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Cowboys will take it easy on their players in meaningless finale

The Cowboys do not need to win anymore in the regular season, making Sunday’s game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium an opportunity to rest any player who could benefit from a day off.

That sounds like the approach the Cowboys (9-6) will take, as they already have clinched the NFC East title and are ensured of the No. 4 seed in the NFC and a home playoff game during wild-card weekend.

“We think it’s important to practice well and go play well in a game like this,’’ Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. “We’ve been in the situation a couple times in recent years and you have to handle them a little differently based on the availability that you have of your players, but typically, if a player’s not healthy enough to play, he’s not going to play, but the other guys are going to play. If a guy’s not able to play, it’s a good opportunity to see somebody else, a backup player at that spot, but in general, we want to go practice well and go play well and get ourselves ready for the following week.’’

It looks as if the season is over for Odell Beckham Jr., who did not practice Wednesday. The wide receiver’s quad contusion, although improving, is showing little sign it will be healed in time for him to play this weekend. The Giants will not go to any extreme measures to get him on the field, given that this is the final game of their season.

In addition to Beckham, four other players did not practice: LB Alec Ogletree (concussion), TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), WR Russell Shepard (ankle) and DL Mario Edwards (calf). Three players were limited: LB B.J. Goodson (foot), WR Sterling Shepard (hip) and C Spencer Pulley (calf).

Beckham made an appearance in the field house and Ogletree rode the stationary bicycle. Asked if Beckham and Ogletree have a chance to play on Sunday, coach Pat Shurmur said: “There’s a chance. We’ll just have to see where they’re at. They’re both feeling better than they did last week. We’ll just have to see.’’

Third-year receiver Sterling Shepard was elected winner of the 18th annual George Young Good Guy Award, as voted on by the Giants’ chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America. The award, named for the late Giants general manager, is given to the player who displays consistent and outstanding cooperation with the writers who cover the team on a daily basis. Shepard is always at his locker, in good times and bad, and offers perspective on his performance and the team with unwavering accountability.

Safety Michael Thomas finished second in the voting and quarterback Eli Manning (who won the award in 2008) and rookie running back Saquon Barkley finished tied for third.

The Giants and Gatorade selected Nick Delcalzo of Hasbrouck Heights (N.J.) High School as the 2018 Lou Rettino High School Football Coach of the Year. Hasbrouck Heights went 12-0 this season.

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