Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Big Blue's Effort Paying Dividends

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Big Blue's Effort Paying Dividends

Article excerpt

The Giants woke up the morning after Sunday's 27-20 victory over the Cowboys in the same spot they were last week prior to their Monday night debacle in Philadelphia:

Big Blue is again alone in first place of the NFC East.

Last season, a difficult loss to the Eagles in prime-time triggered a seven-game losing streak, including a last-second defeat to the Cowboys at the Meadowlands.

This time, thanks to a gritty performance that did not garner many style points, the Giants received second-half touchdowns from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie via an interception and Dwayne Harris on a 100-yard kickoff return that proved to be the game-winner.

"We play hard," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. "It's not always pretty ... we have a bunch of guys who love the game, like what they're doing and play hard, and that's a pretty good starting point. Effort is a great starting point for anything, and by and large, I think we're getting a very good effort."

The Giants are also hopeful of receiving an influx of talent within the next few weeks.

Cornerback Prince Amukamara (pectoral) is eyeing a Nov. 8 return against Tampa Bay.

Wide receiver Victor Cruz (calf) is progressing well and could gain clearance to begin practicing this week, although the Giants will continue to be cautious with him. Offensive lineman Will Beatty (pectoral) began practicing during individual drills last week, so he could be in line for a comeback soon.

Then, of course, there is the uncertainty involving injured defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. His anticipated visit for a medical re-check with the Giants was rescheduled from last week, and Pierre- Paul was reportedly meeting with team doctors and personnel who were set to evaluate his progress Monday.

The situation involves difficult physical and contractual issues that must be resolved. This would be the second time the Giants have had a chance to examine Pierre-Paul's right hand since the July 4 fireworks accident that cost him his index finger and part of his thumb. …

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