Take that, Dak: Giants' Collins says Big Blue, not Big D, will 'take over' NFC East
WAYNE - Take that, Dak.
Giants All-Pro safety Landon Collins responded to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott's prediction that Dallas would repeat as NFC East champion by promising this would be Big Blue's season to "take over" the division.
Prescott offered what was hailed as a guarantee of sorts on the red carpet at the 2017 ESPY Awards earlier this month when he declared the Cowboys would repeat as NFC East champs.
"We're the Cowboys," Prescott said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "We're gonna win the NFC East."
The Eagles were the last team to defend the NFC East title in 2004.
In speaking with reporters at his youth football camp Friday morning, Collins said he heard Prescott’s prediction and responded to his divisional foe on social media shortly thereafter.
"I commented right underneath his picture [on social media] and said, 'I highly doubt that,'" Collins said.
"They will not control the East. It's over with. We're gonna have a run for it. I mean, they're not going to win, I tell you that much. We're definitely gonna take over."
The Giants swept the Cowboys in the 2016 regular season, but Dallas won the division. Both teams lost their playoff game, coincidently enough to the Packers – the Giants in the wild-card round at Green Bay, and the Cowboys in the divisional round at home in Arlington, Texas.
The Giants and Cowboys will open the 2017 regular season against each other in prime time at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sept. 10. The Giants report to training camp Thursday and begin practicing next Friday in East Rutherford.
"Coming from the background and the program that I came from [at Alabama], the team that I came from and the caliber of player that I am, I'm not scared to say any of those words out there," Collins said Friday. "Because my team, my guys and our organization backs it up every time."
During his second season, Collins broke out and joined the conversation regarding which player was the best safety in the NFL. He finished among the candidates for Defensive Player of the Year and publicly talked about his ultimate goal of not only winning the Super Bowl, but also one day donning the gold jacket that comes with induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
So it should come as no surprise when, after Giants safeties coach David Merritt sent a message to Collins about how good he believed he could be, Collins has continued to speak about the quest he hopes will shape his professional career.
"My ultimate goal is to wear that gold jacket," Collins said.
The Giants are confident in their position as legitimate contenders for Super Bowl LII. It's now up to the assembled players who have helped create that hype to live up to it.
And that's a challenge Collins insists Big Blue will not back down from.
“Oh, we embrace the [high expectations] because I mean you want to live up to your expectations just like everybody else," Collins said. "When I came into the league I [wanted] to live up to my expectations that I had for myself and what other people had for me, and the same vice-versa for our whole team. Our offense has all the keys that we need now. The defense has [them], too. “I mean we have everything, all we gotta do now is put it together and make a brotherhood out of it, and just trust in one another. I mean, I think we’re unstoppable from that point on.”
Apparently the Giants and the Cowboys share that mind-set.
Only seven weeks until they get the chance to prove it on the field.