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5 things we learned at Giants practice (12/7)

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**Giants.com's Dan Salomone highlights five takeaways from the latest team practice and media hour:

**1. JPP OUT


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Just as the pass rush was heating, Jason Pierre-Paul underwent surgery this morning for a core muscle injury that he suffered in last week's loss to Pittsburgh. The veteran defensive end was the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week at the time, having recorded a career-high three sacks against the Browns. Since Week 6, the Giants are tied with the Panthers for first in the NFL with 23 sacks.

"We're just going to support JPP any way we can," coach Ben McAdoo said Wednesday afternoon. "The sooner he gets back and whenever he can make it back, the better. We'll support him in any way that we can. Whenever he gets back, we'll be ready for him."

When asked whether JPP will be placed on injured reserve, McAdoo added, "Too early to tell. We're going to monitor. He just got out of surgery a little while ago. We'll see how he feels and how he progresses."

2. REPLACEMENT OPTIONS

After Pierre-Paul (809 snaps) and Olivier Vernon (792), the following defensive ends have seen the most action on the roster this season: undrafted rookie Romeo Okwara (181), Owa Odighizuwa (121) and Kerry Wynn (86). McAdoo said it will be "all hands on deck" to fill Pierre-Paul's void, which includes seven sacks, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery that he returned 43 yards for a touchdown.

"Romeo is a young, conscientious player," McAdoo said. "He's worked hard to get where he is. He has good pedigree coming out of a good school (Notre Dame). He's learned the techniques that are required to play the position."

3. GIANTS HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN COWBOYS' ONLY LOSS

Everyone outside of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center may have forgotten the only team to beat Dallas this season, but the people inside it have not. The Giants defeated the Cowboys, 20-19, in the season opener at AT&T Stadium. Since then, the NFC East rival won 11 in a row and has a chance to seal the division title with a win on Sunday night.

"We've got to play our best game this week," linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Casillas said. "They do have one loss, so let's not forget that. Everybody is talking about how good Dallas is and they're the best team in the league. You've got to give them the credit, which the credit is due. But they have one loss, just in case anybody forgot about that."

4. GAP CONTROL KEY VS. ZEKE

A week after Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell racked up 182 yards from scrimmage against the Giants, the NFL's leading rusher by a 242-yard margin comes to MetLife Stadium in Week 14. Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has run for 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with 28 receptions for 322 yards, including an 83-yard touchdown against the Steelers in Week 10. His lowest output of the season was 51 yards on 20 carries against the Giants in his NFL debut.

"I just think that everyone was aggressive and we followed the game plan," defensive tackle Damon Harrison said. "Everybody stayed in their gaps, everybody played their assignments, so if you do something like that, then you will have some success."

5. PUGH CLOSE TO RETURN; INJURY REPORT

Left guard Justin Pugh, who has missed the last four games with a knee injury, said he's close to returning to game action but will have a better idea after Thursday's practice, where players are expected to be in pads.

"It has been miserable," Pugh said. "I obviously want to get back out there and I tried to get back out there and ended up pushing myself further back than I wanted to. And it is probably my fault that I am further behind than I want to be because I tried to push to get back out there. So that has been the hardest part, learning to make sure that I am listening to the doctors, listening to my body and that is something that I am definitely going to learn from."

Meanwhile, safety Nat Berhe (concussion), defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (quadriceps) and wide receiver Dwayne Harris (ankle) did not participate in practice. Linebacker Mark Herzlich (concussion), defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (knee) and cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (ribs) were limited.

In Dallas, cornerbacks Morris Claiborne (groin) and Orlando Scandrick (foot/not injury related), offensive tackle Chaz Green (back) and safety J.J. Wilcox (thigh) did not practice. Linebacker Justin Durant (hamstring), offensive tackle Tyron Smith (back), and defensive ends Jack Crawford (foot) and DeMarcus Lawrence (back) were limited. Safety Barry Church (forearm) was full-go.

Photos from the all-time series between the Giants and Cowboys

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