No one had to remind New york Giants head coach Tom Coughlin about the importance of Sunday's regular season finale against the Cowboys. TC is doing everything in his power to make sure his G-men understand what is at stake, and if his team comes out flat, it won't be for lack of preparation. In fact, when asked at his press conference Monday afternoon about how special the Giants/Cowboys rivalry is, Coughlin answered the question and then some:
"I just isolated the fact of what's at stake. I did remind our team that a year ago we won down there and lost at home. I reminded them as we got ready to break today that it's going to take everything we have and it has to be a great week of sharing, a great week of the veteran players helping the younger players, a great week of anticipating the kind of physical play that will once again be a part of this game, just as it was last week. This is a long and storied rivalry, no doubt about it. There have been some great, great games between the two franchises. The one a couple of weeks ago was an outstanding game and example of that. We prepare ourselves for just that type of high intensity, outstanding, high level of performance on both sides."
Coughlin was asked about whether or not Tony Romo and Felix Jones would be playing, and he did not hesitate:
"They're playing. There isn't any question in my mind."Here are some of the other excerpts from Coughlin's presser:
Q: Can a wide receiver like Nicks get into a slump with dropping passes?
A: I don't know. I guess you can like anything else but you know with him, drops are really shocking. He has incredible hands and big hands. He just snatches the ball out of the air so you have to give a little credit to the defense. We talked to our receivers about catching the ball with people all over them and that wasn't the case.
Q: Do you have a sense of what has gone wrong in the games that you did not win at home this season?
A: If I had an answer to that, it wouldn't ever happen. Our approach is always the same, the difference is that this week when I walked in and instead of having to win two games to win the division and get in the playoffs, it is one. We talk about the most important game of the year and this is the most important game of the year. I think the players are very much aware of that.
Q: Did you get an explanation on any of the calls that didn't go your way?
A: The same ones you got. I just think we have to look at this again. There are two or three things there - the fumble, was the ball on the shoe of Antrel? Was the elbow on the shoe? It just looked difficult to overturn something like that. The rules are exactly the way the officials are supposed to interpret them, but when a ball is taken that low after the idea that the ball was going to be released and then pulled down, that appears to me to be a little bit different story. But I had not had a chance to speak to the officials. I'm sure they will support the way that the referees judged the play and the way things are written today, it's probably the way it should have been. It's tough to call it that way when you're standing on the other sideline. Those are big plays. They had had seven teams score against them on defense. It wouldn't be anything new for us to get the ball in the end zone. That was obviously huge.
Coughlin also said he expected Mario Manningham, Jake Ballard and Osi Umenyiora to begin the week as questionable, but of the three Manningham was most likely to be ready to resume practice.
And while he would not disclose the full extent of his sideline injury, he did say that he "may not be able to run for a while."