EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Eli Manning, Rueben Randle and most of the Giants' offensive players have had six months to learn the team's new system. Kevin Ogletree will play Sunday in Dallas after just four practices.
"The coaches, Eli and our group are really focused on the task at hand, that's preparing for the Cowboys," Ogletree said today. "Everything that went into it this week, everything that will continue to go into it, will be all to make sure everyone's on the same page and that's important in any game, especially a big division one like this one."
It's challenging for any team to assimilate a new receiver into the offense on the fly during the season. But Manning said Ogletree's professionalism and the Giants' system have expedited the learning process.
"It's obviously difficult," Manning said. "He's trying to catch up with stuff we've been doing for six months or so. But he's been pretty sharp. He's a veteran guy and this is a copycat league, so they are all kind of similar routes. It's just what you call it.
"I think sometimes as much no-huddle as we do, it might make it a little easier (because) he's just got to see a signal, learn the signals and do it. If we start calling the play in the huddle, it might be more difficult. He's done a good job. He's been sharp. He's had a good week of practice."
Good enough that Ogletree will contribute on Sunday?
"We'll see what his role will be, but we feel comfortable with when he's in there and that we'll be on the same page," Manning said. "He's been sharp in trying to pick it up and knowing what to do. He's in there; that's the good thing about signaling, you can have a little eye contact and if he's a little lost or confused, you can walk up and tell him. We can figure it out or give him another route. He's been really sharp and has picked up things well, so I think if he's in there, we'll feel good about it."
Ogletree joined the team this week after Victor Cruz suffered a torn patellar tendon last week against the Eagles. He said Manning has not specifically mentioned the importance of the other wideouts in Cruz's absence – but that doesn't mean it isn't true.
"I didn't hear anything like that, but that's understood," Ogletree said. "That's a critical part of what's been going on here for a while. We all know Victor won't be there to help us, but it's an opportunity for some other guys to show what they can do."
- Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned to practice on a limited basis after sitting out the previous two days with back and hamstring injuries. He is listed as questionable for the game.
"He practiced, he got out there, and did some things, moved around, said he felt pretty good," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We will see what the morning brings."
Keep an eye on these six players as the Giants face the Cowboys Sunday
Linebacker Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) was also limited and is listed as questionable. Paysinger did not play last week.
Linebacker Jon Beason (toe) and punter Steve Weatherford (ankle) practiced fully and are probable.
- For the Cowboys, tackle Doug Free (foot) and linebacker Bruce Carter (thigh) are out. Defensive end Jack Crawford (calf) is doubtful.
- The Cowboys lead the regular-season series, 59-42-2. Dallas won both games between the division rivals in 2013, the first time they swept the season series since 2007. The Cowboys were victorious on opening night in AT&T Stadium, 36-31, by taking advantage of six Giants turnovers. Eli Manning threw for 450 yards and four touchdowns in the loss. In the rematch on Nov. 24 in MetLife Stadium, Dan Bailey kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired to give Dallas a 24-21 victory. The Giants have swept the season series 12 times, while Dallas has 19 series sweeps. The Giants are 19-32-1 in Dallas, including 4-1 in AT&T Stadium.