EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Super Bowl champion New York Giants lost a little of their swagger, and all it took was one game.

The sense of confidence that permeated the locker room during training camp and in the weeks leading up to the season was noticeably missing Thursday, less than 24 hours after losing to the Dallas Cowboys 24-17 in the kickoff to the season.

Dallas was better. The Giants looked very much like a team that struggled through the first 14 games last season before finishing with a 6-0 run to claim their second title in five seasons. It was the one thing Coach Tom Coughlin wanted to avoid.

What concerned Coughlin was his players’ approach. They didn’t practice well on two of the three days leading to the game, and there was just something missing in their performance.

“It’s a real good time for self-analysis and to figure out what you can do as an individual to help the team,” said place-kicker Lawrence Tynes, a member of both of the Giants’ recent title teams. “I think the long weekend will give us time to reflect and come back hungry on Monday and ready to prepare better, practice better and play better.”

DAVID DOTY, the federal judge who oversaw NFL labor matters for almost two decades, is considering a lawsuit brought by the Players Association that accuses the league of collusion.

The players claim the NFL conspired to hold down salaries in 2010 with a secret salary cap.

A lawyer for each side argued before Doty in Minneapolis. Doty took the case under advisement without promising when he’d decide but acknowledging he’s not in a rush.

“We’re not going to stop any games from being played or anything like that,” Doty said.

CARDINALS: Inside linebacker Daryl Washington agreed to a six-year contract.

The Cardinals had targeted the third-year pro throughout training camp as the next player to get a new deal. A second-round draft pick, 47th overall, out of TCU in 2010, Washington led the team in tackles last season with 111.

SAINTS: Receiver Adrian Arrington missed practice because of soreness in his right knee.

Arrington sat out all five games of New Orleans’ preseason because of a meniscus tear that required arthroscopic surgery, but he returned to practice earlier this week, hoping to play in Sunday’sopener against Washington.

JETS: Tight end Dustin Keller was limited at practice but said his injured hamstring is “progressing well” and he should be ready to play in the opener Sunday against Buffalo.

Keller hurt his right leg Aug. 26 in the Jets’ preseason game against Carolina.

He has been testing the hamstring at full speed by himself, and intends to do so in team drills Friday.

n Woody Johnson, the owner, disputed the “circus” label many fans and media have used to describe his team, instead saying “we’re deadly serious here.”

RAIDERS: The thin receiving corps got a boost when Denarius Moore returned to practice from an injury and the team signed Derek Hagan.

Moore practiced on a limited basis for the first time since Aug. 4. He has been dealing with a hamstring injury first sustained in minicamp in June.

TEAM MARKETING Report released its Fan Cost Index with the Jets having the highest average for non-premium tickets at $117.94, beating the Patriots by 10 cents.

The Super Bowl champion Giants are third at $111.69, followed by the Bears at $110.91. Cleveland has the lowest average per ticket at $54.20.

BILLS: Receiver Stevie Johnson was held out of practice because of a groin injury, leaving his status uncertain for the opener at the New York Jets this weekend.

Coach Chan Gailey said Johnson could have practiced but was held out as a precaution a day after complaining of tightness in his groin. Gailey said he thinks Johnson will return to practice Friday but added there’s a level of concern about an ability to play Sunday.

FALCONS: Atlanta re-signed cornerback Dominique Franks, less than a week after he was cut by the team.

To make room for Franks on the 53-man roster, the Falcons receiver Tim Toone.