The Giants will be starting their first round draft pick, Justin Pugh, at right tackle this Sunday night in Dallas vs the Cowboys. Tom Coughlin was asked if Pugh was ready to take on DE DeMarcus Ware, who has most sacks (111) since entering the NFL in 2005, and has 4.5 sacks in his past 3 games vs the Giants.
“DeMarcus is probably on the other side,” Coughlin stated. A reporter then suggested the Cowboys may smell blood in the water and switch Ware to Pugh’s side.
“I doubt it. He hasn’t switched in preseason, but we’ll see,” Coughlin said. “Ware is an outstanding football player, a Pro Bowl player year in and year out. We have a young guy that’s going to get his first start in the National Football League and he’s more than willing and he’s talented. If it so happens that they do flip and do some things of that nature, then I think he’ll be ready to play.”
The fact the Giants are starting a rookie OT has not slipped past Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett. He was asked if he was tempted to match Ware up with Pugh.
“We’ll come up with a plan and try to figure out what the best matchups are really throughout the team,” Garrett said on a conference call today. “Obviously, he’s a highly regarded rookie who was taken in the first round and was a pretty darn good player coming out. So we have a real healthy respect for everybody on the Giants, particularly that offensive line. We’ll try to look for the best matchups throughout the team, but we have a real healthy respect for what those guys do offensively.”
The Cowboys are also switching from a 3-4 defensive alignment to Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 this year. That means Ware will be putting his hand in the dirt more often, something he’s not accustomed to doing.
“He’s been a guy who has really played all over the place for the most part. Typically, he’s on the offensive left hand side. He has been for a lot of years, but we moved him around a little bit like the Giants do with their defensive alignment,” said Garrett.
Chances are Pugh will see a bit of Ware this Sunday, his first big test as a pro. The Giants need him to pass.