On Sunday night in Dallas, Jerry Jones officially opens his new toy, the next monument to "Americas Team". Invited to the party are 104,000 of Jerry's closest friends.
The NY Giants are expected to be the sacrificial lambs to be offered up to King Jerry, for retribution in keeping them out of the playoffs in 2007 (of course, the Cowboys had no hand in that loss).
Jerry Reese invested millions of dollars in the off-season for nights like Sunday night. Can the NY Giants crash the party, or will they just crash and burn?
The Giants GM bolstered the defensive line to provide a rotation of linemen to keep the pressure on opposing quarterbacks, like Romo and McNabb. The pass rush was also strengthened with the addition of Michael Boley, who is available for the first time this season on Sunday night.
Both the Cowboys and the Giants are coming off wins, which was highlighted by each of the team's respective strengths.
What do the Giants have to do to crash this party?
As I see it, there are three keys to making sure the stadium turns into a pumpkin at midnight:
1. Stop the Big Play
Against Tampa Bay, Romo threw for 353 yards, and 3 TD, leading to a quarterback rating of 140.3. Throwing touchdowns of 42, 66 and 80 yards to 3 different receivers illustrates the danger that the Cowboys offense presents.
The Bucs generated more plays, almost as many yards, out gained them on the ground and won the ball control battle. This is a big play team, that will thrive on Romo making things happen.
2. Domination by the Giants Defensive Line
Games like this are where we need to get a return on the investment made by Mr. Reese.
By all accounts, we should be able to dominate the line play. Initially stopping the run and making the Cowboys one dimensional. This will allow the Giants line to tee off on Romo, and contain him in the pocket.
If Romo is allowed to escape the pocket he is very good at buying time, letting the receivers move to open spots.
It will also be important for the secondary to challenge the receivers physically, imposing their will against Austin, Williams and Crayton.
This will all start with the defensive line play. Look for big games from Tuck, Osi and Canty. Throw in a couple of sacks and the Giants will silence the crowd.
3. Give Eli Manning time to throw
The expectation is that the Cowboys, like the Redskins last week will focus on stopping the run and making Eli throw. Last week proved that the collection of receivers, Smith, Boss, Manningham, Hixon and Bradshaw can be productive in the passing game.
If the Giants can win the ball control battle, and give Eli Manning the time to find his receivers, they will definitely crash the Garden party down in Texas.
Eli has proved that given the time, he is as good as any quarterback at being patient and finding the open receiver.
This will be an emotional game. There will be lots of pomp and circumstance for King Jerry and his loyal subjects. The crowd will be loud. Both teams have expressed their hatred for each other this week.
If the Giants win the toss and manage the clock in the first quarter, they will take the crowd out of it. Additionally, if they limit the big play on offense and special teams, the Giants will walk away with the victory down in Big D.
Stay tuned, this will be a good one!