Since the grand opening of Jerry Jones’ new home for his Dallas Cowboys, the New York Football Giants have become not only quite acclimated, but very comfortable there. On the stadium’s debut September 20, 2009, in front of a record crowd (105,121) on Sunday Night Football, the Giants officially broke ground on their “second stadium.” Since, Big Blue is undefeated there at 3-0.
QB Eli Manning was 25 of 38 for 330 yards with two touchdowns that night, but his comments were a bit of foreshadowing for things to come for the Giants at Cowboys Stadium.
“The whole team did a good job of gutting it out,” Manning said. “This is a good thing to build from.”
These team-like words also came along with the news (and picture proof) that after the 33-31 win, Manning signed the wall of the visitor's locker room with the message "First win in the New Stadium." Seems a bit prophetic, huh?
The following season, LB Michael Boley came in on a second quarter blitz, unblocked, and landed on QB Tony Romo – fracturing his collarbone. Backup QB Jon Kitna finished the game, but the New York Giants again flew home with the 41-35 victory.
2011 was perhaps the most exciting and cardiac-driven of the three conquests. Playing Dallas is almost always a close game and literally comes down to the last handful of seconds. Last December’s 37-34 “W” came on a blocked K Dan Bailey field goal from DE Jason Pierre-Paul, but not before another 4th quarter comeback from Eli Manning.
Games played within the division don’t ever disappoint, but there seems to be something special and beyond gratifying in achieving a win over an NFC East foe – especially the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones. Owning them on their own turf doesn’t hurt. In this century, the New York Football Giants have the edge, 16 wins over the Cowboys’ 10. Included in those “stats” is the first and only post-season meeting in 2008 – the one where the G-Men advanced to the NFC Championship Game, eventually going on to bring home their third Lombardi.
These two teams first met in 1960 (the year of inception for Dallas) and that game ended in a tie, ironically. As close as the games between these two franchises have been lately, the last time a Giants vs. Cowboys game ended in a tie was the same decade their storied battles began. It’s rare in the NFL period. Some long-time players don’t even know that games could end that way. Funny…
This Sunday will record the fourth time the two organizations shall meet in the still-new Cowboys Stadium. The game needs to be fought and the game plans executed flawlessly in order for either team to come out with their goal attained. In the NFC East, records coming in mean nil as the familiarity is already part of said game plan. Whichever team deviates from their brand of football and errs more (without being able to recover) will fall. However, as the New York Giants remain concentrated on the task at hand (call it revenge or a possible trap game against an injured opponent), they are heading into an almost home-like arena classically dubbed “MetLife South” by the resilient and proud blue fans that reside down there in enemy territory.
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