Giants: We're the All-Joes against the Cowboys' All-Pros Print
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Friday, 11 January 2008 00:37
NFL Headline News

 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -The New York Giants are feeling a little unappreciated heading in to the NFC semifinal against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Giants (11-5) were thoroughly beaten by the Cowboys (13-3) in both regular-season games this season and coach Tom Coughlin's team has developed an inferiority complex that it intends to carry into Dallas on Sunday.
They are the working stiffs playing America's Team.
If you listen to Giants middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, it's the All-Joes against the All-Pros.
Twelve members of the Cowboys including quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Terrell Owens, were selected to the Pro Bowl and five more were All-Pro selections, either first or second team. The Giants did not have an All-Pro pick. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora was the only one to make the Pro Bowl.
``Yeah, we love it,'' Pierce said Thursday. ``It is always a fun thing. The Dallas Cowboys are America's Team. They have been labeled that. They have a starting quarterback who is not only a good player on the field, but off the field as well. That's a compliment.
``The guy stays busy, but he is a hell of a quarterback and they have a hell of a team,'' Pierce said as his sarcasm increased with every word. ``They have a receiver who somehow can fix his body in weeks. You look at the challenges that they present, 13 Pro Bowlers, it is like an all-Pro team versus an All-Joe team.''
Romo and Owens have been a thorn in the Giants' side this season, combining for four touchdown passes of 20 yards or more.
It's no wonder they drew Pierce's ire.
Romo has been in the spotlight off the field because his girlfriend is singer-actress Jessica Simpson.
Owens has been in the headlines in recent weeks because of a high ankle sprain that has made his status for Sunday uncertain. He practiced on Thursday.
The discrepancy in the Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors has annoyed some Giants' players, Umenyiora said.
``To be honest with you, it should,'' Umenyiora said. ``Because I'm not sure that they have that many better players than we do. But that is the way that the cards fell this year. So we can't really concern ourselves with that.''
Offensive tackle David Diehl understands that the pre-game hype has created the image of the haves and have-nots with the Cowboys and Giants.
``You can't put anything against them, they are a great team, and everybody is talking about them,'' said Diehl, who will have the assignment of blocking All-Pro linebacker DeMarcus Ware in a lot of passing situations.
``Everybody just talks about how we are the most unimpressive team in the playoffs,'' Diehl added. ``It doesn't matter what happens, what people say about us, it matters how we go out there and perform when we play. That is the thing that matters.''
The Giants insist they are a better team than the one that lost to the Cowboys 45-35 on the opening weekend of the season and 31-20 on Nov. 11.
The 45 points in the first game were the result of playing for the first time under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The 31 in the second game were mistakes. Offensively, New York scored 35 points in the opener and it had to settle for a couple of field goals in the second game when touchdowns were there for the taking.
``There are some people who believe that we can win, but that really doesn't matter,'' said Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who leads all active players with 141 1/2 sacks. ``I think when we look at it, we believe we can win. That is all that matters.''
And if that isn't enough, Pierce intends on reminding his teammates that the point spread is 7 1/2, so the bookies don't even think the Giants have a chance.
``Hopefully, we will get a little closer than that,'' Pierce said. ``To be honest, they have more pressure on them than we do. We are just the 10-6 Giants against the No. 1 seed Cowboys, who are going to win the Super Bowl.''
When asked if losing and covering the spread was OK, Pierce got serious.
``I never said 'lose' in anything I have ever said,'' he said.

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