Corey Webster was conspicuous today by his absence – from the Giants' injury report.
The team's eighth-year cornerback has been on the list every week since breaking his hand in a victory at Carolina on Sept. 20. He later developed a sore hamstring that forced him to sit out some practices. But he never missed a game and is fourth on the team with 27 tackles (25 solo).
At times, however, Webster seemed to lack some of the speed that made him a nuisance to so many of the NFL's top wide receivers.
"Hopefully," coach Tom Coughlin said, "he's well enough to change that opinion."
Webster refused to admit the hamstring affected his performance.
"We make no excuses," Webster said. "We always just go out there and try to get better every week. We don't point to injuries. Once we're out there, we're 110 percent playing. So we don't let it bother us. We just try to get healthy during the week and hopefully we can keep on doing that so we can be a better team at the end of the day."
Webster said his hand has also improved, which has helped him play at a higher level.
"I did it with the broken hand, with the cast on," Webster said. "Now the cast is off, so it's much better.
*Five Giants did not practice today, when the Giants began preparing for their game Sunday in Dallas: center David Baas (ankle), defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and linebacker Jacquian Williams (knee).
Coughlin is hopeful Bradshaw will practice tomorrow. He worked just once last week because of his foot injury. Coughlin said he wants to avoid the situation that existed in the past, when Bradshaw's foot and ankle injuries limited him to one practice per week.
"This is the second week and he clenches his teeth and goes and does it," Coughlin said. "But the fact of the matter is if we have to adjust, then we will adjust."
*With Baas sidelined, Kevin Boothe played center, which was unusual only because of the timing.
"I usually take some (snaps) every practice," Boothe said. "I guess today I took it first rather than second; nothing too crazy, nothing too out of the ordinary.
"We do it all the time in practice. We move around to different positions, so if need be, I think a lot of guys can move positions if they have to. So we'll see what happens, but it's just that I did center first today rather than second. Usually, we use multiple combinations in practice."
Boothe said he's "sure" Baas will play against the Cowboys.
"I haven't talked to him yet, but Dave is fine," Boothe said. "He's old, so he needed a day off."
*Defensive tackle Chris Canty played about 25 snaps in his season debut in last week's victory over Washington. He had been on the reserve/physically unable to perform list recuperating from knee surgery. Canty had no setbacks.
"He came out fine," Coughlin said.
Coughlin said he expects Canty to have "a little bit" larger role against the Cowboys. But he lauded the veteran's four-tackle performance against Washington.
"Let's face it, it's the first time," Coughlin said. "He had no previous scrimmage work at all, and did well and took care of himself. I thought he's a big plus and this will extend that plus even greater."
Asked if he's ready to assume a larger role, Canty said, "I'm at the mercy of the coaches. They're monitoring my progress through practice and they'll judge it themselves accordingly."
Canty was not in uniform when Dallas defeated the Giants on opening night.
"I'm looking forward to being a part of it," Canty said. "It was tough for me to sit back and watch the first game of the season versus a division rival, but now I get an opportunity to be a part of this, having a chance to face my old football team. This is another big division game for us. As coach said, once you win a big game, the games after that just become bigger. So this is another big game for our football team."