Broken Clouds 53° Good Afternoon
Broken Clouds 53° Good Afternoon

Prince Amukamara draws one of his toughest assignments: covering Dez Bryant

Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara runs with the ball

Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara runs with the ball during training camp. (July 27, 2013) Photo Credit: James Escher

It's not as if the Giants are going to leave Prince Amukamara on a Big Blue version of Revis Island against Dez Bryant.

Prince Island?

No such place exists. Yet.

But Amukamara will be matched more than ever against the explosive Cowboys receiver. It's one of the more interesting subplots of Sunday's critical game at MetLife Stadium.

Corey Webster and / or Aaron Ross usually draw Bryant. But Ross is on injured reserve and Webster won't dress as he inches back from an ankle injury.

So Amukamara is up.

"Prince is playing well for us right now," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "That's a strong matchup, I think, for us."

It also continues the evolution of Amukamara from a wide-eyed rookie three years ago to someone who can be counted on to play the other team's best receiver. It hasn't always been a smooth road for the former No. 1 pick.

"He's grown up," Fewell said. "Prince was the little brother and he still may be the little brother to most of these guys, but he's made some plays. He was physical last week in the game and made some tackles. I know we told him before the game that he needed to go see the equipment guy and get some new pads because he was going to have to tackle the big back last week, and he came up and did that last week. He's answered the challenge that we've given him each week and I think he's responding."

Amukamara had six solo tackles in the Giants' 27-13 victory over the Packers last week. The Giants know their streak of playing against second- or third-string quarterbacks will end Sunday when they face Tony Romo. Just how often Romo can get the ball to the 6-2, 222-pound Bryant could depend on how physical the 6-foot, 207- pound Amukamara plays.

"Last week he was physical," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He made two outstanding tackles against a big back. Quite frankly, that's what we saw coming out of college. He was a physical corner and he certainly played like that. He'll be challenged again with the big receivers coming in and he'll respond.''

The Giants have been outspoken this week about their plans to get physical with Bryant, who had only four catches for 22 yards in Dallas' season-opening 36-31 victory over the Giants. For the season, Bryant has 52 catches for 749 yards and eight touchdowns.

"I think he's an All-Pro wide receiver," Amukamara said. "What you see on film is what you get. He has great hands, he's fast and plays the ball well."

Of his own play, Amukamara said he has seen signs of improvement.

"Definitely not where I want to be," he said. "I have a lot to work on, I think."

The Giants have not allowed a passing touchdown in 18 quarters, but that streak will be tested by Romo, who has thrown 21 touchdown passes and six interceptions for the 5-5 Cowboys.

New York Sports