The Giants are at a crossroads after coming off their worst defeat of the season.
And when accounting for the futile smack talk leading up last week’s 27-0 shellacking by the hated Eagles, and with the suddenly elite Cowboys (5-1) next on the docket, the feeling the Giants should be experiencing is despair.
Safety Antrel Rolle, however, said the team is feeling anything but hopelessness.
“We’re still confident,” said Rolle. “I expect us to go in and play with some pride, play with some dignity ... play for [wideout] Vic [Cruz]. We need to go out and honor this guy. You always try and find a reason to play this game for something bigger than yourself and here’s an opportunity to go out there and play for something extra.”
The popular Cruz suffered a freak tear to his patella tendon in Philadelphia on Sunday and is out for the season. While life goes on for the Giants, Rolle said he thinks using Cruz as a rallying cry should spur them heading into Sunday’s matchup in Dallas.
Strolling into Dallas and doing to the Cowboys what they did to Seattle is a daunting task, though.
“It was tough to swallow,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said about watching the Eagles game film. “Especially with what went down all week with the talking. For them to respond how they did and for us to respond the way we did, just doesn’t sit well with us. But now, we have a chance to redeem ourselves in Dallas.”
The Giants have suddenly fallen two games behind the NFC East leading Eagles and Cowboys. They’ve lost their spiritual offensive leader to injury, had their impressive three-game winning streak ended in humiliating fashion and are facing a red-hot team who would love to further add to their misery.
“As a team, I personally thought we weren’t as focused last Sunday and I did not think we reacted well to adversity during the game,” said head coach Tom Coughlin. “Some of that concept, when we talk about team, has got to develop and grow. So, here we go. Another challenge lies ahead. Time to get back to work and prepare for a very talented Dallas Cowboys team.”
Big Blue notes ...
»Linebacker Jon Beason (toe) and punter Steve Weatherford (ankle) both fully practiced on Wednesday.Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back/hamstring) did not practice.Linebacker Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) was limited.
»Rashad Jennings (knee) has already been ruled out for the game. Coughlin said he hopes his running back can return after the Week 8 bye.
»Rookie wideout Odell Beckham Jr. has slid into the starting lineup, sans Cruz. The last time he and former LSU teammate Rueben Randle started a game together was in college during the 2011 season.
»Coughlin noted the entire team and staff have “been briefed” about the Ebola scare in preparation for their trip to Dallas, where a man died from the virus last week and two nurses who treated him have tested positive.
»Cruz briefly visited the facility’s training room on Wednesday, but did not attend practice or visit with his teammates. He was seen on crutches exiting the building. The wideout, through the team’s public relations staff, declined to speak publicly to the media. He declared that he’ll likely speak later this week or next.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.