chances to be playing in mid-January.




    GAMEPLAN




    Play the safeties closer to the line of scrimmage early to
    contain DeMarco Murray




    In the past for New York, the Cowboys weapons in the passing game would
    be more of a concern going into a football game in Dallas. This season however, DeMarco
    Murray has been the center of this Dallas offense, and a lot of their success
    has rested on whether Murray was able to get going.




    Over the last seven games, Dallas is 0-2 in the games that Murray has been
    held under 100 yards, and 5-0 in games in which he's rushed for 100 or more.
    Pretty clear relationship between Murray's success and the Cowboys success.




    The Giants need to play physical and play disciplined in the front seven, and
    I expect them to drop safeties in the box early in this game to try and limit
    and frustrate Murray early. The Cowboys have shown a tendency to get away from
    the running game at times if it doesn't go their way. And it's worked against
    them when they have.




    Use screens, draws, and quick slants early to slow down the
    Cowboys pass rushing front seven




    We all saw the game Clay Matthews had for the Green Bay Packers last week,
    and you don't want to give arguably the best pass rusher in football in
    DeMarcus
    Ware
    those types of opportunities.




    The Cowboys like to bring pressure from different angles, different gaps, and
    switch up the looks they give you up front. Ware lines up in a lot of different
    positions depending on package, and the Giants have got to find ways to slow him
    down. Double teams and running back chips likely won't be enough.




    New York
    should look to take advantage of the Cowboys aggressive approach up front by
    getting the football
    into Ahmad
    Bradshaw
    's hands out of the backfield, getting him into open space against a
    blitz and giving him an opportunity to break big plays that will force Dallas to
    be more gun shy. Hakeem Nicks may get some looks on the quick slant against the
    blitz as well, and we know #88 has the ability to break that initial tackle and
    turn a slant into a huge chunk of yardage.




    Put emphasis on taking care of the football on offense




    The Dallas
    Cowboys
    defense is centered on creating havoc, getting after the quarterback
    and creating confusion and mistakes. That is the focus of the Dallas defensive
    unit.




    For the Giants, the focus has to be avoiding playing into their hands. The
    Giants do not want to get hasty and frustrated early. This Cowboys defense has
    shown a tendency to loosen up in the second half, particularly their pass
    defense.New York
    needs to take care of the football, avoiding giving the Cowboys early momentum and
    allowing their crowd to get excited off of turnovers in the first half – as it
    may be very difficult to recover from.




    Tony
    Romo
    takes chances with the football, and if the Giants can force the Cowboys to make
    the first mistake in this game, it will go a long way to them walking out of
    Dallas with the win they desperately need.




    THE GIANTS WILL WIN THIS GAME IF…




    They can keep DeMarcoMurray contained and take care of the football on
    offense. Those are the two primary concerns – it's pretty straightforward in
    this game. Control the opposing run game, and don't shoot yourself in the foot
    on offense. That way, the game comes down to which quarterback can make more
    plays in the second half. Tony Romo
    has made a habit of taking poorly calculated risks in close football
    games in which he hasn't been able to lean on a strong rushing attack on the
    early downs. Eli
    Manning
    is the best late-game quarterback in football.




    BIG GAME CANDIDATE – RB Ahmad
    Bradshaw




    I like Bradshaw's prospects in this game. The Cowboys may not give up many
    big runs on the ground, but they do give up 4.2 yards a carry, and Bradshaw had
    a focus and intensity about him last week even in limited playing time that told
    me that he's ready to will this offense to success along with Eli
    Manning
    down the stretch. He's a tough, physical runner that refuses to let
    up – and he could really set the tone in this football game. Look for #44 to get some opportunities on
    some screens and swing passes against this aggressive front as well.




    PREDICTION




    It's a must-win for the Giants. Can they still somehow make the postseason
    with a loss in this game? Sure, but the chances become very slim, and just about
    anything and everything will have to break their way in the final three weeks of
    the season.




    This is it for the Giants. Either their run starts this Sunday, or it's five
    straight losses and a ton of uncertainty going forward for Big Blue.




    I expect the Giants to lay it all on the line on Sunday night. The defensive
    line is a different unit with Pierre-Paul starting and playing more snaps at
    defensive end, more explosive both against the run and a pass rushing unit. The
    offense shows a lot more toughness with Ahmad
    Bradshaw
    in the backfield, and I expect both of these guys to play a huge
    role for the Giants not just in this game, but throughout their run over the
    next four weeks.




    I see the Giants coming out and playing physical, inspired football
    and bringing everything they've got to the Cowboys.




    Giants 27, Cowboys 17"

    NEW YORK GIANTS' VICTOR CRUZ: LOCALLY GROWN AND REPPIN'

    Excerpt: "The New York
    Giants are more well-known for drafting defense. No doubt. Once in a while,
    though, an offensive gem falls their way: Phil Simms, Joe Morris, Mark Bavaro,
    Amani Toomer, Tiki Barber, Eli Manning…and most recently, Hakeem Nicks.


    Then, there’s times when an undrafted free agent from the “mean streets” of
    Paterson, NJ ends up being an all-out Big Blue phenom.




    Victor
    Cruz
    went to Paterson Catholic High School where he played for the Cougars
    -as WR and DB- and recorded 19 touchdowns in his senior year there (they went
    undefeated). Since last year, I’ve spoken to local kids that went to rival
    schools in Lodi (Rams) and Saddle Brook (Falcons). All comments and memories
    seem to be similar: “that kid was fast,” “man, he burned our DB’s,” “he was hard
    to cover,” “we all knew he would go on to be something, but wow”… Some even said
    he was a quiet, but really, super nice guy. For those of you that aren’t
    familiar with the local area of Paterson, in Passaic County, NJ—do some research
    on it. This last tidbit is a compliment to Cruz’ character.




    From Paterson, Cruz went up to Brighton Academy in Maine for a post-graduate
    semester, then to U Mass where he didn’t start until his Junior year, but
    amassed 131 catches (4th all-time in team history), had 1,958 yards (5th in team
    history behind former NY Giant, Brandon London) and 11 touchdowns.




    Fast forward to 2010’s NFL Draft. No draft day story to tell for Victor
    Cruz
    . The now 25 year-old went undrafted. Not much was heard about him,
    except in local Jersey papers when the Giants signed him. Until August 16, 2010
    and a pre-season game vs. New York Jets. Three insanely convincing touchdowns, 145
    yards and burning speed. All of a sudden, Cruz was the topic around the water
    cooler. For weeks.




    Needless to say, he made the 53-man roster, but in very Giants-like luck, was
    placed on IR after only three weeks into the season with a hamstring injury.




    2011: Fast forward again, but this time through the fun that was the NFL Lockout,
    “training camp” and pre-season. Cruz begins the season listed on the depth chart
    as the #4 wideout behind Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Domenik Hixon.
    However, through injuries (shocker), #80 quietly stepped up and confidently grew
    with his quarterback. He remains focused and poised, yet hungry for more. Victor
    Cruz
    (through NFL Week 13) is
    #4 again—in receiving yards in the league. 62 receptions for 1,076 yards and
    seven TDs with four more games to be played.




    So much for the folks who claimed the pre-season Jets game was a one-time
    thing and “just meaningless pre-season highlights.” Hope they’re all watching
    his route-running, his sideline footwork, and his concentration in the huddle.
    There’s probably one more source for intangible information on Victor
    Cruz
    , but he may not want to tell you.




    Right, Nnamdi?"

    BIG BLUE VIEW

    NY GIANTS' NEWS AND NOTES: "LITTLE PAIN" A BIG DEAL FOR STACY ANDREWS

    Excerpt: "Good morning, New York Giants
    fans! I have been scouring the Inter-Google -- and my e-mail -- for
    Giants-related stories of interest for you today. Follow the jump to see what I
    have for you today.




    Here is Giants offensive lineman Stacy Andrews
    describing the pain that finally led him to the Giants training staff, and to
    the diagnosis of blood clots in both lungs.




    "At first it was just a little pain in [my chest] and then my backside, the
    rib area. I thought I had just popped a rib or something like that so I just
    brushed it off. I was like, ‘I'll get a massage, pop it back in Friday.' So I
    just practiced through the pain Friday, which was a lot of pain when I was
    running around on the field. I went out and got in the shower, I coughed up
    blood twice. I still put it off, ‘It's just a rib.' Saturday came, I was feeling
    pretty good, feeling alright. I got into the meeting on Saturday. I was just
    sitting there listening to the coaches talk and give their presentations and
    [the pain] started intensifying. I was like, ‘Something can't be right.' I have
    a high tolerance for pain. That was a pain I couldn't brush off so I guess it
    was the man above saying, ‘Listen, this is something serious.' So I went and
    told Leigh (Weiss) and he called Ronnie (Barnes) over and they were like, ‘We're
    going to get you [to the hospital] and see what's going on,' " Andrews said.




    All I can say is thank goodness the man is going to be OK.




    Giants coach Tom Coughlin has always had a mantas of 'Talk is cheap,
    play the game.' From Monday thru Saturday, though, players can't help but talk.
    They have radio appearances all over the place and beat reporters looking
    comment every day. Here are a couple of comments from Giants players that we
    have not used yet this week.




    "The whole losing streak thing, that's something for the papers," said
    linebacker Mathias
    Kiwanuka
    . "For us in the locker room, we're more focused on the fact that
    all of our goals are still attainable. We still have the opportunity to win
    games, win games in our division and win our division, go into the playoffs and
    win the Super Bowl. That's all we're focused on."

    "I agree with (Antrel Rolle),"
    wide receiver Victor Cruz
    said. "I think the way we played this past Sunday, although we lost, was
    definitely one of the most exciting ways we've played, most aggressive, we put
    it all together, on special teams, on defense. I definitely see us winning these
    last four and getting into the playoffs."




    INSIDE FOOTBALL


    http://www.insidefootball.com/



    GIANTS GAB





    YARDBARKER



    http://www.yardbarker.com/nfl/teams/new_york_giants/56

    SPORTING NEWS

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/stories

    NYG REPORTER


    http://nygreporter.com/


    NFL.COM

    http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG


    YAHOOSPORTS

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl

    FOX SPORTS

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/team/new-york-giants/67056

    NBCSPORTS

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/3032875/ns/sports-nfl

    CBSSPORTS

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/teams/p...ew-york-giants

    SI.COM



    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/foo...ts/?eref=sinav



    ESPN.COM

    GIANTS' SEASON ON LINE VS. COWBOYS

    Excerpt: "When the New
    York Giants
    ' schedule first came out, Justin Tuck figured the two games against the Dallas Cowboys
    in the final month of the season were going to be huge.


    He just didn't think they would matter like this. The Giants (6-6) can win
    the NFC East and end a two-year playoff drought with two wins over the Cowboys
    (7-5) and either a win over the Washington
    Redskins
    or the New York Jets in
    the final four games.




    Tuck has to love that the NFC East crown will come down to beating Dallas.
    The defensive end despises the Cowboys, the star on their helmets and just about
    everything else that goes with the franchise.



    "That will never change," Tuck said after signing autographs at a charity toy
    drive with teammates at Garden State Plaza on Monday. "I just don't like the
    fact that everybody calls them 'America's team.'"




    Tuck hopes that his teammates feel the same way about Dallas. In some ways,
    the Giants-Cowboys rivalry will be recharged after taking a bit of a backseat to
    the Giants' border war with Philadelphia in recent years.




    Now Giants-Cowboys is back on the prime-time stage with everything at stake.
    And the Giants say they must bring that same kind of hate, passion and energy
    they carried into Eagles games in recent years into these final two meetings
    with Dallas.




    "It better be [the same]," safety Antrel Rolle said. "They are in our division, they
    stand in the way of what are trying to get to. We are trying to bring more to
    them than we brought to Philly."



    The Giants have had the upper hand against Dallas recently, winning five of
    the last seven meetings, including their playoff game during the 2007 season.
    They have taken three of the last four in Dallas and have not lost in the new
    Cowboys Stadium since it opened in 2009.




    The Giants may even have a mental hold over the Cowboys, judging by some of
    the comments emerging from Dallas. Cornerback Mike Jenkins called Brandon Jacobs "a bully," and linebacker DeMarcus Ware talked about the Cowboys having to
    regain their manhood against New York.




    "I hate anytime that we play them," Ware told Dallas reporters on Wednesday.
    "It's just not the Giants, because guess what, the team is trying to come in
    here and take your manhood. So it don't matter who you're playing. It's sort of
    like a battle, gladiator against gladiator, who wants it the most."




    When asked whether the Cowboys can get their manhood back against the Giants,
    Ware said, "We've got to figure out how to get that back."




    Jacobs almost sounded astounded when told of the manhood comment.




    "They need to get their manhood back?" Jacobs asked. "[If they] felt like
    they lost it, I don't know what to say about that. I never felt like I lost my
    manhood. I don't care if we lose 16 straight, I am going to have my manhood.
    [Ware] is a great player that we really have to play extra attention to. If he
    felt like he don't have it, I hope he ain't got it this week."




    Despite carrying a four-game losing streak into Dallas, the Giants feel as if
    they regained a good portion of their mojo back after playing undefeated Green
    Bay down to the final seconds of a 38-35 loss
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2
    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

    Thanks Roanoke!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.



      Jernigan to return punts??.....hope he has his **** together!!!!




      thanks for the reads

      "Measure Twice......Cut Once"
      You couldn't be more full of **** if you were break dancing in a Port-a-Potty.......Kruunch

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

        [quote user="Captain Chaos"]Thanks Roanoke![/quote]

        [B]
        “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

          [quote user="GameTime"]

          Jernigan to return punts??.....hope he has his **** together!!!!




          thanks for the reads

          [/quote]

          Every time he goes back there I cringe lol

          Hopefully he's learning from Ross and Webster "CATCH THE BALL" and then whatever happens lol
          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.



            many thanks Roanoke!




            the Giants have a great opportunity to take over 1st in the nfce.




            i hope they can take the boys spirit away before they reach the 2nd qtr.







            Go Giants!

            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

              Usual Kudos Roa

              Youre work is willing, tireless, relentless and not self serving .... we could all take a leaf from you're book buddy.

              Go Giants !!
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

                [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

                many thanks Roanoke!




                the Giants have a great opportunity to take over 1st in the nfce.




                i hope they can take the boys spirit away before they reach the 2nd qtr.







                Go Giants!

                [/quote]

                [Y]
                “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

                  [quote user="britishblue2"]Usual Kudos Roa

                  Youre work is willing, tireless, relentless and not self serving .... we could all take a leaf from you're book buddy.

                  Go Giants !![/quote]

                  [B] [B]
                  “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

                    Thanks RF !
                    " Success is never final, but failure can be " B.P.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

                      [quote user="G-Men Surg."]Thanks RF ![/quote]

                      [B]
                      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

                        Awesome compilation RF. I am now fully prepped to go hammer away at the heavy bag, just to blow off all this extra energy......can't wait for this one to get underway. Go RF, Go Blue!
                        No one remembers who came in second.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2011 - 9:42 A.M.

                          [quote user="jomo"]Awesome compilation RF. I am now fully prepped to go hammer away at the heavy bag, just to blow off all this extra energy......can't wait for this one to get underway. Go RF, Go Blue![/quote]

                          [Y] save some of the energy for the hootin' and hollerin' as we take over 1st place!!
                          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

                          Comment

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