Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is seen during warmup before...

Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is seen during warmup before action against the Denver Broncos in an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Sept. 15, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Now you can call him Captain Cruz.

Victor Cruz was one of five Giants players voted to represent the players with a C on their chests, the team announced on Friday. Cruz is joined in the honor by Eli Manning, Antrel Rolle, Jon Beason and Zak DeOssie.

Cruz and Beason are both first-time captains, although Beason did serve as one in Carolina and was certainly a de facto leader of the defense last season. He missed all of the preseason with a foot injury but seems on track to play in the opener on Monday night.

As for the others, this is Manning's eighth straight year elected as a captain, Rolle's second, and DeOssie's fourth. Cruz and Beason replace former Giants Chris Snee and Justin Tuck, who represented the players last season.

With 21 new players on the roster this season, the turnover of the captainship was inevitable. It also carries more significance than in previous seasons.

"The attempt to put all personalities in, to create 'team,' is a constant job that we all take on," Tom Coughlin said. "We've been working at this since the first gathering point in the spring. But it certainly does help, because the number one thing is trust. The players do feel they can go to these five men and trust what they say and whatever they say and however they choose to lead will be in the best interest of the entire team."

Coughlin added that he would like the leadership of the team to not be limited to just the five players who were the top vote-getters.

"I'm hoping we have 53 that take full responsibility and accountability for our team, pride in our team," Coughlin said. "But I think the players have spoken in terms of who they have chosen to be in the leadership position as captains. We've spent a lot of time talking about leadership. The unselfish commitment to team, and 'team first' must come from your captains, and your captains must be young men who put the team above themselves. They must be young men who lead not only by what they say, but by their example -- more significantly by their example. And they also, because of the nature of our business, they reflect what they say by what they do on the field."

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