When the Giants face off against the Cowboys this weekend, NFC East supremacy won't the only thing on the line.
Sunday’s winner will also position itself as the team to beat in the NFC.
As good as the Packers have been in the North, they won't be taken as seriously as the Cowboys and Giants until they can run the football consistently. The Saints, while improved, are still .500. The Lions are still the Lions, albeit a much better version. And the Seahawks are still barely winning the very winnable West.
At this point in the year, Cowboys-Giants is as good as it gets for NFC fans.
Were it not for New England and Indianapolis, the Cowboys would be getting a lot more attention for their stellar performance to date. Tony Romo has been spectacular, and the skill players around him have been at the top of their games. Though the defense gives up a lot of points, it's also able to make a lot of plays.
Dallas looks like the most complete team in the NFC.
But if the Cowboys are the most complete, the Giants must be the hottest.
After an 0-2 start, New York has impressed in reeling off six straight wins. The Giants pass rush has helped turn the defense around, and Eli Manning has been surprisingly steady at QB.
The last time these two teams met was opening night, and the Cowboys had their way with New York. Don’t expect to see a similar result this time around.
The Giants are as far from that Week One team as they could possibly be. They'll make life much tougher on the Cowboys this Sunday, and they've already proven they can keep up on the scoreboard.
That said, this Cowboys team has a special aura about it.
Romo deserves a lot of the credit. His quarterback play has elevated the Cowboys from a decent team to a championship-caliber squad. He makes plays with his feet and his arm, and he can literally change a game when he's on.
Sunday should be one of those days when Romo has the mojo working.
The Giants’ secondary looks strong when the pass rush is firing on all cylinders, but it has plenty of holes that good quarterbacks can exploit. Terrell Owens and Jason Witten pose matchup problems galore for the Giants defense.
The Giants will make it close, and they’ll benefit from having a bye last week. But Romo and the Cowboys are simply too good at this point of the year.
Maybe things will be different in the playoffs.
Prediction: Cowboys 35, Giants 28
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