Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys finally ended their stalemate on Wednesday morning when he agreed to a massive six-year, $90 million deal that made him the NFL's highest-paid running back.
That means the Giants will be seeing him on the AT&T Stadium turf this Sunday to kick off the season.
Head coach Pat Shurmur has been preparing for a game without Elliott, the NFL's leading rusher a season ago, but that defensive gameplan might need a few tweaks now especially with him expected to receive 20-25 reps, according to NFL Network's Jane Slater.
Still, he understands Zeke isn't the only offensive threat the Cowboys have in their arsenal.
"That just adds another outstanding player to what's really an outstanding offense," Shurmur said of Elliott's return. "They have an outstanding offensive line, an outstanding quarterback, got really outstanding receivers, and they added Jason Witten back to the mix. So, like I talked about on Monday, we have to defend that offense and they added another outstanding player to the mix. So we'll get ready to play."
The Giants' defense wanted the challenge of Elliott on the field. Linebacker Alec Ogletree said on Monday, "I hope he does show up. ...In order to be the best, you have to play everybody that's the best, and he's one of the best in the league."
Jabrill Peppers, who will get his first taste of the Giants-Cowboys rivalry as the team's new safety, also wants to see Elliott in the open field. But he also believes he deserved to get his big deal.
"I'm definitely happy for him. I personally think he deserves it," Peppers said. "But, as far as gameplan wise, they got a lot of weapons we got to prepare for and him being there, now we have to prepare for him as well. But that's the National Football League: it's a [different] guy every week you gotta prepare for. They just happen to have a couple of them."
Another one that Peppers will be seeing a lot of is TE Jason Witten, who came out of retirement after one season to return to the Cowboys. Peppers thinks Witten isn't going to miss a step after his hiatus, as his fundamentals mixed with his size makes him a tough matchup any week.
"Size. He uses his body very well against smaller safeties," Peppers said about what makes Witten tough to cover. "I think he's faster than a lot of people give him credit for. He's established at the game. He knows what he's doing, he knows how to get open (and) he's been there forever."
Being the "Giant Killer," Witten will definitely see his fair share of targets coming his way. But the main emphasis for the Giants will have to be stopping Elliott -- or at least containing him. As he goes, so does the entire offense with his positive gains setting up tons of options for Dak Prescott to work with. Amari Cooper, their No. 1 receiver, is also out there ready to pounce on the ball coming his way, too.
It was a tough matchup to begin with for Big Blue, and it got even tougher. But this group is ready to prove the naysayers wrong, and give the Cowboys are tough run in Week 1.