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Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett on Giants


Q: Do you have an update on Tony Romo?

A: Tony was limited in practice. He still has swelling in his hand. He was able to grip the ball and throw it a little bit. He was limited and didn't take all the reps that he would normally take.  Q: Do you know if he will be able to play on Sunday?

A: I think he is making progress and we will see how he will respond to the work he got today. We hope that he will get more and more as the week progresses and be ready to play in the game. We will see.

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Q: How much similarity do you expect to see from the Giants compared to when you played them a few weeks ago?

A: I think teams are who they are from a personnel standpoint and from a scheme standpoint but every week, there are some differences in terms of game planning and those sorts of things. Certainly when you play a team twice a year like you do your divisional opponents there is a lot of familiarity you have with each other and then there are some wrinkles that each team tries to provide in each area of their team. It is not unlike playing a team a second time every year, it just seems like it is a little bit closer. I think they are the same issues.

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Q: If Osi is back, what does that do in terms of you protecting Tony?

A: He is a great football player obviously and they have a number of defensive linemen who do a good job of pressuring the quarterback and defending the run. He is a part of that group and been a really good football player for a long time. Like the rest of those guys on their defensive front, we have to make sure that we run the ball well and that we protect well. He just adds to the challenge.

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Q: What challenges does the Giants passing offense create for your defense?

A: They are very good on offense and a very good passing offense. I think it starts with the guys up front and the quarterback has a lot to do with it and they have a number of playmakers outside. They do a really good job with their scheme doing a really good job of making plays down the field. Like it is every week, you are going to get challenges in a lot of different areas and that is one of their areas of strength. Every week you try to pressure the quarterback and every week you try to cover the guys on the back end and that will be one of our challenges this week going up against these guys. Q: How would you describe Hakeem Nicks?

A: I think he has great hands and I think physically, he has very large hands. He is able to make a lot of catches and seems like a guy who makes a lot of plays for them both underneath and down the field. I would say he catches the ball really well and is one of the best receivers in the league and a big challenge for us this week.

Q: What is the atmosphere around the team with this win-and-in game this week?

A: We are excited about the opportunity. There are a lot of teams that aren't in the position that we are in. We played 15 weeks of football and got ourselves in the position to play for the NFC East title in the last game of the season against the Giants. That is an exciting thing for our football team. We have worked very hard to get here in this position, just like the Giants have. We are excited to go up there and see how we stack up. It will be a great challenge and they are a very good football team. We are excited about the chance to go do it.

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Q: What is Felix Jones' status?

A: Felix was limited in practice today but we are hopeful that he can continue to progress as the week goes on. He did some work but didn't do his normal number of reps but we will monitor that as the week progress and hope that he will be ready for the game.

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Q: What is it like to work for Jerry Jones?

A: I think it is great and I think he is one of the great owners in the league. I think there is a tremendous amount of evidence that shows that. He wants to win and whenever you have an owner that wants to win, whether you're a coach, player or anybody working for him, that is an exciting opportunity. He is very committed to winning and will do everything necessary to help us and that is a great feeling to have when we come to work. Our relationship has been outstanding for a lot of years and different capacities. I am excited about the opportunity to be his head coach.

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Q: What does the game against the Giants say about Felix Jones?

A: He has been a good player for us. If you guys have followed our team, he has been a dynamic player not only in the running game but also the passing game for us over the last three or so years. He got banged up earlier in the year and that gave DeMarco Murray a chance to play and he played really well. Felix did a good job of coming back and understanding the complimentary role he was going to play when DeMarco was the more featured back. He did a nice job in that role, a role that he had in the past. It didn't surprise any of us that have been around him that when DeMarco got injured in the game, Felix just stepped up and was able to handle the bigger burden because he showed up for that game just like he has in the past.

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Q: Why has the Giants offense struggled in the past two weeks?

A: I just think those were two good defenses. We played both those teams and they play very good defense. They have a very good front and they do a good job in the back end on coverage. They challenge you in a lot of different ways. Having played Washington twice and having played the Jets early in the year, we know the challenges they present. The Giants are an outstanding offense and we understand what we are going up against going up there on Sunday night.

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Q: Do you look at Eli Manning as an elite quarterback?

A: Absolutely, he is. I think individually, he has proven that and as the leader of that team he has proven that. He is an outstanding player and they do an outstanding job on offense. We understand the challenges he presents and that whole offensive team presents.

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Q: How do you plan on defending Jason Pierre-Paul?

A: He is just a really good player. He is a big guy and he is very long. He is explosive and quick. He has a playmaker's mentality and you see that when he plays the run and when he is rushing the passer. Again, it showed up in the kicking game when he made that big block at the end of the game. We definitely saw that on tape and we saw that out of him coming out of school a couple years ago. He is one of those types of players everybody was intrigued by and the Giants did a great job getting him. His role seems to have increased and he has done a really nice job taking advantage of the opportunity that he has gotten.

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Q: How do you feel coming into a big game like this off last week's performance?

A: It is certainly different because you always want to have all hands on deck and play your best football every week with every opportunity that you get. The situation was different last week, once the Giants won the game, the few guys that we had that were on the border and injured type guys, we just felt like in the best interest of our football team to rest those guys to get them ready for this week. I think we played hard in that game but not well enough. That game is behind us and we are pointing towards the Giants and looking forward to the opportunity.

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