Eli Manning is focused on football, not the locker room banter.Getty Images

Eli Manning hasn’t had the chance to talk with Victor Cruz yet but that likely is because there’s a little game on Sunday in primetime before a national audience that he needs to take begin getting ready for.

Earlier this week, Cruz made it clear that he wasn’t happy following Sunday’s loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game where the New York Giants wide receiver didn’t register a catch. The entire offense outside of fellow wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. struggled in the loss, something they will need to rectify this weekend at MetLife Stadium against the 11-1 Cowboys.

The Giants at 8-4 now have the extra impetus to get the win following the Steelers game. A loss would make things far more difficult for the Giants to make the playoffs, essentially meaning that they would need to win two of their final three games to get in. All three of their final opponents following the Dallas game have legitimate playoff hopes.

Not that the Giants need any extra impetus on Sunday against their divisional rival and the team with the best record in football. This game always holds meaning for both teams.


“It’s Dallas week. A big game for us. They’re obviously playing great football. They haven’t lost since the first game. I think I remember who beat them that game,” quarterback Eli Manning said on Wednesday. “It’s a big week. We have to have great preparation. It’s going to be a great environment on Sunday night.”

The Giants of course beat the Cowboys in Week 1, handing their rival their only loss of the season.

In that game, the Giants didn’t necessarily perform well on offense but they limited turnovers and were able to play field position. That’s something they struggled with on Sunday and now their offense limps into this game unable to run the ball effectively and with issues in pass protection and the wide receivers having consistency issues, things aren’t good. Other than that, things are real good.

And with Beckham putting up big numbers (10 receptions, 100 yards) like he did on Sunday, sometimes players like Cruz or Sterling Shepard, who wasn’t targeted the week before, will have dry spells.

“That’s always the case. When you have good receivers and a lot of playmakers, some weeks you’re going to get targeted more than others. It’s not necessarily because of the game plan,” Manning said. “It’s just what other teams are doing, what they’re playing and how the game unfolds. Again, Victor has made big plays for us this year. We have to make sure he continues to do that. He’s expecting the ball and we have to get the ball in his hands some.”

The Giants quarterback apologized to Shepard last week following the game with no targets. He said he hasn’t spoken with Cruz yet.

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