Irving, Tex. The Dallas Cowboys know Drew Bledsoe needs all the time he can get to look downfield, pick a receiver and make the right throw.
The problem is getting him those precious extra seconds.
Against Washington, Tennessee and Houston, Bledsoe was comfortable enough in the pocket that he threw just one interception. He was sacked a total of three times. And Dallas won them all.
Bledsoe didn't have as much time against Jacksonville and Philadelphia - and the results were ugly. The Jaguars picked him off three times and sacked him twice, then the Eagles topped that with three interceptions, seven sacks and a pair of lost fumbles. Not surprisingly, the Cowboys lost both.
Now Bledsoe and his blockers are bracing for another challenge tonight - the New York Giants, who boast a defense that just sacked Michael Vick seven times.
If the Giants (3-2) got to the slithery Vick seven times, what will they do to the, uh, non-slithery Bledsoe?
As a point of reference, consider what they did to him last December: Four sacks, two interceptions and two fumbles, plus one of the lowest completion percentages of his career and a passer rating also near the bottom. New York won the game, which was for first-place in the NFC East, and wound up winning the division; Dallas wound up missing the playoffs.
The good news for Bledsoe is that he has an upgraded set of tackles protecting him. The bad news is that the Giants still have Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, and they're joined by Fred Robbins, Carlos Emmons and Barry Cofield, who were all in on multiple sacks against Vick.
Plus, New York's coaches have studied the blueprint drawn up by the Eagles.
"I'm sure they'll come after us more because they'll feel like we didn't handle it very well," Bledsoe said.
Coach Bill Parcells' mantra ever since the Philadelphia game has been no turnovers. His secondary goal this week is for Bledsoe to keep drives going so NFL rushing leader Tiki Barber and the rest of New York's offense stay on the sideline.
"We've got our work cut out for us," Bledsoe said.