THE COWBOYS WILL WIN THE EASTBy Todd Archer
At some point, the Cowboys have to come through when it matters. This will be the time.
Just as these Cowboys don't have Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith or Darren Woodson playing, these New York Giants don't have Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks or Michael Strahan. And these Giants aren't the 2007 Giants that beat the Cowboys on their way to winning the Super Bowl.
It is difficult to have faith that these Cowboys will finally come through. I get it. Most of this prediction is actually based on not trusting the Giants.
The last time the Cowboys were in this situation was in 2008, when they needed to win at Philadelphia to clinch a playoff spot and failed miserably in a 44-6 loss. But that team was as dysfunctional as any in Cowboys history. It wasn't just the drama that surrounded Terrell Owens. That defense had some misfits too.
As he walked off the field from the Philadelphia loss, Tank Johnson announced to the world that he was ready for free agency. Do you think he was into that game?
This team is nowhere near that type of implosion.
Tony Romo has done a lot this year to dispel commonly held misconceptions from leadership to his toughness to taking care of the ball. Now he has a chance to win a big game. But so do DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten, Jay Ratliff, Bradie James and Miles Austin.
And so does Jason Garrett.
The coach took over the Cowboys last year on a Wednesday and beat the New York Giants four days later in his first game.
The Rangers have come through the last two years with trips to the World Series. The Mavericks won the NBA championship.
This is the Cowboys' time.
You've heard our takes; now give us yours. DISCUSS
THE GIANTS WILL WIN THE EASTBy Mike Mazzeo
Coming off an emotional 29-14 victory over the Jets in the Battle of New York, the Giants are a confident bunch. They believe they've finally turned the corner and will be ready and raring to go. Plus, they'll have home-field advantage, which doesn't hurt.
The Giants are only 3-4 when they're the "home team" at MetLife Stadium this season, but they aren't playing the Seahawks or Redskins, so don't expect a letdown. The Giants have made a habit of playing down to their competition, but the Cowboys are a good team, so that shouldn't happen.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys are reeling -- having lost three of their last four games -- and their quarterback, Tony Romo, is hurting. The Giants all said they expect him to play, but that doesn't mean they're going to take it easy on Romo. New York ranks fifth in the NFL with 42 sacks, and Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck are going to be coming off the edge with purpose, taking shots at Romo when they can. Knock out Romo and you knock the Cowboys out of the playoff picture.
Defensively, the Giants turned in their best effort of the season against Gang Green, giving up a season-low 14 points. Their secondary final rose to the occasion, holding Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress in check. Big Blue's D was gashed for 444 yards by the Cowboys three weeks ago, but Eli Manning & Co. picked them up, rolling up 510 yards -- including 400 through the air.
A healthy Eli against a vulnerable Romo? Take Eli. Coach Tom Coughlin and his Super Bowl ring versus Jason Garrett? Take Tom.
The Giants have proved that they can beat the Cowboys in a shootout. They're also capable of winning a punt-fest.
After 60 minutes of physical do-or-die football on Sunday night, the Giants will be moving on. The Cowboys will be headed home.