Pierre-Paul shows off 'basketball skills'

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jason Pierre-Paul patiently went through a description of his 28-yard interception return.

But what he really wanted to talk about was what happened after he reached the end zone. A one-handed dunk over the crossbar.

“Did you see the dunk?’’ Pierre-Paul, breaking into a grin, asked the reporters. “I've got some basketball skills.’’

Pierre-Paul’s second-period touchdown helped the Giants defeat Dallas, 29-24.

Pierre-Paul seems to save his biggest plays for the Giants' trips to Dallas. In the very same end of the field at Cowboys Stadium in 2011, Pierre-Paul blocked a Dallas field goal to preserve a 37-34 New York victory.

Instead of rushing Tony Romo on the interception play, Pierre-Paul drifted to his right, toward the sideline. “I was supposed to rush, but I was kind of being patient on my rush. [Romo] always backs up and takes a step to the right on that kind of play,’’ Pierre-Paul said.

Romo tried to float the ball to running back Felix Jones in the flat, but basketball skills came in handy for Pierre-Paul. Snatching the football with two hands was a lot like pulling down a rebound.

“I was up pretty good,’’ he said.

The Cowboys fought back and threatened to pull it out in the final seconds.

“That last pass, we thought it was over,’’ Pierre-Paul said. “Everybody thought it was over. Dez was celebrating. All we could tell was that the referee was going to the review booth to see what it was. When they called it not a touchdown, it gave us another shot to go out there and play hardball. Just get at the quarterback one last time.’’

Pierre-Paul likes the direction the Giants' defense is headed.

“Every game we play, we are just getting better and better,'' the defensive end said. "We are not even at our full potential as a defense. We are probably at 50 percent. We have a whole lot of football left to play.’’