Brooking is new to the Cowboys, the division, and the rivalry. He's never once taken a shot at a New York cornerback for getting burned by T.O., or even expressed hatred for the division rivals. But Brooking will be key in the rivalry's latest chapter on Sunday, as a veteran and a leader on defense, as they butt heads with the Giants' formidable rushing attack.
This is a challenge for which, in his 12th NFL season, Brooking should be ready. His teammates and his coach, who are painfully familiar with what the Giants can bring to the table, will make sure of that.
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"A lot of the guys on this defense, they've played against Brandon quite a bit, played against the Giants quite a bit and they know the running style, the running game, and they're doing the same thing they did last year," Brooking said on Wednesday. "So it's like any game, obviously, the Giants, the strength of their offense is their running game and play action passing."
As far as the mutual disdain of these two, Brooking seems to understand it well, if not yet completely.
"We have to go into this game and it's all about your mentality," Brooking said. "I mean, defensively you can sit here all day long and talk about you got to play responsibility defense, which is so true, but we got to go in there with the mentality that we're not going to let them run the ball on us, period.
"No matter what happens, no matter what we call, what they run, it's on us to be where we're supposed to be, and when we get there, get there with bad intentions. "