Giants prepare to play Cowboys without DE Jason-Pierre Paul

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

New York Giants coaches are preparing for Sunday's NFC East showdown against the Dallas Cowboys with the expectation that they not have defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, a league source told ESPN's Ed Werder.

Pierre-Paul suffered a groin injury in the loss to the Steelers Sunday and visited Dr. William Meyers, a Philadelphia surgeon who specializes in groin and sports hernia injuries. Pierre-Paul went for a second opinion after an MRI indicated he does not have a sports hernia. The Giants are awaiting Meyers' diagnosis but are skeptical that Pierre-Paul can recover in time to play against the Cowboys regardless of the outcome.

The Giants need Pierre-Paul during a difficult closing stretch as they try to reach the postseason for the first time in five years. He has been a key piece to their defensive resurgence this season and is among the NFL's leader in sacks since Week 9.

The only defensive end to play more NFL snaps this season than Pierre-Paul is teammate Olivier Vernon.

Should Pierre-Paul be unable to go, the Giants would be in a difficult spot according to the team's defensive captain, Jonathan Casillas.

"No one is JPP. No one is Jason Pierre-Paul. No one can really do the things he can do for us," Casillas said. "There are going to need to be different things we might have to do. I don't know what that is quite yet but his presence will be missed out there."

Before the injury, Pierre-Paul was playing his best football in years. He had 5.5 sacks in the two games before Sunday's loss to the Steelers. He had seven tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble return for a touchdown the previous week in Cleveland that earned him NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

After missing the first half of last season following a Fourth of July fireworks accident that cost him his right index finger and parts of several others, Pierre-Paul has started all 12 Giants games this season. He has 53 tackles and seven sacks while logging the most snaps of any defensive lineman in the NFL entering last week.

Pierre-Paul is set to become a free agent at the end of the season.

Information from ESPN's Jordan Raanan was used in this report.