Giants coach Coughlin focusing on Cowboys despite injured leg

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin limped noticeably as he walked into a news conference ahead of Sunday's NFC East showdown between his team and the Dallas Cowboys.

But Coughlin wasn't going to discuss the extent of the injury he suffered during Saturday's 29-14 victory over the Jets when Giants running back D.J Ware slammed into him after being hit out of bounds.

All that was important to Coughlin was the fact that the Giants (8-7) are playing Dallas (8-7) for the division title and a playoff berth. The loser goes home.

"Never better," Coughlin said of his health. "I may not be able to run for a while," he added, saying later that he doesn't discuss injuries.

Still, Coughlin had some fun. When asked about Ware, he joked Ware was no longer with the team.

He said he has no intention of coaching from the press box Sunday night, and will be on the field with his players in this all-or-nothing game.

Player after player was amazed at Coughlin's toughness after taking the hit, which looked nasty. Trainers forced him to go to the bench to be examined, but he fought them all the way and quickly limped back to his coaching position along the sideline.

"He would never ask us to do anything that he himself would (not) be willing to do, though he is twice the age of our youngest guy," defensive end Dave Tollefson said. "Seriously, he means what he says and he says a lot of things that he does say, there is conviction in his voice. So you can really tell he means it."

Outspoken safety Antrel Rolle went home to Miami for Christmas, and texted his coach to see how he was feeling Sunday.

"Some of our toughness definitely rubbed off on him," Rolle quipped, before getting serious. "He is a tough guy. He kept it going. If our coach is strong enough to go out there and fight and keep it going and hang through a situation like that, we're younger. Why can't we do it?"

Some of the players could not help but tease Coughlin a little bit.

"I don't think he has taken a hit like that since World War II," Tollefson said of the 65-year-old Coughlin, who was born a year after the hostilities ended. "For him to bounce back is impressive."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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