Jason Pierre-Paul wasn’t on the field for the Giants, but he did have a hand in Sunday night’s victory over the Cowboys.
The defensive end appeared in a video message for the team at its meeting Saturday night, just three days removed from surgery to repair a sports hernia Wednesday. Then he showed up in person on the sideline, cheering on the team through a 10-7 win over Dallas after delivering a fiery pregame speech to the team after warm-ups.
The reaction after the video was shown?
“Let’s go, let’s get this one for him,” said linebacker Devon Kennard, who also chipped in at defensive end to help replace JPP. “We know he wanted to be out there, so let’s get him this win.”
They did just that.
Safety Landon Collins said the gist of the video message was that the Giants had an opportunity to be great and that they should take advantage of it.
“Man, we all know how badly he wanted to be out there, especially for this game,” defensive end Olivier Vernon said. “We just had to do that for him. Everybody had to step their game up, basically.”
Pierre-Paul showing up in person was an inspiration, too. The cameras for the MetLife Stadium video boards turned to him on several occasions to show him waving towels and cheering on the team from the bench area.
“To see JPP on the sideline and before the game [was great],” cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. “He talked to us and just said to go out there and do your job and just play hard.”
“We had him right there with us on the sideline supporting us,” Vernon said. “We tried to do this one for him.”