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Osi makes difference vs. Cowboys


It didn't need to be said, but Justin Tuck said it anyway – "Osi's back."

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo didn't have to wait that long, however, for the postgame proclamation. He had an inkling of it when Osi Umenyiora sacked him for the first time on third down with less than five minutes to go in the first quarter.

The defensive end returned after a four-game hiatus from an ankle injury to record two of the Giants' six sacks, helping his team clinch the NFC East title and a playoff berth.

"It felt awesome," said Umenyiora, whose last sack came in Week 10 in San Francisco. "I was just happy that we pulled this off. It was a big win for this organization. We needed it, and I was happy I was able to contribute."

Tuck, who had one of his own, knows what a healthy Umenyiora can do as they head into the first round of the playoffs at home against Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.

"We have some good pass rushers," Tuck said. "But Osi, he's a game changer. He takes a lot of pressure off myself, the whole d-line, the whole defense, knowing that any play he can make one of those game changing plays. He showed tonight why he's done it for so many years. Even when he's not 100 percent, he comes in and it still seems like it's clock work."

Umenyiora hadn't played since sustaining the injury during the 49-24 drubbing in New Orleans. His two sacks on Sunday night brought his season total to 9.0 in just nine games played (seven started).

"Here is a guy who hasn't played in quite some time and comes back and gives us a big lift," Tom Coughlin said. "He plays very hard and is another outstanding player to add to the pass rush combinations that we have. I was really pleased with the way Osi came back and practiced this week and then played in the game tonight."

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