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  • Mon., Nov. 03, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST Live Big Blue Kickoff Live

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Giants focus on keeping Romo in pocket

Posted Dec 30, 2011

Big Blue defense is putting a premium on keeping Cowboys shifty quarterback in the pocket.


Picture yourself in Tony Romo’s helmet for a minute, if you will. Don’t begin the self-loathing, yet, Giants fans; there’s a point to this exercise.


You drop back for a pass under the lights on Sunday night. You look left over your tackle and guard who are four inches taller than you. You look to your right over your other two linemen three inches taller than you. And finally you scan the middle over the center who is roughly your 6-foot-2 height only to see Linval Joseph and Chris Canty rushing at you.


You’ve just fallen into the Giants’ game plan.


Romo posted a 141.3 passer rating against the Giants in their first meeting (the fourth-highest of his nine-year career) while hooking up for four touchdowns and zero interceptions.


Two of his touchdown throws came when he was on the go. The first was a tight end screen where he rolled right and threw left to John Phillips, and the second was a naked bootleg to the right off a play action to Laurent Robinson.


With that evidence,
the Big Blue defense is putting a premium on keeping the shifty quarterback in the pocket.


“You just got to be aware of it,” Justin Tuck said. “I think the reason why you want to keep him in is he’s not as tall, and he has big, tall offensive linemen. It makes it a little bit more difficult for him to see down the field when he’s in the pocket. It is difficult, though.”


Coughlin spoke to the same thing on Thursday.


“He’s dangerous because he extends the play,” he said. “You can’t allow him to do that. When he does extend it, as he did a couple of times on us in Dallas, he makes big plays. He’s probably not running as much as he once did, but he is running enough to get the ball down the field. He sees things very well. You just have to do something about trying to force him to step up in there rather than get to the outside. He can get to the outside to his left as well as to his right.”


Tuck went on to call him “crafty” and said Romo will bait defensive ends like himself to rush in as he spins to the outside, especially his right.


The defensive ends get a lot of notoriety on the Giants – and rightfully so – but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said it will boil down to the interior pressure.


“We talk about the ends a lot,” Fewell said to the media on Thursday. “I think our tackles are really the key – the guys like Chris Canty and Linval Joseph getting that push in the middle. I think that’s really the key. And then for us not just running up the field on the guy so that we create running lanes for him because he is a good scrambler also. But I think the inside push is really what we need.”


That’s where the Giants gained a slight advantage on the Cowboys in terms of continuity. Dallas lost its starting left guard Montrae Holland last week with a torn biceps muscle. He will likely be replaced by a big, savvy veteran in Derrick Dockery, who has been taking snaps with the first team this week.


That (and more) is the reason Fewell is planning on having a “more cohesive product” this time around.


“I think the Cowboys are a very talented football team,” he continued. “They can buy time because they can block. Romo can scramble and they can do a lot of things to hurt you and break down your coverages. I think that we’re playing better than we’ve played and I think our guys feel a lot more confident in the things that we’re doing.”


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