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Giants' Justin Pugh trying to win over his teammates

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Rookie tackle Justin Pugh will start Sunday in his first NFL game.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

As rookie Justin Pugh prepares for his first NFL game and start of his career he is not only just focused on playing well. Pugh wants to make sure he gains the respect of the veterans on the team

"I think just to earn the respect of the guys in the locker room is something you always want to do as a rookie," said Pugh. "The same thing as a freshman coming into Syracuse, you want to know your role, you want to be seen and not heard and I think that's the best way to earn the respect and earn your stripes in the locker room, to go out there and play hard and show them that you can compete and play at this level."

Pugh grew up a Philadelphia Eagles fan, so the NFC East rivalries are nothing new to him. The only difference really is he's actually playing. Bringing an intensity to the game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday night should come as a problem for Pugh.

"I think growing up an Eagles fan you realize the intensity of the rivalry in this division," said Pugh. "Just knowing what goes into every game is vital; even it being the first one, it's a huge one."

Newly-appointed captain Chris Snee has pretty much taken Pugh under his wing. It's not something Pugh takes for granted. He tries to learn everything he can from Snee.

"We talk a little bit, but he reminds me that I just have to go out there and prove that I deserve to be out there playing," said Pugh. "I think that's something that I will go out and try to prove to the guys in this room. I'm really concerned about being out there and playing for your teammates."

Pugh is thrilled about the opportunity to show his skills Sunday night.

"I'm excited to get out there and play," said Pugh. "Just to get out there and compete and play in a big game and help this team win."

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