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Monday, November 28, 2011
Giants-Cowboys remain in prime time

By Dan Graziano

The NFL has made its flex scheduling decisions for Week 14, and the Dec. 11 game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys will remain in the 8:20 pm ET time slot. Not a huge surprise, since the only candidates to replace it were Oakland-Green Bay or maybe Chicago-Denver because of the Tim Tebow thing, but worth noting if you're an NFC East fan (which I assume you are, if you're here) and had that game circled on your calendar.

No matter what happens between now and then, that game in Dallas on Dec. 11 will matter. Even if you posit the Giants' worst-case scenario -- lose tonight to the Saints and Sunday to the Packers while the Cowboys win in Arizona, the Giants would be two games back heading into that game with two games still remaining against the Cowboys. For all the talk that's going around about the Giants' annual "second-half collapse," the fact is that it hasn't yet happened and may not, and the head-to-head matchups against Dallas are the main reason why. No matter what happens with this very tough portion of the Giants' schedule, they will have a chance to take matters into their own hands Dec. 11 in Dallas and Jan. 1 at home.

From the Cowboys' standpoint, if they take care of the Cardinals on Sunday and the Giants lose tonight and to the Packers, Dec. 11 could be a chance to more or less put away the division. A win that night could put them three games up with three to play and needing to beat only the Bucs or Eagles to clinch the division title.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves here, of course. Bottom line, Cowboys-Giants on Dec. 11 is still going to keep you up late that night. Which is fine. That's the game that should be on prime time that day.