October 17, 2014
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, front, is unable to catch a pass as Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Nate Allen defends on the play during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Matt Rourke

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Eli Manning held his weekly meeting with his receivers on Friday and it was nothing out of the ordinary.

The Giants quarterback went over red zone, down and distance situations and things New York (3-3) will have to do to beat the Cowboys (5-1) in Dallas on Sunday.

Business as usual with the exception that Victor Cruz was not part of the game plan and won't be for the rest of the season.

Cruz had surgery on his right knee Monday and was put on injured reserve.

That takes away the Giants' biggest threat and leaves a major hole. Rueben Randle is now the No. 1 receiver in terms of experience and rookie Odell Beckham Jr. moves into the starting lineup. The rest is unanswered.

Tom Coughlin has had a habit of simply moving the next player on the depth chart into the lineup so expect Preston Parker to be the third receiver, probably playing in Cruz's position in the slot.

Beckham, the Giants' first-round draft pick, will probably run some plays out of the slot, too, and recently signed Kevin Ogletree may see action as the fourth receiver. It is more likely, however, the Giants will use multiple tight end formations with Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells and maybe even Adrien Robinson.

''I don't think it's going to change a whole lot,'' Manning said. ''I think each week we'll have some different thoughts on how we want to attack the opposing defense and also putting guys in certain positions to do what they do well. You might run a few different plays but it's all still stuff that's in the system, so I don't see it changing in that aspect.''

Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo plans to watch how the Cowboys go after the Giants' offense.

''We're going to have a plan, we're going to move some guys around,'' McAdoo said. ''We're going to do what we do and put our guys in positions to be successful. We're going to see what the plan is from the defense and be able to adjust from there.''

With Cruz out, Randle isn't feeling any extra pressure to step up. He said his job is to get open and catch the ball when Manning targets him. What might be different this week is that players like Beckham, Parker and Ogletree might be coming up to him in the game for advice. In the past, they would have gone to Cruz.

The Friday meeting with Manning was the same, Randle said.

''It was the same talk, the same strategy,'' Randle said. ''We wanted to see what we could exploit on third downs or the red zone, or whatever it may be. That will have to continue through the whole season.''

Beckham has the potential to be a game-breaker like Cruz. He caught the game winning touchdown for the Giants in their win over Atlanta two weeks ago, but was limited to two catches for 28 yards in the shutout loss to Philadelphia on Sunday night, the game in which Cruz was hurt.

''I feel like there are things that us as receivers, that we definitely have to do now,'' Beckham said. ''You get out there and make more plays and give Eli places to throw the ball. I think that's something that the receivers take pride in. We're going to have to go and make plays day in and day out.''

Ogletree, who was signed on Tuesday, said he would be ready to contribute if called upon against his former teammates.

''He has a lot of physical tools. He can run. He is a very good route runner. He has a good understanding of the game,'' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Ogletree. ''Very quarterback-friendly receiver and our guys always loved to throw to him, and he can do a lot of things. He can play outside, he can play inside. He stretches the field and he is a sophisticated route runner on the underneath stuff.''

NOTES: RB Rashad Jennings (knee) will not play Sunday. He is walking better and may be back after the bye week. ...MLB Jon Beason (toe) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) are probable. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back-hamstring) practiced on a limited basis on Friday and is questionable. LB Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) also is questionable.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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