Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora is optimistic but uncertain about his status for Sunday's critical game against Dallas.

Umenyiora has missed the past four games with a high ankle sprain -- the team won't say which leg -- but has practiced on a limited basis this week, including Wednesday. Coach Tom Coughlin likes what he saw from Umenyiora, saying, "He did good. He did a little bit more, felt better, felt good, moved around well."

New York's defense is built on a strong pass rush and, until the emergence this season of second-year DE Jason Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora was the team's most dangerous sack threat. He has only seven sacks this season because of his injuries, which also included knee problems.

Umenyiora says this is "a fun time" to be playing.

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