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Giants Q&A: Big piece of humble pie for Big Blue

Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas (24) reacts during the

Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas (24) reacts during the second half against the Dallas Cowboys. (Nov. 24, 2013) Credit: AP

What did the Giants eat for dinner Sunday night?

Their words. After almost a full week of talking tough about the Cowboys and expressing their confidence in a victory, they had to have some of those comments thrown back at them after their 24-21 loss. But Terrell Thomas, who on Friday predicted a victory with as much certainty as a player can without using the word "guarantee,'' said he had no regrets about his statement.

"When it's Cowboys and Giants, there's no bulletin-board material,'' he said. "It's all in the heart. It's the will that's going to win this game, and the better team won today.''

Thomas did say he thought his remarks were blown out of proportion, but he noted that he said them because the Giants needed a win. "If it motivated them, so be it,'' he said. "We had our chances.''

Was that kind of talk uncharacteristic for the Giants?

"Not at all,'' said Jason Pierre-Paul, who kick-started the chatter last week when he called for Dallas blood. "Any time it's a division game, we don't like them, they don't like us . . . That's the fun of football. We shoot at them and they shoot back at us.''

Did the Cowboys shoot back?

Not verbally. They remained relatively quiet throughout the week, although it was quite clear that they did hear every word the Giants said. "It feels good to shut them up," Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr said. And DT Jason Hatcher, clearly in response to JPP's remarks, applied some kind of red paint to his face. "I just finished eating a Giant," he said. "They said blood was going to be shed, right?"

What happened beforehand?

After warm-ups, the teams tried to huddle for pregame pep rallies. But both teams seemed to be claiming the area at midfield, and after some angry words, they had to be separated by the officials. "Emotions are flying there,'' Justin Tuck said. "I didn't see anything wrong with it. It was just friendly banter.''

Did the Giants lose their cool?

One of the things Perry Fewell warned about was getting overexcited. The Giants certainly looked that way on some plays, including the two personal fouls against Mathias Kiwanuka and the personal foul against Antrel Rolle. "I don't think we got overexcited,'' Rolle said. "I think we went out there and played ball the way we need to play ball.''

Why did Tom Coughlin challenge the roughing-the-passer penalty?

He said he threw the red flag because he wanted an explanation of the spot of the ball after the call against Kiwanuka, which negated a fumble and a takeaway by the Giants' defense. Instead of the Giants having the ball, the Cowboys had it at the Giants' 22. The play, however, was not reviewable.

Can a coach do that?

No. Coughlin should have been charged a timeout for an illegal challenge.

Where was Hakeem Nicks?

On the sideline bundled up. The wide receiver was inactive for the first time this season, sitting out with an abdominal injury that kept him from practicing for most of the week. That meant Rueben Randle started and the Giants had to rely on Louis Murphy Jr. and Jerrel Jernigan as their third receivers. Murphy caught a TD pass with 4:45 left as the Giants tied it at 21.

What happened to Jim Cordle?

He injured his left knee early in the second quarter and had to come out of the game. That forced the Giants to slide Kevin Boothe from left guard to center and insert James Brewer at left guard. Cordle said he'll have an MRI on Monday but didn't give any indication that he had torn an ACL, a diagnosis that usually can be made pretty quickly. He did say he still was in severe pain after the game.

New York Sports