Giants cornerback Michael Coe is 28, he’s played in 25 NFL games making 27 career tackles and he’s about to get his first NFL start against the Dallas Cowboys in the regular season opener on Wednesday.

The previous sentence might not inspire Giants fans with a lot of confidence, but defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and the rest of the secondary aren’t sweating it.

“He probably had the best practice and the best camp out of everyone in the secondary,” safety Kenny Phillips said. “He’s proven that he can play on this level. He’s going out working hard. I’m looking forward to seeing him play.”

Coe was battling a hamstring issue during training camp, but now that Prince Amukamara (ankle) is likely out for Week 1 and Terrell Thomas (knee) has been moved to IR, Coe is set to start opposite Corey Webster.

Fewell told reporters on Sunday that he was impressed with the way that Coe played in the last two preseason games and he’s confident in the veteran’s ability to contribute on Wednesday.

As for Coe, even though this is his first start, he hasn’t changed the way he prepares because cornerbacks coach Peter Giunta always demands that everyone prepare like a starter.

Of course, given that this is his first NFL start, Coe said he expects Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to look his way.

“I’m sure that anybody that we face will try to look a little more on my side because, you know, Corey, building up the reputation that he’s built up, they’re always going to go after someone new,” Coe said, adding, “I think that gets you more ready because you know the ball’s coming your way.”

Cowboys receivers Miles Austin (hamstring) and Dez Bryant (knee) were both full on Sunday, so Coe will definitely be tested on Wednesday.

Cowboys need their nose: Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff (high ankle sprain) has yet to practice this week, but that doesn’t mean he’s out for Wednesday’s opener.

Dallas coach Jason Garrett said he’s hoping to get Ratliff “closer to playing” as the week progresses, and that’s important because the Cowboys defense is significantly better with the eight-year veteran.

“He’s a great player,” Giants center David Baas said. “He’s very strong, got great counter moves. Real quick. He’ll jump backside gap, front-side gap, you know, he’s definitely a good player.”

If Ratliff can’t go, Josh Brent would likely step up. Baas said Brent is a strong player, but he might lack Ratliff’s quickness.

“That’s why he’s so good,” Baas said of Ratliff. “He’s got the moves, and if you’re leaning, he knows how to snatch you down, he knows how to work his hands to get around you. That’s what makes him so good.”

Tom Quinn keeps quiet on punt returner: It’s anyone’s guess who the Giants’ punt returner will be on Sunday. Jerrel Jernigan, Jayron Hosley, Rueben Randle and Domenik Hixon are all candidates, but special teams coordinator Tom Quinn isn’t giving any hints.

As always, Quinn said the top priority is “protecting the ball,” which didn’t work so well in the first preseason game when the Giants had two muffed punts. Fortunately, Jernigan was perfect in three attempts in the final preseason game.

D.J. Jones fails physical: The offensive tackle who was claimed off waivers from the Eagles failed his physical, so the Giants brought back backup guard Mitch Petrus, who was waived to make room for Jones to begin with. Petrus, now in his third year with the Giants, was away from the team for two days.

Nothing changes for David DiehlThe last time Diehl played against the Cowboys, he was at left tackle. Now he’s at right tackle, but he says he’ll see the same outside linebackers, Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware, because Dallas tends to flip their 3-4 alignment frequently.

Rueben Randle expects to see a familiar face: Randle, the Giants second-round pick, could be defended by his former college roommate, Morris Claiborne, on Wednesday. And even if Randle isn’t on the field a lot against the Cowboys -- offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Domenik Hixon and not Randle is third on the depth chart -- the former LSU star can still give some pointers on Claiborne.

“I told them he likes to hit them a lot, so just be prepared for that,” Randle said when asked what he told the other Giants receivers of Claiborne. “You have to get his hands off you because once he gets his hands on you, he can control you.  So that's what I remember coming from the practice field. You got to get him to open up his hips, because if he gets comfortable, he's going to he's going to be able to break and run with you.”

Follow the Giants and Alex Raskin @CBSSportsNFLNYG and @AlexRaskinNYC.