“We understand exactly what we need to do,” he said. “I think the pressure is off of us a little bit. We’ve just got to go out there and play football.”
Regardless of the other results, the Giants obviously need to defeat the Eagles in order to have any chance at a playoff berth. Even so, ending the year on a high note seems to be a popular theme among the players as well.
“I think we just understand that now it’s either do or die, and we’ve just got to go out there and relax and play football,” Cruz said. “That’s the only thing that’s guaranteed for us right now is this game on Sunday.”
Cruz – who was selected for his first Pro Bowl this season – is in store for a long-term contract extension after back-to-back seasons of 80-plus catches, 1,000-plus yards and nine touchdowns. He set the Giants all-time single season receiving mark last season with 1,596 yards.
He said he’s not disappointed that a contract is still being negotiated. As of October, the structure of a deal has been worked out and just needs to be filled in with numbers that both sides agree upon.
Cruz has shown that he is a valuable cog in the Giants’ offense, and he said that the core pieces of this team are already in place heading into next season.
“We just need to sharpen up certain spots on the field…whether it’s going to get some guys in free agency or during the draft or just sharpen the things up within ourselves,” he said. “The Giants are always going to be in competition for Super Bowls and for championships. It’s just a matter of executing and having the personnel in place to do so.”
For now, Cruz said he will enjoy this last game and afterwards either gear up for the playoffs or, if things don’t work out for the Giants, prepare to have some fun at the Pro Bowl.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.