Giants Notes: Shockey shelved

Fassel said that TE Jeremy Shockey injured his toe during practice last week. Shockey said he injured it early in last Sunday's game in Dallas. Either way, the injury described as turf toe knocked Shockey out of action in the first half and he never returned. He caught one pass for 11 yards in his limited playing time. While there was no definitive word, it seemed like Shockey would miss Sunday's game against Atlanta.

Fassel said that he was "concerned" about Shockey's injury.

The only other injury suffered by Big Blue was the back spasms that knocked RG Jason Whittle out of action in the third quarter. Tam Hopkins came on to replace Whittle and did a solid job.


Tough talk

During the week leading up to the Dallas game RDT Keith Hamilton told Fassel on more than one occasion that he owed him a big game. So, Fassel made the wise choice of having Hamilton address the team in Dallas Saturday before their division opener.

As he so often is, Hamilton was very direct and to the point, not pulling any punches in an animated talk during which he called out more than one of his teammates.

He then went out Sunday and backed up his words with three tackles, including a five-yard sack.


Carter makes debut

Second-round pick Tim Carter made his NFL debut in Dallas. In addition to serving as a kickoff returner, Carter was in on all special teams, both as a blocker and cover man.

Carter also got into the game for one snap at receiver.

"I felt I did pretty good," he said. "I was hoping to get a [kickoff] return."

While Carter didn't get to touch the ball, he served very well as a gunner on the coverage units.

"They started doubling me by the end of the game," he said.

Carter said the best thing about making his NFL debut was that he now knows where he stands in terms of his exceptional speed. "I was confident in my speed," he said, "but now I know where I'm at. I felt pretty good."


Turf passes test

The Giants players were almost unanimous in support of Texas Stadium's new playing surface, RealGrass. Dallas installed the surface just prior to last Sunday's game against New York. Players mentioned that the playing surface was a lot softer and that there were no problems with the footing.

"I liked the field," RB Tiki Barber said. "I would not be opposed to having that at Giants Stadium."

"That's a great field," Fassel added. "I am not endorsing it, I did not have to play on it and I did not get a chance to ask the players what they thought, but I liked standing on it because it is nice and cushy. It's better than Astroturf."


Eye openers

* Matt Bryant's opening kickoff was terrible. The ball traveled only about 40 yards before going out of bounds, giving Dallas the ball at its own 40-yard line. Jeremy Shockey gave Bryant an earful when he came to the sideline.

* Delvin Joyce's first career punt return was an adventure. He dropped the ball but picked it up and broke several tackles for a 20-yard gain.

* K Matt Bryant made a potentially touchdown-saving tackle on Reggie Swinton in the second quarter.

* Jim Fassel lost a third-quarter challenge that WR Amani Toomer was out of bounds on a third-down catch that would have moved the sticks for Big Blue.

* Dallas OT Javiar Collins replaced Larry Allen early in the game and did a solid job on Michael Strahan. The second-year player from Northwestern limited the NFL's sack king to four solo tackles and no sacks.

* Sunday's game marked only the third time in the previous 21 contests that New York has scored at least 20 points against the Cowboys. In the previous 20 match-ups, the ‘Boys from Big D had outscored Big Blue 426-275, an average of 21.3-13.8 points per game.

* Fassel said that he thought Offensive Coordinator Sean Payton, "called a good game."

* Rookie LB Wes Mallard led the way with two special teams tackles.



The Giants inactives for Sunday's tilt were RB Damon Washington, S Darnell Dinkins (foot), LB Nick Greisen (foot), OT Ian Allen, WR Jonathan Carter, WR Daryl Jones and DT Matt Mitrione (shoulder). Jason Garrett was the third QB.

Once again, C Dusty Zeigler dressed but did not play.

Jones was deactivated after struggling as both a kickoff and punt returner. First-year RB Delvin Joyce out of James Madison replaced him on punt duty, while Joyce and rookie Tim Carter took over on kickoff returns.


NFC East

The Giants, at 3-2, are now tied for first place with the Philadelphia Eagles, who lost in Jacksonville. The Redskins, by virtue of their win in Tennessee, are a half-game back at 2-2. Dallas brings up the division rear at 2-3.


Next up

The Giants return home for their final game before the bye to host Atlanta. Dan Reeves' Falcons limp into Giants Stadium at 1-3. It's uncertain whether QB Michael Vick will be able to play or not. He said he was unsure what his status would be after injuring his right, non-throwing shoulder against Tampa Bay.

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