The Dallas Cowboys need to make a statement against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in Wednesday's season opener, and earn a convincing victory to get their season off on the right foot.
The Giants are 6-2 in the last eight regular season meetings between these teams, and in a few of these victories, Big Blue has either destroyed the Cowboys chances of making the playoffs, or made it nearly impossible for Dallas to make the postseason.
Who will win this game?
In an ultra competitive NFC East, it's important that the Cowboys prove to their division rivals that they are a better team than last year, and one that is also more mentally strong.
With Miles Austin returning from an injury, in addition to the improvements made to the defense, including first-round draft choice Morris Claiborne from LSU, the Cowboys could have one of their best teams in years.
Being the opponent at the Giants' Super Bowl banner raising celebration should supply the Cowboys with all the motivation they need to dominate on Wednesday.
Confidence is a major part of the current Cowboys team, and for Tony Romo to have the most confidence throughout the season, he has to lead the team to some early wins. An uphill battle towards a playoff spot is not the scenario the Cowboys want to find themselves in late in the year.
Six of the last seven meetings have been decided by less than 14 points, and the Giants are 4-2 in those matchups. The Cowboys need to prove that they can win close games against top competition, especially in the division. If you cannot win close games, you're not a Super Bowl-worthy team.
Even though it's a long season, the Cowboys need to win their season opener against the Giants. The outcome of this game will set the tone for the rest of Dallas' season, which is currently one full of promise.
Dallas needs to make a statement in this game, and show the NFL that they will be one of the teams to beat on the road to Super Bowl XLVII.