Trash talk upsets Coughlin: ‘Play the game’

Updated: November 25, 2013, 4:53 PM ET

Kieran Darcy |

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin isn’t happy about his team’s performance Sunday, and he isn’t happy about its performance leading up to the game, either.

A day after the Giants’ 24-21 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Coughlin said he was unaware of the trash talk coming out of his team’s locker room in the days before the game.

“I don’t believe in that stuff,” Coughlin said. “I think you play the game — talk is cheap, play the game. I don’t see anything that gets accomplished by the verbalization part of it.”

Giants safety Terrell Thomas made the boldest comment of all, guaranteeing a Giants victory in an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul told reporters, “We’re going to put it on [the Cowboys],” and “There’s going to be a lot of blood spilled out there.”

The Cowboys were clearly motivated by all the chatter and said so after the game. Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher even went so far as to smear fake blood over his face in the locker room after the game.

Coughlin said he plans to address the issue with players when they reconvene Wednesday.

“We’ve never been a team that has been one to provide bulletin-board material,” Coughlin said. “I understand there was a little bit of that last week, and I don’t believe in any of that. As a matter of fact, [I] speak out very strongly against it.”

In the Giants’ locker room Monday afternoon, Thomas was asked if the Cowboys’ reaction to his guarantee and the other talk was over the line.

“Not at all. They won, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Thomas said. “My statement, I stand by it. Our season was on the line and their season was on the line and they won the big game. They came into our house and won. The better team won.”

Pierre-Paul was not present when the locker room was open to the media. But the few other Giants who were took no issue with the Cowboys, either.

“They won the game, they have the right to be as happy as they want to be,” safety Antrel Rolle said.

“They beat us twice this year, they got the right to talk trash,” defensive end Cullen Jenkins said. “You can’t get irritated with it now. We should have done something about it during the games.”

The Giants’ second loss to the Cowboys was a crippling blow to their chances of making the playoffs. At 4-7, they sit two games behind the Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East with five games to play. They are in poor tiebreaker position, as well.

But Coughlin vowed Monday not to give up.

“We’ve got a lot to play for,” Coughlin said. “We have a five-game schedule, we’re playing against some outstanding football teams. We’re trying to assert ourselves. We’re not executing as well as we can, in all three phases at the same time for sure. So I’m looking for that.”

Said running back Andre Brown, “We’re still gonna go out there and we’re gonna fight. You never know what’s gonna happen at the end of the season. Go out there and get hot again and go out there and play games and win. And hopefully some things fall in our lap.”

Kieran Darcy is an staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.

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