Sunday Night Football culminates with a do-or-die scenario for the competitive NFC East divisional crown. The Cowboys will pay a visit to New York to do battle with the Giants in a contest where the winner goes to the playoffs, and the loser goes home. Both teams had higher aspirations than having their respective seasons come down to this, but Dallas and New York should simply be fortunate that despite the plethora of bumps along the road, they still have an opportunity at post-season play.
The Giants won the first match-up between these two teams on December 11th, however both these squads have proven to be wildly inconsistent over the course of the season and you truly don’t know what to expect come Sunday evening. For the Cowboys, they’ll be entering this game coming off a meaningless loss last week to the Eagles, one in which Tony Romo sat out for most of it with a hand injury. Romo should be good to go against the Giants, and will be instrumental to any form of Cowboys’ success.
For the Giants, they’ve had their fair share of ugly losses on the season and know this situation could have been easily avoidable. After a big win over their rival New York Jets last week, they have given themselves a glorious opportunity to salvage what mostly looked like a lost season for the bulk of the year. New York enters this pivotal clash with a number of banged up bodies, most of which should be fine. The most crucial player to their success, Hakeem Nicks, has battled a hamstring injury recently but should be fine for Sunday evening. Tight end Jake Ballard has been ruled out for this game, and will be replaced by Travis Beckum.
Cowboys vs. Giants Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
Dallas Cowboys +3 (+100)
@ New York Giants -3 (-120)
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)
Cowboys vs. Giants Pick:
The final game of the NFL’s 2011-2012 regular season finishes with quite the contest featuring two of the game’s most inconsistent squads. It’s no secret that when these teams are focused, and play to their potential they are among the game’s best, however it’s been anything but that of late. Both New York and Dallas have struggled mightily at times, and this game will in all likelihood have massive drama.
Tony Romo makes the Cowboys click, and though he has shown a willingness to play through pain earlier in the season, a bad hand injury will hinder his effectiveness. Devoid of a stable running game with DeMarco Murray out and Felix Jones battling a tough injury, it’s hard to imagine Dallas missing the post-season but I foresee that to be the case when Week 17 finishes. They were very close to clinching on multiple occasions, and though they’ll be competitive in this contest, the Giants will ultimately prevail. The Giants however won’t be deemed victorious off of necessarily their own doing, but more of the Cowboys’ inabilities. Romo will lead a one-dimensional throwing offense into New York, and his offensive line will not be able to control the league’s most feared rusher at the moment in Jason Pierre-Paul. He will be crucial in securing a playoff berth for the Giants as he’ll hurry Romo, knock him down, making that hand unbearable by the latter stages of the game.
The Giants will win this contest late in the game on the back of their quarterback Eli Manning. He has a knack for coming up big late in games, the opposite of Romo, and will be able to pick apart a weak secondary with the NFL’s most talented group of receivers. Victor Cruz has been unstoppable of late, and when you factor in Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham, it won’t be easy for the Cowboys to control the aerial attack of the Giants.
Add in the fact that Osi Umenyiora should return this week for the G-Men, and all signs point to a narrow, but crucial Giants victory. Take New York in a thrilling finale to the NFL’s regular season.
PICK = Giants -3