Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick welcomes showdown against Giants’ Victor Cruz

Posted Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

One of the key matchups in Sunday’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will be Pro Bowl receiver Victor Cruz going against cornerback Orlando Scandrick.

They have played each other five times, with Cruz catching 25 passes on 46 targets for 451 yards and four touchdowns. Cruz has had a great game — six catches for 178 yards and a touchdown in a regular-season-ending 2011 game that decided the division title — and a not-so-good game — two catches for 23 yards in the second meeting last season.

“I think we know each other pretty well,” said Scandrick, who is having his best season and has emerged as the Cowboys’ best cornerback. “I think it’s been a great matchup. We go at it. He does some things great, and I do some things well that he has trouble with.”

Said Cruz: “Our battles have been pretty good, and there’s been ups and downs. He’s gotten the … Their team has gotten the better of me, the better of us. I think we’ve gone back and forth a couple of times. He’s a good player, man. He’s quick. He’s fast. He’s pretty smart; when he reads something he attacks it pretty quickly.”

Scandrick, who has been starting outside, likely will spend more time in the slot this week, facing Cruz.

Scandrick has allowed only 35 receptions on 60 targets for 315 yards and three touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus. Quarterbacks have a passer rating of only 75.3 against him.

No magic potion

Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is still smarting from the 49-17 blowout loss at New Orleans on Nov. 10 when his unit allowed a franchise-record 625 yards and an NFL-record 40 first downs.

“It definitely motivates you to play a good game, no doubt,” Kiffin told reporters after practice Wednesday “Bad games aren’t a lot of fun.”

Kiffin is hopeful the Cowboys will be better against the Giants because of the work the coaches put in during last week’s bye and the return of several injured players to the lineup.

“There’s no [such] thing as magic,” Kiffin said. “We’ve all just got to do a better job.”

Kiffin’s unit ranks last in the league against the pass and total yards allowed.

Injury update

Defensive end DeMarcus Ware (quad) and cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring) returned to practice Wednesday, joining a host of walking wounded who returned on Monday, including wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), safety J.J. Wilcox (knee) and defensive tackles Jason Hatcher (neck) and Nick Hayden (ribs).

All are expected to play Sunday at the Giants.

The only players who didn’t practice even on a limited basis were linebackers Sean Lee and Justin Durant. Both are expected to miss one if not two games with hamstring injuries.

Ware, Hatcher and Claiborne were limited in practice, as was linebacker DeVonte Holloman.

“It’s going to help us,” Kiffin told reporters about the injured players returning. “I like those jersey numbers, 94 and 97 [Ware and Hatcher]. They looked good but they’re still coming back.”

Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Kansas City4Final | Box
San Francisco «11Ballpark Replay
110th World Series, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Buffalo «2Final | Box
San Jose1
Boston «4Final | Box
NY Rangers1Final | Box
Montreal «3
New Jersey «3Final(OT) | Box
Dallas5Final | Box
NY Islanders «7
Detroit2Final | Box
Philadelphia «4
Chicago2Final | Box
St. Louis «3
Pittsburgh «3Final | Box
Tampa Bay2Final | Box
Minnesota «7
Florida1Final(OT) | Box
Arizona «2
Washington «3Final | Box
Full Scoreboard