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Pat Shurmur: Giants need to stop Zeke, and Demarcus Lawrence

Coach dishes on this weekend’s game

Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With the New York Giants prepping for a critical NFC East game on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys coach Pat Shurmur on Wednesday offered some thoughts on this weekend’s game. Here are takeaways from his remarks.

“It starts with the run”

Landon Collins had this to say on Wednesday about controlling the Dallas offense:

Shurmur basically agreed during his Wednesday press conference:

“It starts with the run for them. Certainly they’ve got an outstanding running back. I don’t know about the narrative about their O Line, but they look pretty good blocking to me, especially in the first week. They’ve got an outstanding run game,” Shurmur said. “When you have the threat of the quarterback as a runner, that adds another element to it because the so-called zone read game shows up and they don’t worry about him running with the football.”

“Let’s kill the sack narrative”

Shurmur was asked if he was concerned that the Giants only had one sack against Jacksonville. He issued a strong answer:

“First, let’s kill the sack narrative. Sacks are certainly very important, but the rush needs to disrupt the quarterback and his timing when he makes throws, so I’m going to dispel that, whatever that is,” Shurmur said. “To your point, it’s important that we put pressure on Dak and make him move his feet. More than half the time, he’s got to have to move when he tends to just drop back and throw. I think that’s what the rush is designed to do, so we’ve got to continue working on that.”

On the Giants-Cowboys rivalry

“When you get a team ready to play and you look at the tactics, and you look at the players and all that, I guess you would have to ask the fans who they want to beat most. That’s more of that type of deal. I remember when I was in Philly, I was putting my trash out one morning early my first year, and we weren’t very good. It was early in the morning, and I was surprised by this person. They said to me, ‘Listen, you can go 2-14 if you beat Dallas twice’. So, that was Philly’s take on it. I don’t have the full feel here, I understand it’s important to beat everyone and, certainly, Dallas is our next one.”

On the difficulty of reaching the playoffs if you start 0-2

We wrote about the difficulty of that earlier Wednesday at Big Blue View. Shurmur isn’t worrying about that kind of historical data.

“We don’t worry about that. That’s fun for everybody to talk about outside the building,” Shurmur said. “We didn’t do enough in the first game to win the game, and we’re working to do what we can to win this next one. Period. End of story. All that stuff is fun for everybody to talk about, but we don’t worry about that.”

On blocking Dallas DE Demarcus Lawrence

Lawrence had 14.5 sacks last season, and will likely spend most of the game lined up across from Ereck Flowers.

“The guy assigned to block him has to block him. He’s certainly been very disruptive. The thing about him is, he’s long, he’s got a twitch and he can get going quickly. He’s relentless, he plays hard throughout the game, so you’ve got a full day with him. You’ve got to block him 65 or 70 times, or he’ll disrupt the game. You’re asking me about a really good player, and we have our challenge to block him.”