Back Sports Page shares reactions from last night’s Giants-Cowboys game from the coaches and players from the post game media sessions.
BSP will have a full breakdown of the game coming Tuesday. We have interviews and reactions with Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz, and Paul Perkins.
Q. What adjustments did you make at halftime? A. Nothing. Guys just said that we were going to hunker down and just try our best not to get him [Elliott] over a 100 yards. He was able to do that. That’s a credit to him and the offensive line - those guys came out and performed. But guys just went into the second half with a totally different mindset than the first. We knew what we didn’t want to do. It was just a matter of settling down.
Eli Manning :
Q: Coach said that it was a good week of practice that you guys had. What is it about Dallas that gets your game up as well as your teammates?
A: It’s Dallas. It’s in the division. They’re playing great football. They’ve got 11 wins already. You know them well; you know what they’re going to do. A lot of times they do a good job disguising it but you know what you’re going to get. We could have played better, obviously, but the second half we had a couple good drives and outscored them 10-0 in the second half that’s what we needed to win. Our defense played outstanding all day; stopping the run and getting some pressure on Dak and it was just one of those days. It was tough; the field was wet, we were getting some wet balls, a couple balls where there was just enough wetness that it was coming out of your hands funny. It was one of those days where you had to run it a bunch and be patient and hopeful we had a couple good plays.
Q: Can a loss like this get too much attention? Especially the young players they’ve experienced practically nothing but success so far this year?
A: I think the thing we’ve done a really good job so far this year is each week, taking a game and evaluating it. You have to do the same thing when you lose. You have to be able to go in there and evaluate it critically and not be emotional about it other than just say, ‘Hey, here is what has kept us from winning.’ I think our team is going to continue to do that and it was good to win 11 games in a row. We’ve played some really good football. We have to get back. We weren’t ourselves offensively tonight. And we will get started on it tomorrow.
Odell Beckham Jr.:
Q: Things haven’t clicked yet, but you’re 9-4. That’s a silver lining?
A: Yes. Hats off to the defense. They’ve been finding ways to put us in the best positions even if we’re not doing the most. Truly, what an amazing atmosphere and opportunity to play in a game like this. It felt like LSU, Alabama. It was great.
Q: Big picture, how important was this win?
A: I think this was probably our best week of preparation since I've been here. I think we put the pads on, on Thursday, for about 60 percent of the practice, a little bit more than half; it was a very physical practice, we got our pads underneath us. I think that played a big role in the outcome tonight.
Q: How frustrating is it for you guys to get a hundred yards on the ground, have the defense hold the Giants to 10 points, you get a couple turnovers and then you don’t get the win? That was a formula for winning.
A: Yes, 100 percent. It was frustrating to me. It starts with me in the passing game and communicating with the offensive line on protection, getting the ball to those guys out wide. It starts with me, so it’s frustrating.
Q: Dak has been so good this year, is there any thought that he wasn’t having his best night?
A: It’s not his, it’s ours. It wasn’t our best night. We all made mistakes, and we’re going to go back in and fix them. Don’t try to single him out.
Q: Outside of the big play, there were turnovers and sacks. How do you assess the way the defense played?
A: We played pretty well. We still have work to do. It’s never a perfect night. That was a big play in the third quarter. We just have to make adjustments and come back stronger next week.
Q: You guys have had some great defensive performances this season, you did it in the first game and now without JPP. What’s that say about this defense?
A: Oh man, I just think it was really just everybody doing their job and stepping up and playing that much harder. To see JPP on the sideline and before the game, he talked to us and said just go out there and do your job and just play hard, man, and you’re going to come out as victors. So the main thing, that’s what we did.
Q: Was Dak’s performance surprising to you tonight?
A: This is the NFL. You are playing great athletes, you are playing great defenses every week. You are not going to have your best game every week. Today he didn’t have his best game. We have a lot of ball left in us, we still have three games left we really have to focus on going out there and trying to win out the rest of these games, getting home field advantage, getting that bye so we can finish this season the way we want to finish it.
Q: If I told you before the season that in two games, Dez would only have two catches and fumble one of them, what would you say?
A: I would say that we were doing a hell of a good job on defense.
Q: Can you talk about the young guys, Romeo Okwara and Kerry Wynn, and the day they had?
A: We had confidence in them all week. We had confidence in them all week to go out there and be able to perform. Those guys have been ready. All of the young guys have always been ready throughout the week preparation-wise and it showed out there today.
Q: Is that a championship performance from a defense?
A: I’ve been saying it since the beginning of the year. We can be as special as we want to be. We just have to buy in and continue to buy in.
Q: What do you think this can mean going forward here?
A: Well, I think that everything is in front of us. I think that we can be as good as we want to be. As long as we keep our head down and keep grinding away – it is still a long season. We have some games left and I am planning on playing in January. That is the goal right now, to get through December and play in January.
Q: You guys wanted to make them play from behind. Do you think you showed them something by doing that? Dak seemed to have some troubles.
A: No, when you put pressure on the quarterback, that is what happens. He is a great player and knows what he is doing and when you have a tough defense that is in front of you, then you have to pick and choose where you go with the ball.