Cowboys fans should be rooting for the Giants this weekend. I know it’s a difficult thing for a true fan of America’s team to do, but that is the best, and frankly the juiciest match-up possible for the NFC Divisional Round game on January 15.
Obviously I know that the Giants are the only team that has beaten the Cowboys when they’ve rolled out their starters this year – (the Philly loss had Zeke Elliott, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith – and for most of the game Dak Prescott – on the bench) – and they’ve done so twice. To me that is why fans should want this match-up. The New York Football Giants, as Jason Garrett likes to call them, would come to AT&T Stadium feeling very good about themselves. To get to Arlington they will have beaten the Packers in Green Bay, thus ending the Packers six game win streak. They will remember that they are the only team to have beaten the Cowboys too. All of which plays right into the Cowboys hands.
I take you back to 2007 when the Cowboys finished the year with a 13-3 record under Wade Phillips. During the season the Cowboys beat the G-men twice. The two rivals played in the opening game of the season that year too, and the Cowboys won 45-35 at Texas Stadium. On November 11 that year they improved to 8-1 with an eleven point win at Giants Stadium (the Cowboys won that one 31-20). After a bye in the first round the Cowboys felt rested and refreshed for another game with a team they know so well.
Well a funny thing happened on the way to the Super Bowl that year, well actually two funny things. One was “ha-ha” funny, the other was not. There was nothing funny about the Cowboys losing 21-17 to a Giants team they had beaten twice that year. Although if it makes you feel any better recall that the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl that year. The “ha ha” moment that still gets a chuckle out me happened after that loss to the Giants, when Wade famously said, “We had a pretty good year, we made the final eight.”
Well good news once again this year… the Cowboys have made the final eight. And in fairness to Wade, there is, and there should be some sense of accomplishment for securing the best record in the NFC. But we all know that the success of a team has nothing to do with what they do in the regular season. The Rangers had the best record in the American League last year but we won’t be celebrating 2016 like it was a great year in Rangers history. Just as we don’t look back on that 2007 Cowboys team with fond memories. Sure 13-3 was great, but we want more than the “elite eight.”
Still somehow this all seems so symmetrical to me. This year the Giants won both regular season games. This year the third time will be the charm for the Cowboys. This year the Cowboys will beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.