Giants vs. Cowboys: Tony Romo's Poise Proves Dallas Is NFC East Front-Runner

Alex HallCorrespondent IIISeptember 8, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 25:  Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the St. Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium on August 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys made a statement in their 24-17 win over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants on Sept. 5, and that statement is that they are the team to beat in the NFC East.

While it was just the first game of the season, Dallas, led by quarterback Tony Romo, showed that, when the team is firing on all cylinders, it can defeat the Giants. New York swept Dallas in the teams' two meetings last year, but the first 2011 contest was the Cowboys' to win until their defense fell apart.

If Romo had connected with Miles Austin on that infamous almost-catch in the first meeting last season, then the Cowboys would have effectively won the NFC East, even with an unreliable defense and offensive line.

The goal again this year is to win the division, and the Cowboys showed the entire nation that they can do that with their Week 1 victory.

Romo threw for over 300 yards, three touchdowns and did not let his one early interception rattle him against the G-Men, who ended his team's season a year ago. He had just seven incompletions on the night and a 129.5 passer rating.

Using new-found weapon Kevin Ogletree and relying on familiar faces like Miles Austin in the passing game, the Eastern Illinois alum was able to keep the Giants defense on its heels all night. The very same Giants defense that posted that ranked third overall in last year's postseason.

Obviously, we're just one game into the season, and New York is still the previous Super Bowl champion. But if that game was a taste of what to expect from Romo and Dallas all year, the Giants wont be representing the NFC East in the postseason this year. 

Dallas last won the division title in 2009 on the back of a top-10 defense and top-five offense. Those numbers aren't out of the realm of possibility for this year's incarnation of the team. The top-five finish for the offense might be shooting a bit high, but both units have the talent necessary to be among the 10 best in the NFL at what they do.

This is yet another season in which the Cowboys have the talent to make a deep postseason run. If they can finally pair talent with consistency, the team could finally achieve just that.

Romo will need to lead the way on offense and continue to shine despite a questionable line of protection for this to happen, but he showed in 2011 that that is something he can do. With the defense doing the same on the other side of the football, the Cowboys could easily be one of the most dangerous teams in the NFC.