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Giants must keep foot on the pedal

Justin Tuck tried to stay off Twitter this week.

The flat-screen television at the Tuck household also didn't spend much time, if at all, on "SportsCenter" or any other sports shows or news networks.

The defensive captain did his best to avoid any and all talk about the New York Giants. The defensive end didn't want to hear, read or see anything about how the Giants are playing as well as any team in the NFL or how they're 3-0 at Jerry Jones' palatial stadium entering their showdown in Dallas this weekend.

"We try not to listen to that," Tuck said.

Tuck knows what happens more often than not when there's hype surrounding the Giants -- or even worse, prosperity. The Giants don't always deal well with that. They are much better when everything around them appears to be crumbling and the apocalypse is near.

The Giants are far from that at the moment, having won three straight games. They are coming off an exciting divisional victory over Robert Griffin III and the Redskins and now head to Dallas, where they always seem to make the big plays and stick it to the Cowboys.

A victory over Dallas would not only even the season series at 1-1 and avenge a poor season-opening loss, but it would also give the Giants (5-2) an early cushion over the Cowboys (3-3), Eagles (3-3) and Redskins (3-4) in the overall NFC East standings.

But Tuck is hoping the Giants' penchant for taking the harder road doesn't show up on Sunday.

"Eli [Manning] was at the podium last year after we won the Super Bowl and said, 'We like to make things tough,'" Tuck said. "Hopefully, we won't. Hopefully, we'll continue to win football games like we have and not hit that November doom like we have in years past."

Tuck, of course, was referring to the midseason swoon the Giants have often hit after quick starts. Even though the Giants are playing well, they know trouble potentially lurks around the corner. A second loss to the Cowboys would give Dallas the potential tiebreaker if needed late in the season.

And with tough games against Pittsburgh, at Cincinnati, Green Bay, at Washington, New Orleans, at Atlanta, at Baltimore and Philadelphia remaining, the Giants need to keep the foot on the pedal right now.

"You have to start amassing those wins because at the end of the year we know there's a chance it might come down to a win here or a loss there," linebacker/defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said. "And we want to make sure we're on the up side of that."

The Giants do feel that they are a much better team than the one Dallas saw back on that Wednesday night in September when they were the first teams to play this season.

They were a little embarrassed by how the Cowboys came in and handled them in the league's marquee opening-week game. The Giants were rocked by injuries in the secondary and Dallas took advantage, as Tony Romo threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns while Kevin Ogletree hammered the Giants defense for eight receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

This time, the Giants will have cornerback Prince Amukamara, who did not play in the season opener due to injury, and they are getting healthier with several banged-up players coming off the injury report. The Giants' defense feels it is playing much better than it did coming out of training camp.

"I think we are more in sync," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "In the season opener, we went in and had some guys who had missed a lot of camp. There were guys that played and didn't execute their techniques properly. You could see some rust. We just did not play good football in that first game."

This time, Dallas is the team that limps into the game with linebacker Sean Lee out for the season and running back DeMarco Murray (foot) among the Cowboys who are injured.

While Tuck said he wasn't watching any sports shows, he apparently has been watching National Geographic.

"You ever see a wounded leopard?" Tuck replied when asked about the Giants getting healthier while the Cowboys are hurting. "You can go to National Geographic because they say it's one of most dangerous animals in the wild is a wounded leopard. That's how I approach it when teams have some guys banged up. They are going to come out giving you their best shot."

Tuck believes the Giants will give Dallas their best shot. He's hoping that his teammates have been blocking out all the good press the Giants are getting this week as well.

"I don't want to hear that nonsense," Tuck said. "Hopefully, we understand what we're getting ourselves in going down there. Everybody is telling [the Cowboys] you never beat them down there. I believe we are going to get their best shot and I feel they are going to get ours. That's why I think it is going to be a great football game."