Eli Manning, 12.02.09

Q. What are your thoughts on the upcoming game against Dallas?

A. We are excited about it. It is a big game, a team that we know very well. We played them earlier in the season, had a close game that could have gone either way that we were able to pull out in the end. We know we’ve got to go out there and play our best. We have to be solid on offense. They’ve got good players all over the field so we just have to be able to run the ball, we have to be able to protect, and we have to be able to get open. It’s a big game for both teams and it should be a great atmosphere.

Q. How are you feeling physically?

A. I feel great, thanks for asking.

Q. We haven’t talked since they came out and said you had an additional injury. How is the foot feeling?

A. The foot feels great, it really does. It feels better than it ever has been since I originally injured it.

Q. What does Dallas do well defensively?

A. They are very sound. They don’t make many mistakes. Guys will be in the right spot. They get a great pass rush with mixing up who’s blitzing, who’s coming. They’ve got good, talented guys, a talented defensive front where they can stop the run with those guys, they can get to the quarterback with just those front seven guys. Their cornerbacks are aggressive and they play man. They are a team where you have to be on top of it. Every single person, every play, has to be accountable for their actions. You have to be sharp and aware of what they are doing. You have to perform at a high level.

Q. Can you talk about the first game there and how you were able to move the ball on them? Since then, they have really turned it around.

A. They played well that game also. Our defense got some turnovers for us, got good field position. We moved the ball pretty well at times. We didn’t score as many touchdowns as we wanted to. We got close to the red zone. They are very talented all over. We’ve got to be patient. Take our big plays when they come up, but besides that, you’ve got to be able to get positive yards, get in third and manageable situations. If you get in third and long versus them, they are tough because they can play coverage and they can get a good pass rush with just their front four. It is just a matter of being patient, taking what they give you, and hopefully we can get a couple of big plays and get the momentum on our side.

Q. How important is it to get off to a good start because your psyche may be fragile and you can’t afford to get off to a bad start?

A. You always hope to get off to a good start. It is not essential. A good start, you would like to go out there and get points on the board early, get a touchdown, but it doesn’t always happen that way. You never know what kind of game it is going to be. It is important that whatever happens we keep fighting and making it into a four quarter game and try to win it in the fourth quarter. Dallas is very talented, their offense is explosive, their defense can make plays, you just have to stay within reach. Hopefully you can get a lead but if not, you’ve just got to keep it close and hopefully you make some plays and win it at the end.

Q. How fragile is the psyche of this team?

A. I think the psyche is fine. We’ve got to know that this is the same team that started 5-0. You look at it offensively, it is the same guys that started the first game who are in the huddle. We have the ability and the talent to go out there and play great football and win games. We’ve got to expect that from ourselves. There is no reason not to just because you go through a little stretch where you are not playing your best. It is still the same guys, it’s still the same team that got off to a great start, the same team that beat this team in Dallas in front of 105,000 people. We’ve just got to go out there and have confidence in ourselves, know that we can go out there and play great. We’ve just got to do it.

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