Waller grew up in a household of Giants fans
As the New York Giants prepare to face the Dallas Cowboys, one new member of the team already has previous experience with the rivalry: tight end Darren Waller. Growing up a Giants fan along with his dad, Waller knows what the energy in the matchup will be like.
“Growing up in a house with my parents, NFC East fans, I know the history,” he said. “I know how heated and competitive these games have been over the years and I know what I’m about to step into on Sunday. I am honored to take the field.”
He pointed to Odell Beckham Jr. as his favorite Giants player.
Waller is excited for the primetime action right away.
“I think these games are dope… Just having those games out of the gate, it’s exciting,” he said. “Those are the kind of environments that you want to play in, you know everybody’s watching and playing against a really good team. I feel like it’s going to bring the best out of you pretty early on.”
On facing the Cowboys’ defense
Waller explained that the Cowboys tend to play more zone coverage on earlier downs but switch to man on third down. He complimented the Cowboys’ safeties for their coverage skills, adding, “You’ll see some of those corners as well because they’ll match. It’ll basically be man when you are out wide. They’ve got a lot of talented cover players, so that’s who you want to go up against.”
On the expectations surrounding him
Waller admitted that he hears the noise and the expectations that he’ll have a big game right away. Still, he quoted motivational speaker and former college football player Inky Johnson, “Expectations are external, but standards are internal.”
“You can have a standard that’s what you have for yourself… My standard is however many plays come to me, however many opportunities come to me I try to make the most of those, and if it ends up being eight for some bigger plays then that is what it is.”
On Saquon Barkley
Waller explained the matchup nightmare that Saquon Barkley presents for opposing defenses. While they want to put an extra guy in the box to stop the run, “when you do that, you are more susceptible to those play actions and over routes, which I feel like I’ve succeeded a lot at in my career.”
In Waller’s one preseason cameo, he and Daniel Jones showed exactly what that play-action threat can be. Giants fans are looking forward to seeing that connection on Sunday night.