Print and Go Back ESPN.com: BlogsColumns [Print without images]

Monday, December 5, 2011
Updated: December 7, 11:05 AM ET
Giants already fired up for Cowboys

By Ohm Youngmisuk
ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants do not look, feel or sound like a team that has lost four straight games.

After taking the undefeated Green Bay Packers to the brink in a 38-35 loss Sunday, the Giants feel good about the way they played and their future. Despite their slump dropping their record to 6-6, the Giants know that all their goals are still in their control.

Aaron Rodgers and Antrel Rolle
Antrel Rolle (pictured with Aaron Rodgers) says the Giants are planning to win out.

"We know what has to happen," safety Antrel Rolle said Monday. "We have to win out. That is the way we are looking at it."

The Giants next travel to Dallas (7-5) for the biggest game of their season this Sunday night. The Giants play the Cowboys twice this month, games that will decide the NFC East. If the Giants sweep the Cowboys and beat the Washington Redskins (4-8) at home, they'll win the division. Their other remaining game is against the Jets (7-5) on Christmas Eve, when both teams may be fighting for a playoff spot in their respective conferences.

"You don't worry about records at this point," quarterback Eli Manning said. "You worry about the next game and where you stand. This is a huge game coming up. Everything is still in front of us. You never set a goal to what your records will be. You set a goal to win the division. And we got a shot to do that."

There are scenarios in which the Giants can finish 3-1 and still win the division. It helped the Giants' cause that the Atlanta Falcons (7-5) and Chicago Bears (7-5) -- other NFC teams vying for a wild-card berth -- both lost on Sunday. The Bears are ravaged by injuries, with quarterback Jay Cutler already out and running back Matt Forte suffering a knee injury on Sunday.

But the Giants don't want to pay too much attention to what other teams are doing. They know they have to get the job done without relying on help from other teams. After all, last season the Giants were in control of their destiny but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles and Packers and then needed help to get into the playoffs on the final week.

They didn't get that help.

"We just worry about ourselves and get mentally and physically prepared in this next game," Manning said. "In any situation, all you can do is worry about your own team and your own situation. If you start rooting for other people and waiting for someone else to win or lose, you get off the focus that you need to do what you need to get improvement. Worrying about them is not going to help us out."

The focus now is all on an old rival, and winning the NFC East. The Giants' rivalry against the Eagles has been more intense the past two seasons. But now the Giants have to renew their hatred for the Cowboys and bring that same type of energy and effort that they've typically had against the Eagles these past two years.

"It better be, they are in our division, they stand in the way of what we are trying to get to," Rolle said of the rivalry with Dallas being comparable to the one with Philadelphia. "We are trying to bring more to them than we brought to Philly."