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?

Sunday, September 21Full Scoreboard
Toronto2Final | Box
NY Yankees «5
Washington «2Final | Box
NY Mets «10Final | Box
Boston «3Final | Box
Milwaukee0Final | Box
Pittsburgh «1
Chicago WSox «10Final | Box
Tampa Bay5
Seattle3Final | Box
Houston «8
Detroit2Final | Box
Kansas City «5
Cleveland «7Final | Box
Los Angeles «8Final | Box
Chicago Cubs5
Texas «2Final | Box
LA Angels1
Philadelphia6Final(10) | Box
Oakland «8
Arizona3Final | Box
Colorado «8
San Francisco2Final | Box
San Diego «8
Cincinnati3Bottom 7th | Box
St. Louis2@theBallpark | TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, September 21Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 3Full Scoreboard
Tampa Bay14Final | Box
Atlanta «56Gridiron Replay
San Diego «22Final | Box
Tennessee7Final | Box
Cincinnati «33
Baltimore «23Final | Box
Green Bay7Final | Box
Detroit «19
Indianapolis «44Final | Box
Oakland9Final | Box
New England «16
Minnesota9Final | Box
New Orleans «20
Houston17Final | Box
NY Giants «30
Washington34Final | Box
Philadelphia «37
Dallas «34Final | Box
St. Louis31
San Francisco14Final | Box
Arizona «23
Kansas City «34Final | Box
Denver20Final(OT) | Box
Seattle «26
Pittsburgh93rd Qtr 12:42 | Box
Carolina3@theGridiron | TV: NBC
Chicago 8:30 PM ET
Full Scoreboard
Sunday, September 21Full Scoreboard
Columbus «4Final | Box
Buffalo0Final | Box
Washington «1
St. Louis3Final(OT) | Box
Columbus «4
Calgary13rd Prd 5:27 | Box
Edmonton03rd Prd 3:33 | Box
Full Scoreboard