When Wade Phillips stands up in front of his team in the bowels of JerryWorld on Monday night he won't have to dig too deep to come up with a way to motivate his players before their battle with the Giants.
All Wade has to do is go back about a month and pull some copies of articles about the Giants from the New York Post and Daily News. He'll hold them up to his team and point out the way people were predicting the implosion of the team because of poor coaching, zero accountability among the players and a lack of discipline that would make several prisons around our country turn up their noses. Everywhere you looked, people were calling the Giants a lost cause and hope for a turnaround was in short supply.
After Wade points all of that out, he can then throw the current NFC East up on the wall for his team to see. It won't take much for the players to get the point. The Giants are a half-game ahead of the Eagles and Redskins in the division and a half-game behind the Falcons for the best record in the conference. Three weeks ago they were dead in the water and now they are one of the key players in the conversation for best team in the conference.
Ol' Wade might not be blessed with a honey tongue, but you don't really need to be one of the world's great storytellers to get the point of this story across to your listeners.
The Giants were once sitting exactly where the Cowboys are sitting right now and they're now in a completely different place without making any drastic changes to their team. The talent was always there, but mistakes were getting in the way of success with alarming frequency. A few subltle tweaks and a better job of keeping focus turned the whole thing around and relaunched the Giants into the upper reaches of the NFC.
It's a bit later in the season and the negativity surrounding the Cowboys is a bit less of an overreaction, but nothing has been lost for the Cowboys yet. The NFC is short on teams that stand out from the pack and a three game winning streak would put them right back into the mix for a spot in the postseason. Everyone is telling them that it is impossible, but everyone said it was impossible for the Giants to compete this season based on their early results.
Motivational speeches using the strength of the opposition as the motivation are few and far between, but Wade would be wise to pull one out before Hank Williams Jr. askes if we're ready for some football.
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