Eli Manning, 10.24.12

Q: When someone says, "Dallas-Giants," do you light up?
A: You know, it's always a big game. It's usually a close game. We've had a great history since I've been here. You've got to get excited, we've got to prepare well, and we've got to go out there and play our best football, if we expect to win.

Q: Is there something more on the back of your mind, because you lost to them earlier in the year?
A: When you have the opportunity to play a team again, you want to go out there and have a better performance, since you lost. We feel that we can play better than we did the first time. We know they're talented. If we're going to move the ball and score points, we're going to have to earn everything. We're going to have to make plays and block up their talented front seven. They have a good secondary. They have good players all over the field, and we've just got to execute better than we did the last time.

Q: You personally have played very well in that stadium over the three times that you've been there. Is there anything to it? Is it the surroundings?
A: No. The team has played well, guys have gotten open, and the offensive line has blocked well. So, we've been put in good circumstances and made plays when we needed them. It seems like all of them have been tight games, coming down to last-second field goals, or two-minute drives at the end. We've made plays when we needed to, and I have a feeling that we're going to have that same type of game.

Q: Can you be more comfortable in one road stadium than another?
A: I don't think so. I think it's still a matter of going out there and executing. They're a good team, and a talented team. We've just got to make sure that, offensively, we're executing well. We're running the ball, mix up the pass and the run, some play action to keep their defense on their toes, and we should be okay.

Q: Are you aware of wherever DeMarcus Ware is because he's so ferocious?
A: Yeah. You know where he is. He's a tremendous player, and he can change a game. He can get to the quarterback, does a great job of stripping the ball. He's going to have plays where he's going to get pressure. It's a matter of not making that into a turnover, not forcing an interception or a fumble. Hopefully, most of the time, we can block him up.

Q: You can put the hammer down in the division this week and open up some space. Do you guys see this as a good opportunity in that regard?
A: You know, we've got a long season to go. I think right now, it's Dallas. That's really the only thought process. It's a division game. Playing Dallas, and trying to get a win.

Q: Do you feel any rivalry with (Tony) Romo?
A: No. It's Giants-Dallas, and that's enough said. You want to go out there, play your best and try to put your team in a situation to win.

Q: DeAngelo Hall didn't give you guys a whole lot of credit for that game-winning touchdown pass. He said, "It didn't take a rocket scientist to make that play." They felt like they gave that play to you guys. Does it bother you at all that he said those things?
A: No. I appreciate him giving it to me. Thank you. I didn't think it took a rocket scientist to figure it out, either. We had a guy running open, and you hit him.

Q: It seems to be a bit of a continuing trend. Clay Matthews said that the Packers lost the game, you didn't beat them. What do you take away from that? Is it sour grapes?
A: It doesn't bother me. If that's the way they want to put it in their heads, then that's fine. The fact is, that was the coverage. If they messed up, that's what you've got to do as an offense. You've got to take advantage of it. If a team wants to give up some plays, or they don't want to play well on a certain day, it's our job to play better, make the plays, and take advantage of that opportunity.

Q: Does the Dallas Cowboys' defense look different without Sean Lee?
A: He's a tremendous player. He's fast, he does a great job of just making plays against screens, he gets them lined up, and he seems to be a playmaker. We'll see how that changes their philosophy on things. Obviously, he's a starting player, so it will be a little different. I think for the most part, they'll try to rely on getting a great pass rush and trusting their corners to cover up the receivers. I don't think it will change their philosophy that much, but he's a tremendous player.

RE: The Giants' improvement from opening night, going forward

A: I think we've been playing better football than we did in that first game. You've got to give credit to Dallas. They had a good game plan. For the majority of the game, they kept two safeties high and challenged us to run the ball. We didn't run the ball as well as we needed to, and we didn't force them to change up their defense much. We've got to make sure that we run the ball better. That'll get them to mix up their coverages, and see if we can get that to open up the play-action to get the ball down the field.

RE: If the Giants getting little credit for their victories over their past opponents is a surprise:
A: No. I just read about it, two minutes ago. You just laugh at it and shake your head. I wasn't offended by it. I never claimed that there was some great read that we had planned or figured out. Vic(tor Cruz) ran a good route, he was open, I hit him, and that's all I think about it.

Q: Hakeem was saying today how he felt like he got back to himself today in practice. He was clearly feeling better, physically. Can you see it?
A: Yeah. He was running well, running better. That's what we need. We need him to be his old, dominant self. That one-on-one coverage, he's beating everybody, he's making plays. He's confident running full speed, stopping, breaking, and cutting. Hopefully, it'll get back real soon. I know he wants to get back there, he's working hard, he wants to be back to his old self and feel that he can do everything that he normally can.

Q: When he's working through the injuries, did that factor into your game plan in the previous weeks? Knowing that he's still coming back?
A: No. Not a whole lot. He's been practicing, he's been doing things and we hope that when he's on the field, you assume that he can do everything that he normally could.

Q: Does that 3-0 record at Cowboys Stadium give you a little bit of confidence?
A: Your confidence comes from your preparation, the guys you have and how well practice goes. That's where you get your confidence. It doesn't matter where you're playing. It's about how you play on that day. We've got to have a great game plan, and we've got to go and execute. That's all it's going to come down to.

RE: If the Giants will get Dallas' best effort on Sunday.
A: I think any time that you're playing in the division, you're usually getting a team's best effort. Obviously, we've played each other enough that you know the personnel. You know the scheme of what you're getting. It's truly a matter of execution, outperforming and making plays when you need to.

Q: What is the key to win, this week?
A: Just great execution, great understanding, and blocking up their guys. They're talented. Whether it's in the run game, or the pass game, we're going to have to block up their front seven, move them, open up holes in the run game, and giving us time for guys to get open in the pass game. I think if we win the battle up front, then that will be a big help.

Q: I know you have a great deal of confidence in Victor Cruz. In a short period of time, you've become a dynamic combination. Why has everything clicked?
A: Give a lot of credit to Victor and his understanding of this offense. Understanding how to get open, all the different options based off zone or man technique and he makes it very easy for me to read his body language. He tells me how he's going to run his route, when he's going to come out of his break, what kind of move he's going to do. So, he does a great job in his preparation, and just making plays.

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