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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Leading into Sunday's game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, it was the Giants that did most of the talking.
Jason Pierre-Paul said the Giants would "put it on the Cowboys," and, "there's going to be a lot of blood spilled out there."
|"I just finished eating a Giant," the Cowboys' Jason Hatcher said of the fake blood smeared on his face. "Y'all didn't see me out there? That's some leftover blood. They said blood is going to be shed, right?"|
The Cowboys beat the Giants, 24-21, on a last-second field goal Sunday. After the game, Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher took the analogy to heart with fake blood smeared across his face inside the victorious locker room.
"I just finished eating a Giant," said Hatcher, who had two sacks of Eli Manning. "Y'all didn't see me out there? That's some leftover blood. They said blood is going to be shed, right?"
The Giants entered Sunday's game on a four-game winning streak. The Cowboys entered coming off the worst loss of the Jason Garrett era, 49-17 against the New Orleans Saints, in which they allowed an NFL-record 40 first downs and a franchise-record 625 yards.
Safety Antrel Rolle said the Giants' season would be decided by Sunday's outcome. Pierre-Paul said the team was treating it like a Super Bowl. Last Friday, cornerback Terrell Thomas guaranteed a victory when speaking to Sirius XM NFL Radio.
"No doubt we're going to win this game," Thomas said. "You can tell them; put it on a bulletin board. It doesn't matter, because we have to win this game. Our season is on the line right now."
The Cowboys did not take the bait.
"Action speaks louder than words, so we went out there and did what we were supposed to do tonight," Hatcher said. "Actions speak louder than words, so we went out there and we did what we were supposed to do tonight. They talked the talk. They had to back it up, and they didn't. We came out with the victory. We came into their house and took it from them."
The Giants and Cowboys got into it in before the game. The officials had to stand between the teams as they finished their pregame warmups near midfield.
"It was just extra incentive, the way that they came out and talked in the media," cornerback Orlando Scandrick said. "They talked and they talked. I've never heard a team that was 4-6 talk like that. And we're 5-5, now we're 6-5, and we had no room to talk. That uses up too much energy of your game plan, of just focusing on the task at hand of getting the job done. For them to change their whole thing pregame and meet us at the 50-yard line and they had music on cue with it, it was laughable to me. But I knew that when the game started, when the clock started ticking from 60 minutes down to zero, they weren't going to be able to talk their way into a victory."
Players said Garrett did not want the Cowboys to respond during the week. They held their tongues.
"You could tell by their words they were confident leading up to it," quarterback Tony Romo said. "That's what makes the game great. It can be a great buildup throughout the week, but either way you've got to get out and play the football game. We understood that the game was going to be played on Sunday. Throughout all the talk and everything, we've played in games where stuff like that happens and you've just got to go play. The better team will win. That's what usually happens in the NFL."
And if you win, then you can break out a bottle of "Vampire Blood" and smear it on your face.
"It feels good," Hatcher said. "This team is all about action. We don't get caught up in all this. After it's done, we show what we can do. I'm proud of my team. I'm proud of what we did. They didn't give us nothing. We took it."