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Keyshawn Johnson admits the Giants are better than the Cowboys......

Tom [Giants fan]

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Giants relishing second shot at Cowboys



December 1, 2005

The Giants have to be at their best on Sunday, with first place in the NFC East and an easier path to the postseason on the line when the Cowboys come calling.

For an example of their worst, the Giants need only view the tape of their first encounter with Dallas.

That was on Oct. 16 at Texas Stadium, when Eli Manning and the Giants' notoriously late-starting offense got its latest start of the season, sputtering to life for a touchdown with 19 seconds left in regulation in the 16-13 overtime loss. It was the only game among the Giants' 11 this season in which they scored fewer than 21 points. They totaled 11 first downs and only 270 yards of offense, with four turnovers.

"Without a doubt, they haven't seen our best," guard David Diehl said. "We didn't start to get rolling until the third quarter in that game. We managed to give ourselves a chance to win, but you can't do that."

"Unfortunately, that's been an MO for us this season. We're only scoring when we have to score," said Tiki Barber, who had 64 yards on 14 carries in that game. "When we have to, we do it. But it should never come to that. We should be able to play with a sense of urgency and consistency that allows these games not to come down to the last two minutes of every one."

That's not the only reason the Giants were so ineffective against the Cowboys' defense seven weeks ago. There were three fumbles and an interception, with three of the turnovers committed from the Cowboys' 21 or closer. And the Giants failed to capitalize on four Cowboys fumbles, including three in the first half that the Giants turned into only six points.

"It kind of seemed like they were one step ahead of us the whole game," said wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who had one of the Giants' fumbles. "It just seemed like we couldn't catch them off guard. They're not a pressure defense, not a big blitzing team, they just try to surprise you."

If that game started a trend on offense, with Manning and company beginning their coach-annoying penchant for getting in sync after the first half ends, it also was a game that energized the defense. True, there were still piles of yards (385) and first downs (25) surrendered, but the unit has allowed only seven touchdowns in six games since -- five of those in the last two weeks.

"We're more confident," linebacker Antonio Pierce said. "We're dictators now. We weren't dictating to other teams back then."

Penalties were not the biggest issue in that first Cowboys game, but they are at the forefront now. Diehl, who was whistled for three false starts and one holding penalty in Sunday's overtime loss in Seattle, made a pronouncement yesterday.

"I personally can guarantee that I'll never do that again, that I'll never hurt my team that way again," he said.

Diehl also had a suggestion for Sunday's game planners, Tom Coughlin and offensive coordinator John Hufnagel: run the ball. Barber had his fourth 100-plus yard game in Seattle, with 151 yards on 26 carries, but Manning threw a season-high 53 passes, making it the second game of the past three in which pass plays have outnumbered run plays by at least 19.

They lost both games. Against the Cowboys, the Giants had just 52 offensive plays, and only 19 rushes.

"We definitely want to run more so we can open up the pass and help out Eli," Diehl said. "It's something we have to do."

For all their flaws from the first meeting, the Giants have an edge -- at least according to one key Cowboy.

"They are better than us right now," Keyshawn Johnson said. "If you look at the teams they've beaten, the way they've played, they're better."


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lol man thats not what keyshawn really thinks. Just trying to fire up the troops maybe get the giants a little confident. Why would keyshawn give them anything more to be fired up about right before the biggest game of the season so far for the cowboys and giants?

This is probably a toss up game both teams have a good chance to win it. Whoever commits the fewest turnovers is going to win.

My predicition: Cowboys 24 Giants 17

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