The Dallas Cowboys have themselves a new defensive coordinator and a new 4-3 defensive look. Their first challenge will come against the Eli Manning-led New York Giants this Sunday night. And, as you might expect, Easy-E — who is 4-0 in Dallas since the opening or Jerry World — is looking forward to the start of the season and the excitement that comes with playing their No. 1 NFC East rivals.
"You know, it’s hard not to be excited about it," Manning said on Monday. "Obviously they’re a very good team with a new defensive coordinator, new defensive scheme, but they still have a lot of good players so we have to go in there and play our best football and see what they’re going to do defensively. I’m sure they’re going to have a few wrinkles that they haven’t shown in preseason but we should be able to adapt to whatever they throw at us and be prepared and go out there and play well."
Despite the success Big Blue has had at the newly named AT&T Stadium, Manning knows each game is unique and that the past doesn't just repeat itself without hard work.
"They’re still very talented on defense," Manning added. "You have DeMarcus Ware, you have Hatcher, you have two good corners. They’ve got talented players on their defense, their scheme will be very sound and let their athletes run. We’ve got to go back and look at some old film, some old Tampa stuff, some USC stuff, we have a lot of different film to look at."
The one downside to opening the season on the road against a divisional rival is that Big Blue may have to do it shorthanded. Although they returned to practice on Monday, the status of both wide receiver Victor Cruz and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul remains up in the air. The same can be said for fullback Henry Hynoski and center David Baas.
Meanwhile, tight end Adrien Robinson, running back Andre Brown and offensive lineman David Diehl will not play. However, it's a relatively safe bet that one of them end up with a temp IR designation, allowing the Giants to bring in an additional healthy body.
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