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Coughlin offered a slightly different time frame.
“It’s not going to be game time,” he said. “We’ll make up our minds before that. The medical people will have more to say about that, I’m sure.”
The coach did confirm that Pierre-Paul will be on the plane to Dallas.
“So he can get in my ear longer,” Coughlin said. “I’d hate to be that far away from him; then he’d have to call me on the phone.”
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Also listed as questionable on the injury report are defensive end Damontre Moore (shoulder) and fullback Henry Hynoski (knee). Wide receiver Victor Cruz (heel) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (ankle) are probable.
Three players have been declared out: tackle David Diehl (thumb), center David Baas (knee) and tight end Adrien Robinson (foot).
Pierre-Paul, the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end, has work tirelessly to rehabilitate his back since undergoing surgery to repair a herniated disk on June 4. He was taken off the physically unable to perform list and began practicing on Aug. 26 and has gradually increased his workload.
“It’s not like a real game situation,” Pierre-Paul said. “I’m facing our players and we’re going against Dallas this week. It’s different when you’re going against your teammates and you know when to lay off on him or going against another player. We’ll see.
Because he missed training camp, Pierre-Paul is not in top shape.
“My conditioning is still down, man,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get it up and that’s a big part, too, so I’m not going to put my team in jeopardy if I know I can’t play.”
Cruz, who suffered a heel contusion in a preseason game vs. Indianapolis on Aug. 18, is more optimistic about being on the field in AT&T Stadium. He wants to run some pass routes on artificial turf before the game, which he can do in the Quest Diagnostics Training Center field house.
“I’ll probably get just a couple routes on it tomorrow, nothing too crazy,” Cruz said. “But I’m confident. I feel good, I feel like I’m in shape, I feel like the heel is much better. I’m not leaning or favoring the other leg or anything like that so it feels good. I’m anxious to go out there and see what I can do on game day.”
Cruz said he needed to get final clearance from the team’s medical staff, but didn’t expect that to be an issue.
“I’ve been practicing full-go,” he said. “I’ve been limited in certain areas, but I’ve been pretty much practicing in getting my footing down and cutting and things like that and everything feels pretty normal. I just want the doctors to give one last look at it and tell me what they think and then we’ll go from there.”
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Hynoski underwent knee surgery in May and came off the PUP list on Aug. 22. He missed the entire preseason, but is eager to play in Dallas.
“I feel good,” he said. “Everything’s going well. I had a great week. Every day, I feel more comfortable out there. No issues with pain or any setbacks as far as that’s concerned.”
*The Cowboys said three players will not play Sunday night: defensive end Ben Bass (shoulder), running back Lance Dunbar (foot) and safety Danny McCray (hamstring). Defensive end Anthony Spencer (knee) is doubtful.