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QB Eli Manning on the Cowboys Matchup


Q: How does the game plan change from the last time you played the Cowboys?

A: We have our game to look at and see how they attacked us, some different things that they did. So we'll game plan that. We just have to see how we can be consistent. They're talented. They're a talented defense. They do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback. We have to block up their key guys. Receivers are doing a good job of getting open and see if we can run the ball successfully like we did last time.

Q: How do you correct the drops and miscommunications that occurred last week?

A: We just keep working on that. We talk about it. I thought we got off to a good start today and just everybody being on the same page. Have a great week of preparation and a great mindset that we're going to have to go in and play great football.

Q: Are the emotions under control with the stakes being so high?

A: We've known the circumstances these last two weeks, that we have to win these games. Obviously Dallas is coming in, we're both playing for the same thing, for the same prize, so we know we're going to get their best effort. We have to match that and play better football.

Q: Is this fun?

A: Definitely. These are situations that you want to be in – at the end of the season, a chance to make the playoffs, win one game and you're in the playoffs. This is exciting playing against a division rival at home – Should be a great crowd, great environment Sunday night and looking forward to it.

Q: What could you tell from the guys this week?

A: That the guys are ready. We understand what's at stake. It's a combination of being focused, being prepared, but also being relaxed and going out there and trying to totally understand the game plan, what your assignments are – where you can go out there relaxed and play your best football.

Q: Is it just the way these two teams matchup that this will probably be a competitive, high scoring game like the Week 14 game or will it be different?

A: You never know. That's the great thing about football. You don't know what type of game it's going to turn out to be, but sometimes you have to make adjustments or you have to play to circumstances. We have our game plan. We have things that we think will work, that can be successful. We're going to try to do that to the best of our ability and stay balanced. If it turns one way or the other – where it's low scoring or whether it's a high scoring game – we can deal with either one and play accordingly.

Q: What did you learn about the Giants in the Week 14 game?

A: One thing, I think we've been it all season, just having a great desire, a great confidence in our self no matter what the circumstances are or what's going on. We were able to overcome some adversity and some tough situations, but I think our guys never get too down or never get too worried. We always feel we're in the game and that's a good attitude to have.

Q: Winning that kind of game against that opponent, does it give you confidence going into this game?

A: Any time you play Dallas you're getting a really good team. They have tremendous players all over the field. Their defense does a lot of different looks and schemes. We know their offense is capable of scoring a lot of points. Tony [Romo] is playing great football. It's a game where you know you have to play smart, you have to protect the ball, but offensively we know we're going to have to try to score some points. Hopefully we can hit some big plays and be consistent. We know they play teams close. They always seem to be in the game at the end so we have to expect it to be a close game. It's going to come down to that fourth quarter and hopefully we can win the fourth quarter.

Q: Since that Dallas game your offense has been inconsistent. Do you know why and do you think you'll come out of it?

A: Well, I hope so. Last week, [we were] not real consistent, but effective. We hit some big plays, we hit some big runs. We had some scoring drives that we needed to [have]. We have to continue to do that in the fact of hitting some big plays and doing that, but being more consistent, better on third downs. We need to continue to take of the ball. There are some things that we need to fix up that can make us more solid on game day.

Q: How tough is preparing for the game when you're not sure who's going to be on the field?

A: The good thing is we have a number of veteran guys who have been here, been here all season, been here for a number of years. They're going to know the game plan. Hopefully we can get some more guys out tomorrow and practicing. It's one of those deals. This late in the season you're going to have guys banged up, you're going to have guys who are trying to get healed up. It's just a matter of making sure everybody's focused, everybody understands their assignments even though you might not be getting them live in practice. Get mental reps so when we get to game day guys are ready to play.

Q: Did you learn anything this season about your own ability to work with whatever parts are put in front of you?

A: I think that comes down to the guys who have to prepare, have to study, have to put in extra work. And the coaches understanding what our situation is with who's practicing and not and what you do with the game plan – not trying to confuse people. We know if we have guys knowing their assignments, knowing what they're doing, we'll be able to execute.

Q: Because of your run to the Super Bowl nobody has ever questioned your big game credentials. Is that an advantage? Does it take some of the pressure off that nobody ever thinks about that?

A: I don't think we're thinking about that either. I think we understand what's in front of us. We understand the importance of the game and now it's just a matter of getting prepared, having a great game plan, going out there executing it and then it's going to come down to being there on Sunday night. When there are opportunities to make plays, make them. If things are not looking good, don't give the opponent big plays.

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