Giants (11-6) vs. Cowboys (13-3) Sunday, January 13, 3:30 PM CT on FOX
Divisional Round Preview:
The Dallas Cowboys look to complete the hat trick and beat the New York Giants for the 3rd time this year when they square off at Texas Stadium in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. They have never accomplished this feat before. The one chance that they did have, they lost to the Arizona Cardinals in the 1998 Wild-Card Round of the Playoffs. The Cowboys are looking for their 1st playoff victory since 1996. With a win against the Giants, the Cowboys would snap a drought of over a decade without a playoff victory and would face the Green Bay Packers in the Championship Game, who crushed Seattle 42-20 in the snow at Lambeau Field earlier Saturday.
This definitely won’t be easy with all of the confidence that the Giants have been playing with, but while the Giants will be missing some key components, the Cowboys have no one that will be out for this game, and with the rest that they have had, should be able to take advantage of it, despite the sloppy end to the season.
One key to the Dallas Cowboys’ success against the Giants has been keeping him on his feet and giving him time to find his open receivers. The Cowboys’ offensive line allowed just 2 sacks against a Giants defense that led the league in sacks this year. Dallas will need to continue this trend to be successful in this game, otherwise it could be a long day for Romo and company.
A lot has been made about Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson and how it affects Romo’s performance. Now it’s the fact that Terrell Owens might not be at 100%. That shouldn’t matter even if he’s not. In the 2 games against the Giants this year, Terrell Owens has caught 9 passes for 212 yards and 4 TD’s. Look for this trend to continue, and now that Romo finally has all of his targets to throw to, the offense should get back on track, despite their struggles late in the season. Terry Glenn will prove to be the X-Factor in the Cowboys offense in this game. With this being only his 2nd game of the season, missing the 1st 15 with a knee issue, if he can get into the game and draw coverage his way, it should leave Terrell Owens and Jason Witten in a lot of one-on-one situations and really open up the passing game.
Marion Barber III will get the start in place of Julius Jones in this game, a move that many Cowboys fans have been calling for most of this season. Look for this to be a crucial factor in the game, especially with a rested and healthy offensive line. This will also help dramatically in setting up the passing game.
Starting wide receiverTerrell Owens is listed as questionable with his ankle sprain, but is expected to play. Starting center Andre Gurode (knee) practiced fully on Friday is listed as probable, as is wide receiver Terry Glenn (knee).