Redskins

Cruz just keeps on cruising as Giants' top threat

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Cruz just keeps on cruising as Giants' top threat

EAST RUTHERFFORD, N.J. (AP) Victor Cruz came out of nowhere to become the New York Giants' go-to receiver a year ago.

With opponents watching his every move this season, and Hakeem Nicks still working his way back from a broken foot in the offseason and a swollen knee, Cruz remains quarterback Eli Manning's No. 1 target.

It was never more evident than last Sunday when the two-time Super Bowl MVP found Cruz on a 77-yard scoring pass play with 1:13 to play to give the NFC East-leading Giants (5-2) a dramatic 27-23 win over quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.

Cruz not only leads the Giants with 50 catches for 627 yards and seven touchdowns, his total receptions is third overall in the league heading into this weekend's game against the Cowboys (3-3) in Dallas.

It's a great follow-up to a season in which he set a franchise record with 1,536 yards receiving. Though Cruz certainly hasn't looked at this year as a proving ground to show last year wasn't a fluke.

``I just wanted to come in and continue to play my game,'' he said. ``I didn't want to come in and try to prove anybody wrong or prove all the doubters wrong. Because I think what I did last year proved a lot of people wrong in itself. So for my sake, (I) just (need to) continue to be consistent and continue to catch every ball that's thrown in my direction. That's the only thing I can do, is run my route, read the defenses, read the coverages and catch everything that's in my area.''

Facing the Cowboys this weekend is going to give Cruz a chance to make up for what might have been his worst game. He dropped a couple of passes in the 24-17 loss to Dallas in the season opener.

``Giants-Cowboys is always a big game,'' Cruz said. ``We want to come in and match their level of intensity. They're coming off a solid win against Carolina. We want to be able to match their intensity and come out firing.''

If the Giants win, they can open a 2 1/2-game lead over Dallas in the division, which might be tough to overcome. A second Cowboys' win over the champions, though, would muddy the waters in the NFC East.

``Teams are doing a good job of keeping the safety in my area and doing things coverage-wise to keep me away from making the big play,'' Cruz said. ``But I think I've done a good job this year of taking advantage of those opportunities when we get the chance to get a big play called.''

Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr knows what to expect from Cruz.

``I have been watching him on film.'' Carr said. ``Just to see the momentum he has picked up since the last time we played ... I am going to have my work cut out for me.''

Carr said Cruz has the ability to get off the line quickly. And once he catches the ball, he has the speed to break free.

``That is what they do best,'' Carr said. ``They have confidence in their ability to finish games. Cruz's number has been called many times. He came through.''

Cruz also is coming off a week in which he angered running back Ahmad Bradshaw by missing a block on a 15-yard run in the second half. Bradshaw yelled at Cruz and then belted him in the back of the helmet.

``He did. I'm not going to lie,'' Cruz said, adding he was not upset. ``I feel like when you're on the field the coaches aren't out there playing for you, we're out there playing for each other. When we're out on that field it's all about us.''

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NOTES: The only Giant ruled out for Sunday's game is linebacker Jacquian Williams. ... S Kenny Phillips (knee) and DT Rocky Bernard (quadriceps) have a chance to play for the first time in five games. ... Bradshaw, who only practiced once this week because of a lingering foot injury, is 50-50, while center David Baas (ankle) and Nicks, who had a good week of practice, are probable.

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond. 

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Stephen Strasburg returns to Nats lineup after DL stint

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Stephen Strasburg returns to Nats lineup after DL stint

Friday night marks the first second-half game of Major League Baseball's 162-game season. 

The Washington Nationals begin 5.5 games out of the first-place Phillies and host the second-place Braves for a three-game series before traveling to Milwaukee. 

One big piece to Dave Martinez's staff who has been missing since June 8 is Stephen Strasburg. The right-hander was activated from the DL and will start on the mound Friday night. 

Ryan Zimmerman was also activated but is not in Martinez's starting lineup. 

Prior to experiencing inflammation in his right shoulder during a June 8 start that forced him out of the game early, Strasburg saw flashes of dominance throughout his 13 starts owning a 3.46 ERA with 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings. 

Zimmerman hasn't played since May 9 due to a strained right oblique. With the emergence of Matt Adams, it will be interesting to see how Martinez uses both guys throughout the summer. 

Here is a look at Friday night's official lineup: 

According to Byron Kerr, Zimmerman is still happy to be back, despite not being in the starting lineup. 

Catch the Nationals hosting the Braves Friday at 7:05 p.m. on MASN2.