ARLINGTON, Texas -- The New York Giants weren't sure, as recently as a few days ago, if defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul would even make the trip here for Sunday night's season opener against the Cowboys. Pierre-Paul had back surgery in June, missed training camp and the preseason and didn't really start practicing again in earnest until this past week. But he did make the trip and he did play in the game. The Giants didn't start him, and they used him almost exclusively on third downs, but Pierre-Paul did manage to pick up a sack and said he felt all right, if not as great as he likes to feel on the field.
"It felt like a preseason game. It was rough out there for me," Pierre-Paul said. "I didn't play to my expectations. Coming to Dallas, I play very well. But tonight was a struggle for me."
It makes sense that it would have felt like a preseason game to him, since it was his first game action since the end of the 2012 season. But Pierre-Paul said he expects to do more work in practice this week and make more of an impact in games going forward as he starts to get into the flow.
"I wasn't tired, my back didn't hurt at all, I've just got to get into that football shape," Pierre-Paul said. "The next game is more serious than this one. We've got Peyton Manning coming through. I expect to keep getting better every day."