EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Over the past few seasons, Tom Coughlin has gotten into the habit of giving the New York Giants an extra day off on Mondays after a big win.
As Coughlin finished his postgame speech after the 35-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, a couple of the players told the coach they would be seeing him on Wednesday to start preparations for this weekend's game with Philadelphia.
Coughlin heard the pleas, and told everyone to come in on Monday despite the double-digit win that gave the defending Super Bowl champions a 7-1 record at the halfway point of the season.
Veteran receiver and team captain Amani Toomer was not surprised. The Giants turned the ball over three times and were called for eight penalties in the win that gave them a three-game lead over Dallas, the preseason pick to win the NFC.
es missed, and we kept them in the game a lot longer than we should have.''
Eli Manning did a lot of good things, and a lot not so good. The Super Bowl MVP threw three touchdown passes, but he also lost two fumbles and had an interception returned for a touchdown by Mike Jenkins with New York cruising 14-0 in the second quarter.
Manning said the Giants were proud they scored five touchdowns on their five trips inside the Cowboys 20, but he admitted there is room for improvement.
``We talk about the good plays, but we try to fix the bad plays,'' Manning said. ``And we really concentrate more on those things and trying to see how we can improve that or what went wrong or why that bad play happened. And so we are trying to improve every week. We have a lot of drive in us. We know that we have a tough road ahead of us and it is matter of we have to keep playing at a high level.''
While Coughlin wanted his players to lift weights and go over the videotapes of the game with their position coaches, he also said that this was not the time to cut back.
New York has eight games remaining, including two with Philadelphia. Seven of the eight opponents have winning records. Minnesota, which is the final regular-season game of the season, has a 4-4 record.
re no illusions that certain things are being done well,'' Coughlin said.
Center Shaun O'Hara said everyone realizes that there will be no breaks the rest of the way.
``Believe me, the best thing about this team is that nobody is in here popping the champagne and ordering bottles of Cristal,'' O'Hara said. ``We're 7-1 and we don't get a trophy for that.''
Notes: Coughlin said that safety James Butler had tests on the knee he injured on Sunday. The results were not immediately available. Tight end Kevin Boss will be limited in practice this week because of a sprained ankle.

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