(Long Island, N.Y.) Inconsistency is part of the NFL. Even the ‘almost perfect’ slip up every once in a while. Take the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers’ loss to the less-than-mediocre Kansas City Chiefs a few weeks ago as proof positive that nobody’s perfect.
The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys have both had ups and downs during the 2011 regular season and their 8-7 records indicate as much. But following their Week 17 matchup on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, one will be a division champion and playoff bound while the other will go home and possibly be in the market for a new head coach.
Such is life in both cities, where losing is not tolerated and postseason berths are expected each and every year. Jason Garrett reflected as much when speaking about Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones.
“He wants to win and whenever you have an owner that wants to win, whether you’re a coach, player or anybody working for him, that is an exciting opportunity,” the second year Dallas head coach stated. “He is very committed to winning and will do anything necessary to help us and that is a great feeling to have when you come to work. Our relationship has been outstanding for a lot of years (in) different capacities.”
The Giants are looking to sweep the season series from Dallas and Eli Manning – who has excelled over the years in pressure situations – calls this situation “fun.”
“These are situations that you want to be in – at he end of the regular season, a chance to make the playoffs, win one game and you’re in,” the Giants quarterback said. “This is exciting playing against a division rival at home. Should be a great crowd, great environment Sunday night and (I’m) looking forward to it.”
Originally penciled in as a 1:00 PM start, the NFL’s flexible schedule for NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts made this basically an automatic switch to the national game. With so much on the line and years of bad blood between them, the executives at both the league and The Peacock’s offices are no doubt smiling over this one.
The ‘Boys are coming off a bad loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles in which quarterback Tony Romo injured his throwing hand. “We should be good to go,” he said. “It continues to improve day-by-day.” Romo has been dealing with some swelling in the right hand and a game time decision will be made if he will wear a glove on it or not.
In their last contest, the G-Men won the battle of New York by manhandling the Jets. They are looking to continue that trend and the five sacks of Mark Sanchez were an indication of how a much maligned defense can pay effectively.
If the Giants are to repeat that type of performance – or their Week 14 victory at Dallas – then they need their defense to step up again. The offense has been able to grind it out and have big-play capability when called upon.
Expect a tight one here. May the best team win.