It's officially game week for the Giants, and as has been the case for two of the last three years, a division matchup with the Cowboys awaits them in Week 1. And the biggest storyline stemming from this game is whether or not RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas' top playmaker, will be on the field.
As many know by now, the Cowboys and Elliott continue to remain at a stalemate in contract extension talks. It's the reason why Elliott has not reported to training camp at all this summer, and still isn't with the team.
However, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Elliott is returning from Cab San Lucas, Mexico -- where he has been training and waiting -- to be ready for a return if he reaches an agreement with the Cowboys. Fox Sports' Shannon Sharpe is also hearing that Elliott is close to a seven-year deal as well.
The Cowboys would obviously love Elliott on the field for the start of the season, as he is a huge difference maker in the backfield. If not, rookie RB Tony Pollard would get the start, which would make it easier on the Giants defense.
But asking one of their captains in Alec Ogletree, they're not looking for things to be easy to kick off the new year.
"No, I hope he does show up," Ogletree told reporters Monday. "I hope he gets what he wants to get. In order to be the best, you have to play everybody that's the best, and he's one of the best in the league. Like I said earlier, it's about us going against the top groups and showing why we are a good defense and a good team."
Zeke's numbers against the Giants over four games of his career-- 85 yards per game on 85 attempts, two touchdowns, and 46 receiving yards -- doesn't seem too crazy. But this is also the NFL's leading rusher last season, and someone who can break out a 100-plus yard game at any time.
But there is a lot of doubt surrounding this Giants team this season despite head coach Pat Shurmur saying they're better than the were at this point a year ago. Ogletree seconded that statement even with players like Olivier Vernon and Landon Collins no longer in the trenches with him.
"We definitely have come together a lot closer this year," Ogleetree said. "Like I said, it was new for everybody last year. Things were happening all over the place. It's one of those things -- the more you stay together with a certain group, the more comfortable you get with being around each other.
"Nobody really gives us a shot. We know the type of guys we have in the locker room, (and) we know the work we put in. We set our own standards for what we want to do."
Ogletree and his teammates can begin changing that narrative on Sunday on the road, even moreso if Elliott is suited up. They want the challenge, and as Ogletree said, want to face the best in the league to show what this young but talented group can accomplish this season and beyond.
Either way, they'll be fully prepared to go into AT&T Stadium looking for that first win of the season.
"We're just focused on us, really," he said. "We have to be prepared for whoever shows up to play. If he's there, we'll be prepared for him. If he's not, we also have to be prepared for the other guys. We just have to focus on what we need to do versus worrying about their situation as much."