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NFC Divisional Round: Giants @ Cowboys, 4:30 pm, FOX
12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 5:27AM #1
Harrisson
Posts: 0



DIVISIONAL ROUND: GIANTS AT COWBOYS


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ⁈“ Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce has come up with a description for Sunday⁈⁚s NFC Divisional Playoff Game that the FOX Sports Network might want to use to promote its telecast.




LB Antonio Pierce and the rest of the giants like the role of being an underdog.


⁈Å"It is like an All-Pro team versus an All-Joe team,⁈  Pierce said.


For the uninitiated, that⁈⁚s the Dallas Cowboys against the Giants Sunday in Texas Stadium with a berth in the NFC Championship Game on the line. And as Pierce suggested, the home team will take the field with plenty of star power. The Cowboys had 12 players selected to next month⁈⁚s Pro Bowl, or 12 more than the entire four-team NFC South had. That includes seven starters, five on offense. Dallas went 13-3 in winning the NFC East title and earning the first-round bye they enjoyed last week. The Cowboys scored 455 points, second in the NFL to the undefeated New England Patriots, and their defense was ranked ninth in the league.


The Giants? Well, they have one Pro Bowler, defensive end Osi Umenyiora. They finished 10-6 and earned a Wild Card berth. Two of the losses were to the Cowboys, who scored a combined 76 points in those games (45-35 on Sept. 9 and 31-20 on Nov. 11). For the season, the Giants scored 82 fewer points and allowed 26 more.


⁈Å"All-Pros against the All-Joes?⁈  Michael Strahan said. ⁈Å"Yeah, their whole team is All-Pros and Pro Bowlers and all that stuff going against us slapsticks. It should be interesting. If we are lucky, maybe we will have a chance.⁈ 


Actually, the Giants think they have a very good chance to win the game. And they⁈⁚re happy that few people outside their locker room agree with them. This team has become increasingly comfortable in an underdog role, so much so that they can joke about it.


⁈Å"Everybody just talks about how we are the most unimpressive team in the playoffs,⁈  tackle David Diehl said. ⁈Å"It doesn⁈⁚t matter what happens, what people say about us. It matters how we go out there and perform when we play. That is the thing that matters.⁈ 


⁈Å"We are just trying to cover the spread against the All-Pro team,⁈  Pierce said. ⁈Å"They have seven Pro Bowlers on offense. You can go across the roster and find a Pro Bowler. That is interesting. That is kind of unique in a sense. So I don⁈⁚t know what the spread is, but we are trying to cover it and trying to treat this like the New England week. To be honest, they have more pressure on them than we do. We are just the 10-6 Giants against the number one seed Cowboys, who are going to win the Super Bowl.⁈ 


Not if the Giants can help it. And despite the relative shortage of Pro Bowlers and the fact that they finished three games behind the Cowboys, the Giants think they have a lot going for them entering this game. First and foremost, they are playing well. The Giants have scored 97 points while winning two of their last three games. The only loss in that span was to the Patriots. Last week, the Giants overcame a slow start to defeat the Buccaneers, 24-14, in Tampa in a Wild Card Game.


⁈Å"We feel good about where we are right now,⁈  quarterback Eli Manning said. ⁈Å"We have been able to play decent football the last couple of weeks. But it still makes it a tough contest. Dallas is a good team, they have a lot of good players, and I am sure they are feeling good, also. You can look back at the other two games and learn from them, but it doesn⁈⁚t mean anything. This is a whole new game, a whole new situation, and that is what we are looking forward to. It should be a good game.⁈ 


⁈Å"I certainly am confident,⁈  Coach Tom Coughlin said. ⁈Å"That is why we are playing the game. We have some work to do based on the two games that we played against them, there isn⁈⁚t any doubt about that.⁈ 


Something the Giants do not want to change is their success on the road. They are 8-1 away from home and haven⁈⁚t lost since opening night in Dallas, more than four months ago. The Giants are the first team in history to enter a road divisional game with an 8-1 road record. They can set an NFL single-season record with their ninth consecutive road victory. The Giants are also 4-4 in their last eight games in Texas Stadium, a loud, hostile environment where they are treated as Public Enemy No. 1.


⁈Å"What is better than when you go into somebody else⁈⁚s place and they are booing you, and of course we are picked to lose by seven points, in a divisional playoff game?⁈  Pierce said. ⁈Å"Why wouldn⁈⁚t you be edgy, why wouldn⁈⁚t you be a little ticked off? You smile all week and you go and play the game on Sunday.⁈ 


⁈Å"We love playing there, we love going to Dallas,⁈  Manning said. ⁈Å"There are no secrets between the teams. It⁈⁚s a tough challenge against Dallas, we know that. We played them two times. Maybe the third will be a charm.⁈ 


This matchup was a long time in coming. The Giants and Cowboys share the NFL record of 29 postseason appearances, but they have never met in a playoff game. They have played each other 91 times in the regular season, with Dallas holding a 54-35-2 advantage, including victories in the last three games.


Because of their twice-yearly get-togethers, the teams have few secrets between them.


⁈Å"We do know each other well, obviously,⁈  Coughlin said. ⁈Å"With the exception of the newcomers that have come along, we do know each other very well. And so therefore, there is more familiarity, but it is hardly ever that way other than the fact that going in you have had a chance to look at each other on film. When you get there you have the great competitiveness between the two teams and then you have got whatever has been prepared to try to throw the other guy off based on a season⁈⁚s worth of tendencies. So the familiarity just goes so far.⁈ 


⁈Å"Anytime you play the Cowboys it is a big game,⁈  Manning said. ⁈Å"Since I have been here, they have all been exciting games and are all easy to get fired-up for and the fans are the same way. To have an opportunity to play them in the playoffs, a team that we know very well and they know us, it is exciting. This is fun. Everybody is thrilled to be in this situation, to be in the playoffs, and playing a divisional rival. But we want to keep it going.⁈ 


Dallas, meanwhile, would like to engineer a couple of reversals. The Cowboys have lost their last five postseason games ⁈“ including a Wild Card Game last season in Seattle ⁈“ since a first-round victory in 1996. More importantly, Dallas did not play its best football after clinching the NFC East, losing two of their last three games to division rivals Philadelphia and Washington while scoring six points in each game (though their starters did not play the entire game in the finale against the Redskins). Both sides dismissed any talk that the Cowboys are struggling.


⁈Å"I wouldn⁈⁚t use that word at all,⁈  Coughlin said. ⁈Å"There is not a lot of struggle in some of what I saw of late. I don⁈⁚t think 405 yards at Carolina is any indication of a struggle. I think the Philadelphia-Dallas game is a battle in the NFC East and you have to leave it at that. You know how strong Philadelphia was at the end of the year, so I wouldn⁈⁚t use that word anywhere near this game. They are extremely explosive and productive and they have had the extra week.⁈ 


⁈Å"We may have lost a couple of games at the end, but we feel good about ourselves and we feel good about our team,⁈  Dallas Coach Wade Phillips said. ⁈Å"I know the Giants are playing well. We expect them to play well. They are a good football team. Our division was the toughest in the NFC. Two of the four teams are now in the final four and there was a thought that there might be even three of them. We expect them to play well. They have played well all year.⁈ 


And they somehow did it with 11 fewer Pro Bowlers than their opponent.


⁈Å"Yeah, I think it does (bother the players),⁈  Umenyiora said. ⁈Å"And to be honest with you, it should. Because I⁈⁚m not sure that they have that many better players than we do. But that is the way the cards fell this year. So we can⁈⁚t really concern ourselves with that.⁈ 


Instead, they will focus on beating the Cowboys where it counts most: on the scoreboard in a postseason game.


⁈Å"Even though we lost two tough games with Dallas, we feel that if we go down and play our best football, we can give ourselves a chance to win by not hurting ourselves,⁈  wide receiver Plaxico Burress said. ⁈Å"We know that we can go out and compete with these guys. We know that going into this game it is going to be a good, tough, physical game; our third time playing them. We know them really well. They know us really well. This is basically going to come down to the team that doesn⁈⁚t make any mistakes and the team that is more physical.⁈ 


⁈Å"I am looking forward to going out and playing Dallas,⁈  running back Brandon Jacobs said. ⁈Å"This is exactly the scenario that I wanted, to be perfectly honest with you. We know that Dallas is a good football team. We know what they like to do. We know what kind of defense that they run. We are familiar with all of their players and what they like to do, and vice versa. Those guys know us and know what we like to do. It is just a matter of who can execute the best.⁈ 

NOTES


*In addition to his customary attention to detail and laser-like focus, Coughlin has reminded his players to enjoy the moment.


⁈Å"(I want them) to realize the situation that they are in, to be excited about it, to have fun with it,⁈  Coughlin said. ⁈Å"Certainly to realize how serious the situation is at this time of the year, but you know to have fun with it, to go with it. To be at your best, to be able to recognize the opportunity that you have, and to allow yourself to be the very best that you can be.⁈ 

*Cornerback Kevin Dockery (hip flexor) has been declared out of the game. Another cornerback, Sam Madison, is doubtful. ⁈Å"Sam did not do anything today,⁈  Coughlin said. ⁈Å"He worked on the side, felt a little bit better, but did not really do anything in practice.⁈ 


Wide receiver Plaxico Burress (ankle) is questionable.


Center Shaun O⁈⁚Hara, who missed last week⁈⁚s game with a knee injury, is probable. ⁈Å"He seemed to do well,⁈  Coughlin said. ⁈Å"He got better every day, stronger.⁈  Tackle Kareem McKenzie (ankle) and tight end Kevin Boss, who returned to work after a one-day illness, practiced fully and are also probable.


*The Cowboys list only three players on their injury report. Terrell Owens, he of the 15 touchdown receptions, including four against the Giants, is questionable after participating in practice on a limited basis. Center Andre Gurode (knee) and wide receiver Terry Glenn (knee) participated fully in practice and are probable. Glenn⁈⁚s entire regular season was about 15 plays in the season finale at Washington. He did not catch a pass, but the 12-year veteran⁈⁚s career totals are 593 receptions for 8,823 yards and 44 touchdowns.

12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 5:28AM #2
Harrisson
Posts: 0

How 'bout a little warm up for tonight's game (well...almost tonight's..).?


http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/matchup?game_id=29523&displayPage=tab_matchup&season=2007&week=POST19

12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 5:37AM #3
Bassel
Posts: 0
LET's GO GIANTS!!!
12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 5:38AM #4
Harrisson
Posts: 0

image of a large question mark

12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 5:42AM #5
Harrisson
Posts: 0
12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 5:54AM #6
Harrisson
Posts: 0

Let me just set this up now so I don't have to go through all this tomorrow.


NEW YORK GIANTS (-- TOs, -- CHAs)

--

DALLAS COWBOYS (-- TOs, -- CHAs)

--


SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 2008, 4:30 PM, FOX


NFC DIVISIONAL ROUND

12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 3:16PM #7
MyYESNetwork
Posts: 0

Sunday, January 13

12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 4:04PM #8
MyYESNetwork
Posts: 0
LETS GO GIANTS! BEAT THE COWBOYS-

MY PREDICTION GIANTS 27. COWBOYS 23! thats 2 TD and 3 fgs for the cowgirls!
12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 6:14PM #9
traceyny07
Posts: 298

Im NERVOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


i live with a cowgirls fan (i know its just not right...) ;( lol


so yeah.... despite this being a lose-lose situation for me personally...... GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!



Mission #27 accomplished! Let's go Yankees! Clap clap clap clap clap!

12 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2008 - 6:38PM #10
MyYESNetwork
Posts: 0

Go Giants, give us a win today !!!


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