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Giants vs. Cowboys to kick off NFL season

NFC East rivals go head-to-head tonight at MetLife Stadium

The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants square off against the Dallas Cowboys Wednesday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. This marks the first game of the 2012 NFL season and the first meeting between these NFC East rivals.

The Giants and Cowboys meet on smaller stakes than their last meeting, where the Giants claimed the division and then went on to win the Super Bowl while the Cowboys were left with an even split 8-8 record and their postseason dreams shattered. As division rivalries go, not only is this the first game of the season, but also the first chance to get a leg up on the competition and claim that division title.

And being the long-awaited premiere of the NFL, both the Giants and Cowboys have something to prove going into tonight’s game.

The Giants are coming off their championship season, the second title they have claimed in the last five seasons. No surprise that there are expectations for the defending champions. But with a Manning for a quarterback and two hot wide receivers in Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, things look pretty sound for the Tom Coughlin-led Giants.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, have a much larger, Jerry Jones-sized chip on their shoulders. After finishing the 2011 season at 8-8 and failing to reach the post season, not to mention a 4 out of 5 game meltdown, the Cowboys seem to be fading fast. And not to forget the 31-14 loss the Cowboys suffered to the Giants on New Year’s Day.

Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, however, remains as optimistic as ever. After acquiring two new cornerbacks this off-season—Brandon Carr of the Chiefs, and Morris Claiborne of LSU—Jones looks to stifle Eli Manning’s receiving core and hopefully return his beloved Dallas Cowboys back to their glory years.

In a sport where teams play once a week—excluding BYEs—and the regular season lasts 17 weeks, everyone is looking at the short term (right now, at least) and taking it one week at a time.

America is just happy that first week is this week.

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