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Perry Fewell - Preparation, Execution, and DRC's Balky Leg

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Perry Fewell spoke to the media Thursday, and the subject wasn't a poor performance by the defense.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell spoke to the media Thursday in advance of the Giants' Sunday night game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The first couple questions were wrap-up questions about the defense's effort against  San Francisco 49ers. Fewell generally praised his defense's effort, giving credit to their execution, and the changes in how they were preparing and teaching the defense during the week.

He was specifically asked about linebacker Mark Herzlich, who helped to fill in for the injured Jacquian Williams. Fewell said "I thought Mark played with a lot of passion. I thought he played with a lot of heart. He made some football plays for us in the football game. He brought some toughness to the defense I thought." And on Herzlich's work in the passing game "He had limited opportunities in pass coverage. He was okay. He didn't hurt us. There was nothing that was glaring from the performance."

With Williams out against the Cowboys, Herzlich could again see significant snaps in an effort to stop DeMarco Murray.

The remainder of the questions, however, were about how the Giants could match up with Dallas' passing attack.

The primary interest was Dez Bryant and how Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's health would impact the Giants' defense. Fewell said "I think Dez is really playing great football. He has gotten so much bigger and stronger over the years. His chemistry with Tony [Romo] has obviously gotten better. Yes, it does make it difficult to matchup and without a full strength ‘21' [Rodgers-Cromartie]. ‘21' has really done a good job of practicing and he has done a good job of trying to stay in the ball game and play as much as he can possibly play. I am encouraged by what we see out of '21.'"

And when asked about whether DRC is in shape to play a full game against Bryant, Fewell answered "Only you can ask him that. We never know. We never know because he sometimes he is going along well and he will tighten up in the ball game, and sometimes he needs a little bit of relief. We never know exactly how that situation will play out, but he is in condition. When you say in shape he is in good condition."

For those times when Rodgers-Cromartie has to come off the field, praised new Giant Chykie Brown. "I am very confident in Chykie Brown. He has come in and he has done a nice job for us in the couple of weeks he has been here. Very good student in the class room, does it with a smile, loves the challenge. I am very encouraged by what I see from him."

But finally on Dez Bryant, having to call the defense without Prince Amukamara could be problematic. "Again, I think he is an outstanding player. We know he was the go to player. Prince Amukamara made an outstanding play on him; on the side line for a fade ball catch one down. He tried the fade ball catch again and he made the outstanding play again, so we won one and lost one. I think the one he caught it landed on the one yard line. We tried to do several things to help and cover that up, but again his chemistry with Tony Romo; he hits some spots in the zone. I just think he rose to the occasion and played very well."