Calling out the Giants for bad football is one thing. Calling them out for bad acting is quite another. Antrel Rolle and Tom Coughlin both defended their team against the claims of the Cowboys -- and in particular owner Jerry Jones -- that they were faking injuries late in the second quarter to slow the Dallas offense.
"It's absolutely not true," Coughlin said. "It's not true. Both of those players were injured."
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The plays in question were injuries to Dan Connor and Cullen Jenkins. Connor was either using method acting and very committed to his role or legitimately hurt with a burner since he did not return to the game (something the Cowboys clearly noticed when they threw the first TD pass to Jason Witten with backup Mark Herzlich in coverage). Chances are he was legitimately hurt because he had suffered a burner in the preseason, as well.
As for Jenkins, well, that one may have been a tad suspicious. Tony Romo was yelling at the referee, "He's faking! He's faking!" while Jenkins was down on one knee to stop play for a moment. "It was so obvious, it was funny," Jones said after the game.
The Giants didn't really give a reason for Jenkins' breather.
"Cullen was in a position where he needed to regroup," Coughlin said.
And Rolle said he wasn't sure what Jenkins' injury was. Rolle quickly returned to Connor not coming back into the game.
"I don't know what kind of faking he saw, but if a guy goes down and he never returns to the game, obviously he's not faking," Rolle said.
This isn't the first time the Giants have been accused of such shenanigans. In 2011, the Rams said they thought safety Deon Grant faked an injury to slow their offense.
With teams speeding up their offenses, the league recently reminded coaches and players that faking injuries to slow momentum will not be tolerated. But it does remain nearly impossible to legislate.
"I'm not sure how you officiate that," said Broncos coach John Fox, who certainly will be on the lookout for Academy Award-worthy injuries this week. "People do get hurt and they're legitimate. I don't know that I could be judge and jury on whether somebody's injured or not."
But Fox also knows that it does happen.
"It could crop up," he said. "I'd go all the way back to the late '80s with Sam Wyche in Cincinnati. That's been going on a long time in this league. I just think it's hard to officiate, in my personal opinion, because it's hard to determine whether a guy is really injured or not. We'll just leave it at that. What other people are doing, I can't speak to. But there is a possibility."
The Giants say the possibility did not exist Sunday against the Cowboys.
"They got the win, [Jones] needs to be satisfied with the win because a game like that will never happen to us again," Rolle said. "And even with six turnovers, they were still stressing their heads at the end of the game hoping for a play that they did get at the end of the game. I [couldn't] care less what Jerry has to say, obviously, and when we see those guys again, it will be a different outcome."