The last two Giants-Cowboys games have been must-see TV. Unfortunately for Will Hill, he had to watch like everyone else.
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As a rookie in 2012, Hill missed his team's thrilling victory at AT&T Stadium, the game in which the Giants saw their 23-point lead disappear only to hold on at the end. Hill was out for violating the NFL Policy on Performance-enhancing Substances at the time. He missed four more to begin 2013 for breaking the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. That included the opener at Dallas when New York tried to overcome six turnovers but lost by five points to the NFC East rival.
"Just the same," Hill recalled today. "I had to bite the bullet and just cheer my team on."
Now the Giants need him to do more.
Active since Week 5, Hill is fifth on the team with 32 solo tackles and an interception. He and the rest of secondary know what to do this Sunday when the Cowboys come to MetLife Stadium with an NFC East race heating up.
"Cover those receivers like a glove," Hill said. "You've got to disguise. You've got to get to the quarterback. You've got to hit him and knock him around a little bit and stay in his face."
That's the best way to disrupt an improved Tony Romo, who has thrown 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. His efficiency is partly due to more quick passes, but that is nothing new against the Giants, who have sacked Romo 26 times in his 12 career starts against them.
"Yeah, because they don't like our D-linemen," Hill said. "I would get the ball out quick, too. You just have to hurry up and get to him. Lock the windows that he throws to so he can hold the ball just a little bit longer so our line can get there."
Opponents don't like any of the Giants defenders right now.
No team has scored more than 20 points in the Giants' four-game win streak. While some will see that, others will notice the quality of the opponents, or lack thereof.
When those people question how they will fair against Romo after giving up 339 yards to Green Bay's third-string quarterback, Hill responds, "I would think that too if I was from the outside looking in. But it's just -- let's not worry about the past. You just know we have to correct what we've got to correct, just go back out there and play hard."