Here is a report on how players did, position by position, in the game against the Cowboys.
Revenge Part II?
Plaxico Burress said the Giants are so close to earning their first Super Bowl berth in seven years that they can almost taste it.
"We're 60 minutes away, but we've got to focus on the task at hand," Burress said. "Green Bay came into our place and beat us pretty good. They are a good team. We've got to come out and play hard. We're 60 minutes from the Super Bowl so everybody will come out scratching and fighting."
Needless to say you couldn't get Giants coach Tom Coughlin to look too far ahead.
"No I am not going to talk about that," he said. "I think it's a great win for us and I told the players that when we won we would go into Green Bay. We'll get back to New York as soon as we can and try and get ourselves ready for Green Bay."
Right guard Chris Snee relishes the underdog role.
"We'll be an underdog and be the worst team in NFC Championship Game history," he said. "We'll be happy about it. We'll go in there and fight. We know what type of team we have. We'll be underdogs and we'll fight to the end."
"Going to Green Bay for the conference championship," LT David Diehl smiled. "The words cannot describe how awesome that will be."
Plain and simple, the Giants won this game with their defense. They totally kept Tony Romo in check and limited the damage of Dallas' other key offensive weapons like Terrell Owens, Jason Witten and Marion Barber.
"Our defensive guys were on the field a majority of the time, had to make two big-time stops there on our side of the 50-yard line at the end of the game," Coughlin said. "So many guys contributed."
Sure, Barber rushed for 129 yards and Witten chipped in with 81 yards through the air, but the Giants defense came up with the two big stops late that they absolutely needed.
"It's not easy to stop those guys," Eli Manning said. "They had two chances down four (points) and we stopped them twice. That's big-time football there."
Rookie cornerback Aaron Ross injured his left shoulder making a tackle in the second quarter. He went in for X-rays but then returned to the game in the third quarter. However, he re-injured himself when he went low to upend Cowboys RB Marion Barber and was lost for the duration of the game. With Ross out, and Sam Madison and Kevin Dockery inactive, the Giants were forced to insert at nickel Geoffrey Pope, a rookie from Howard they just recently signed to their roster.
O'Hara's a go
The Giants got good news on the Shaun O'Hara front when New York's starting center was able to play after missing last week's playoff game in Tampa with a knee injury. However, the news was not as good as an abdominal injury kept Sam Madison on the sidelines for the second straight week. He was replaced by Corey Webster in the starting lineup. WR Sinorice Moss was once again on the shelf, where he was joined by RB Danny Ware, injured CB Kevin Dockery, OT Adam Koets, DT Manny Wright and TE Jerome Collins. Jared Lorenzen was the third quarterback.
Spags heading to Falcons?
The hiring of Tom Dimitroff as Atlanta's new general manager moves Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo into the forefront for the Falcons vacant head-coaching position. A source close to Dimitroff told TGI that he's very, very high on Spags as a head-coaching candidate. Right now, it appears that Spagnuolo and former Giants QBs coach Jason Garrett are atop Atlanta's short list.
By the numbers
The Giants are now 5-7 in Divisional Playoff Games, including 4-5 since the 1970 merger. The NFL counts pre-merger Division or Conference Championship Games as Divisional Playoff Games. The Giants lost such games in 1943 and 1950, but won in 1958.
The Giants are now 1-5 on the road in the divisional round, 1-4 since the merger with losses in San Francisco in 1981, '84 and '93 and Chicago in 1985.
This was the Giants' first divisional round game since a 20-7 victory over Philadelphia on Jan. 7, 2001.
Dallas dropped to 15-8 in the Divisional Playoffs (14-6 since the merger), including 11-4 at home (10-3 since the merger).
Quote of the game
"I'm speechless. My heartbeat is normally between 48 and 52 and it's about 150 right now. I don't even know what to say. Coming into a situation like today where no one was giving us a chance. No one picked us, no one expected us to hold a team that has scored about 80 points on us this season to 17. So we are heading to Green Bay, which no one picked as well. I couldn't think of anything better." – Giants LB Antonio Pierce
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