2012 NFL Schedule: Bold Predictions for Giants vs. Cowboys Opener

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIMarch 27, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 01:   Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys and  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants greet each other after their game at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will meet on Wednesday, September 5 in New Jersey to open the 2012 NFL season, and it should be a heck of a ballgame. 

For those who don't remember, the two rivals last met at MetLife Stadium during the final week of the 2011 regular season to determine the NFC East champion. The Giants emerged victorious, 31-14, and went on to win a championship over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. The Cowboys lost and watched the playoffs from home. 

When the teams meet to open the season in September, that game will certainly be on the minds of the Cowboys. So will the NFL's ruling that assessed $10 million in salary cap penalties to the franchise.

In a twist on the rivalry, Giants owner John Mara is on the management council that approved the penalties. Mara later claimed that he thought the Cowboys were lucky they didn't lose any draft picks as well. 

While the Giants did just win a Super Bowl, I think this game will be bigger for the Cowboys. The upcoming year will decide a lot of things for Dallas as a franchise. Jason Garrett has to prove he is worthy of the team's head coaching job, and guys like Tony Romo and DeMarcus Ware must prove they are good enough to win the big games.

The game should be a shootout, reminiscent of the 42-34 barn-burner between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints to open the 2011 season. 

For some reason, I get the feeling the Cowboys will come out on top, but I expect a fierce battle with both Romo and Eli Manning putting up huge numbers. 

There will be little need to establish the ground game in this one, and Dallas and New York should put on a show as they raise the curtain on the 2012 season.

Expect fireworks. And a Cowboys win.