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Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Cruz a little surprised about Pro Bowl snub

By Matt Ehalt

Victor Cruz isn't going to lie. The receiver was a little surprised he wasn't named to the NFL Pro Bowl roster, instead being nominated as a second alternative.

"You always want to come in and be optimistic and understand that all those guys [who] made it deserve it, and they all had a heck of a year," Cruz said. "I am happy for those guys, congratulations to them. Hopefully we are playing in the Super Bowl."

Cruz is third in the league with 1,358 yards and has 76 catches and eight touchdowns on the year. He is the Giants' single-season leader in receiving yards and has a chance to add to that total this weekend against Dallas.

Despite those numbers, he did not make the Pro Bowl, with the four spots instead going to Detroit's Calvin Johnson, Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, Carolina's Steve Smith and Green Bay's Greg Jennings.

As Cruz said, he hopes to not even be eligible for the Pro Bowl; players from Super Bowl-bound teams don't play in the all-star game. But the Giants must beat the Cowboys on Sunday to simply make the playoffs.

For Cruz, it's a chance to knock out the team that he grew up rooting for. He said he doesn't have hatred of the Cowboys just yet.

"I was a pretty big [fan]. I was pretty upset when we lost to the Giants a couple of years back when I was in college," Cruz said. "I was a pretty avid fan. I had a Deion [Sanders] old throwback jersey.

"It's huge. I will be thinking of my Dad the whole time, he was the one who made me a Cowboys fan. It will be one of those games that you dream about playing your while life and I am excited for the opportunity. "

In his first game against the Cowboys, in which he had six catches for 74 yards, he said that it was an amazing feeling to play at Dallas and he had goosebumps going into that game. He said that it helps playing Dallas less than three weeks ago, since the Cowboys likely won't change up much of their defense. The Giants scored 37 points in that game.

"I think it will help me a lot," Cruz said of facing the secondary before. "Initially that was my first time going up against those guys. I watch a lot of film, but you don't really get to see it unless you are out there. I know them a little bit better now and some of the tendencies and stuff like that. Should be a good matchup."

He added about playing for the NFC East title: "We are very excited. Anytime you get to play the Cowboys for all the marbles, tension will be high. Makes for a great game and a great environment. Giants fans will be at the game in full force."