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November 24, 2013

Scandrick, 'a better player than I used to be,' takes care of Cruz, Giants' showmanship and ESPN's doubts

Orlando Scandrick saw the Giants come to midfield, watched them jump around to their music, and shook his head.

Whatever they were doing, however much they had talked during the week, apparently it only boosted him.

“It was just extra incentive, the way that they came out and they talked in the media,” the Cowboys cornerback said. “I’ve never heard a team that was 4-6 talk like that. And we’re 5-5 – 6-5 now – we had no room to talk. That uses up too much energy of your game plan. You’re just focusing on the task at hand and getting the job done. For them to change up their whole thing pre-game and meet us at the 50-yard line and like have music on cue with it, it was laughable to me.”

Scandrick did his part in stopping the laughter. Asking to stick with Victor Cruz for the entire game, he held the Giants’ best salsa dancer to two catches for 27 yards, and he stripped him of a catch to turn it into a 50-yard fumble return for safety Jeff Heath.

So who says the Cowboys couldn’t stop Victor Cruz?

“I was watching ESPN this morning,” Scandrick said. “I see Michael Irvin, Mike Ditka – I don’t remember who else is on there – but I remember they were talking about the game. They went for the Cruz matchup. And so I kind of perked up, looked up in my bed, sat up.

“They showed a couple highlights. They said they don’t have anybody on this team that can stop Victor Cruz. When I heard that, I mean, I told you guys earlier in the week I was ready to embrace the challenge – the guy’s good, I respect him, he’s a Pro Bowler – that’s hopefully where I can be: in the Pro Bowl one day – so I went out and, I mean, I felt like I proved, I proved once again that I’m a good player, I’m getting better and I’m not going to stop working. I’m going to continue to improve.”

Asked why he is having better success now against Cruz than he did earlier in his career, Scandrick said, “I’m just a better player than I was when I used to go against Steve Smith and when I went against Victor Cruz earlier. I feel like I’ve always had all the tools, and once I got my confidence and I got my technique and I found myself and I matured as a player, man, I’m tough to beat. I mean, I study really well. I know what’s coming. And I mean, I just embraced the challenge like I told you guys.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez


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