The Dallas Cowboys at the New York Giants in NFL Week 17 with the NFC East title on the line. It’s the kind of scenario the league must have dreamed of when the schedule came out months ago. The winner gets at least one playoff game at home; the loser has to watch the playoffs from home.
Writers from around the Tribune Co. will preview Sunday night’s winner-take-all game. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Ron Fritz, Baltimore Sun
Fortunately, I was able to see a fair amount of both teams’ games this season, and to me it looks like the Giants are gaining some momentum while the Cowboys are sinking quickly. Based on that, you’ll see the Giants in the playoffs and the Cowboys sitting at home. Jerry Jones will have all off-season to come up with reasons why he isn’t the problem with the Cowboys. He may even throw some people under the bus.
Unfortunately, if you’re a Giants fan, does making the playoffs mean you have to put up with Tom Coughlin for another year? It might be worth losing just to get him out of there. With young playmakers on offense (Victor Cruz) and defense (Jason Pierre-Paul) and a quarterback coming into his prime (Eli Manning), it would be nice to see what a new coach could do with some of New York’s talent.
But it looks like we’ll have to wait until their first playoff loss to see if the Giants bring back Coughlin.
[Updated at 9:15 a.m.:
Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune
If the Cowboys are going to beat the Giants Sunday night on the road and win the NFC East, they are going to have to reverse a trend. The Cowboys have not played well for the last month, winning only once in four games. One of their losses during the streak, on Dec. 11, was to these very Giants.
Of course, the Giants haven’t had much of an advantage at home, going 3-4. We should also point out that the New York defense is very vulnerable, ranking 28th in the league both in points allowed (25.7 average) and yards (381.5 average).
Whether or not the Cowboys can capitalize is the issue. Tony Romo is expected to play with a bruised hand. It looks like the Cowboys have a little too much to overcome in this one.
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