The news that Ezekiel Elliott will play Sunday night for the Dallas Cowboys has neither surprised nor fazed the New York Giants.
“No reaction,” said head coach Ben McAdoo when asked on Wednesday about Elliott. “He is a tremendous ball carrier and we want to play against the best. So, we are excited for the opportunity. Whoever suits up for Dallas, we’ll go play.”
“We expected him to play,” said Landon Collins. “You want to be the best, you have to play against the best and you have to beat the best. He is one of the best in the game, that’s what we are going to do.”
“As a competitor, you want the best players out there on the field,” said cornerback Eli Apple, a former teammate of Elliott’s at Ohio State. “And as a defense, we always want to see the best, so it is going to be a great challenge.”
Elliott gained 1,631 yards rushing as a rookie last season. He had a season-low 51 yards on 20 carries in last year’s opening game and had 107 yards on 24 carries in the second meeting.
“Zeke is a different back,” Collins said. “He’s a younger back. (Darren) McFadden and the older backs, they run differently. Zeke is a do it all kind of back. The other two backs are one-cut runners. They are going to press the hole and they are going to try to get what they can. Zeke is going to try to make something happen every time, man. That’s the difference between the three backs that they have.”
B.J. Goodson: “Born” For Middle Linebacker
Middle linebacker B.J. Goodson will make his first NFL start on Sunday. With nickel linebacker Keenan Robinson still in the concussion protocol, Goodson could be on the field for every down. McAdoo has confidence in the second-year player.
“He moves around like a football player. I talked to him today and I told him that he looks like he is born for the position, but most importantly, he has earned it,” McAdoo said. “First, second and third down, he’s out there. He takes ownership of the defense and I’m excited to watch him play on Sunday.”
Shepard: Last Year Doesn’t Matter
The Giants beat the Cowboys twice last season, handing Dallas two of its three losses. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard said Wednesday those games have no bearing on Sunday night.
“It's a different season. Two different teams than we were last year. So, you kind of have to flush that down the toilet and move on,” Shepard said. “I mean, this is a new year for us and they have some new players there, we have new players here so like I said, that’s all behind us.”