Although Giants have won four straight in Dallas, each victory has been close
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The Giants may be an unblemished 4-0 at AT&T Stadium (nee Cowboys Stadium), but they've been far from perfect.
"I've never left from Jerry's World feeling good about our performance on defense, I can say that," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "Obviously you feel good about the win, but we don't want to put the pressure on Eli [Manning] and those guys over there to have to score 30 points to have to win the game."
That's pretty much what it's taken. The Giants have won those four games at the edifice by an average score of 35-31. No game has been decided by more than six points, but perhaps none was tighter than the Giants' last visit. They won that game, 29-24, not the closest in terms of straight math, but they nearly lost on a last-minute touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant. It took a video replay to show that Bryant's hand landed out of bounds before his body hit the end zone to save the Giants.
"I remember being sick to my stomach at first," Tuck said of that play. "From my vantage point on the field it looked like he got in. Obviously the replay showed something different and we escaped. That's kind of what you come to expect down in Dallas."
"I was a little shocked because he was only a couple of inches away from making that catch," said safety Antrel Rolle, who had to watch the end from the trainer's room as Bryant slipped between cornerbacks Corey Webster and Michael Coe. "We should have never even allowed him to get in that situation, where it had to be an official call."
But as Rolle also pointed out, "a win is a win." And the Giants have a habit of producing those in Dallas. Tom Coughlin said he hadn't yet pointed out the team's recent record in any formal way.
"Hopefully it's going to give us a little bit of a psychological advantage going down there," he said, "but it's going to have to happen on the field."
That seems to be the Giants' approach to their dominance in Big D. Yes, they're happy about it. Sure, they know about it. But no, they're not counting on it to continue.
"Every game was close," guard Chris Snee said. "It came down to a couple of plays in the fourth quarter. It could easily be the other way around. We're aware of that."
"It's just a game," cornerback Corey Webster said. "It's just a building."
Neither Romo nor Cowboys coach Jason Garrett would admit to using the Giants' record in their home stadium as a source of motivation this week, even though the Giants have accounted for more than a quarter of the home losses since the building opened in 2009. As far as they're concerned, this is just the Giants' first visit to the stadium this season and not their fifth in five years. Maybe the new name will bring a new result.
The Giants are downplaying history as well. Although if they were on the other end of the trend, and it was a division rival who hadn't lost in their house since 2008, the Giants would almost certainly be trying to use that to their advantage.
"I'm sure that would have been relayed," Snee said of the coaching staff's message to the team. "I would have remembered that, yeah."