|Carr on his matchup with Cruz to open the 2012 season: 'I don't plan on seeing no dancing.' (Getty Images)|
When the Giants meet the Cowboys on Wednesday, September 5 to open the 2012 NFL season, they will do it as defending Super Bowl champions. And Dallas, coming off a disappointing 8-8 campaign, will hope that its offseason acquisitions will be enough to get them back to the playoffs.
(It's worth pointing out that the Giants were 9-7 in 2011 and needed a Week 17 victory -- over the Cowboys -- to claim the NFC East and with it, a spot the postseason. In some cases, a single game can be the difference between underachievers and world champs.)
One of those free-agent pickups, $50 million cornerback Brandon Carr, will have the unenviable task of stopping Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, the former undrafted free agent who has emerged as Eli Manning's favorite target. One of Cruz's hallmarks is his salsa-dancing touchdown celebration, which Carr has designs on squashing, too.
"I want to use all my body (to stop Cruz)," Carr said during a Friday appearance on ESPN's NFL Live (by way of the Dallas Morning News). I'm six-foot, 200 pounds. I know he's got to run through me to get wherever he's running, so I'm going to be patient at the line. All that salsa dancing, that's fine, but you've got to come through me. I don't plan on seeing no dancing."
The Morning News notes that Cruz went off on the Cowboys last season, totaling 252 yards and two touchdowns in two games, including Week 17's six-catch, 178-yard performance. Football Outsiders ranked Cruz fourth in its WR efficiency metric (behind just Calvin Johnson, Jordy Nelson and Wes Welker, and ahead of Mike Wallace).
And while we applaud Carr's confidence, Cruz's teammate, tight end Jake Ballard, remains unconvinced:
Only 157 days until the 2012 season begins!
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