Dak Responds to Shade Thrown His Way By Giants Safety Landon Collins: “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”
Landon Collins is arguably the best safety in the NFL, and he’s not afraid to speak his mind. Earlier this week he was praising Zeke Elliott, but some folks think he may have dissed Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott while praising the Cowboys’ running back.
You decide for yourself.
Here are the quotes as reported by the Newark Star-Ledger’s Matt Lombardo at NJ.com:
“Zeke’s the guy, he’s the guy,” said Collins. “It’s a totally different offense. Dez made his presence known. Without Witten, that was their go-to. Tony Romo, Dak, that was their go-to. Now, without Witten, it’s like, who do they go to? Dak’s looking to Zeke more than he’s looking for any receivers downfield.
“We just really have to focus on stopping Zeke. We have to focus on every run-gap, play our gap assignments, make sure we close the air out of the offensive running game. If we do that, and put the ball into Dak’s hands, I think we have a better shot at winning.”
Personally, I see nothing wrong with Collins’ comments. He’s right. Stop the run game. That’s the mantra of every defense. You have to stop the run first. Was the rest of it a slap at Dak? Some fans took it that way.
And, yes, Dak definitely knows what was said.
Dak was conducting his weekly visit with the media following Thursday’s practice when he was asked about Collins’ quote.
“Challenge accepted,” said Dak.
Then Dak repeated himself.
Sometimes, only two words are needed to speak volumes. Dak has his chance to answer the challenge this Sunday night in front of a prime-time national audience.
Dak and Landon Collins are familiar opponents because the Giants and Cowboys face each other twice per season as divisional opponents. But this year’s matchup is different for both players because the Giants made an offseason change in defensive philosophy.
The Giants are now a 3-4 defensive front (3 down linemen, 4 linebackers) rather than a 4-3 (four down linemen, 3 linebackers).
“They definitely have a different scheme than we’ve seen in the Giants in my first couple of years in the league,” concedes Dak. “They played it well last week (vs Jacksonville in Week 1).
“We know the defense when it comes to the personnel and the players, so just getting out there and handling their scheme the right way — the 3-4 and making sure we know who’s down — are things we’re working on in meetings. We’re getting it handled-up so we’re good to go in protection and able to do what we want to.”