Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bradie James considers the signature a form of taunting, much like Giants running back Brandon Jacobs' postgame dance on the star at midfield after New York's 33-31 victory in the grand opening of the $1.2 billion stadium. The autograph was accompanied by the score of the game and "First win in the New Stadium."
"We won't forget that," said James, a defensive captain who ranted Wednesday about his dislike of the Giants. "It just makes for a more intense game."
Manning confirmed that the signature was his, but he said he didn't intend the autograph as a taunt. He said he just granted the request of a locker room attendant.
"Yeah, it's a pretty common thing," Manning told reporters at the Giants' practice facility. "I was asked to sign it, it wasn't like I just went there and signed it. I didn't have a pen on me or anything. It was all supplied."
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said he "didn't think it was a great thing to do" and seemed puzzled by Manning's explanation.
"Things come back around in this league," Phillips said.
Manning did not seem concerned when told that the Cowboys were using his autograph as motivational fodder.
"Yeah, I kind of heard a few things about it,'' Manning said. "I figure they'll eventually get over it."