The Giants face the Cowboys Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in a game the country hopes will be a competitive one. It usually is. The Cowboys have won the past three, but the games have been close. The Cowboys won 31-21 in Week 7, but the previous three contests were decided by five points or less.
The first game between these two teams on Oct. 19 drew 27 million viewers, the sixth most-watched program on American television this season.
What's at stake for the Giants....At 3-7 and losers of five straight, they could use a win on national TV to keep the season interesting the rest of the way. They could also use a boost in self-esteem and begin to work towards next season - whatever that might hold.
The skinny...With changes looming after the season, winning or losing the rest of the way will not necessarily determine the fate of Tom Coughlin. The team has never quit on him and is unlikely to start now. Injuries have taken their toll on them but some of the expensive free agents are returning and/or getting healthier. Look for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rashad Jennings and Geoff Schwartz to make an impact the rest of the season.
What's at stake for the Cowboys....They are tied atop the NFC East at 7-3 with the Eagles, who play Tennessee on Sunday at home, so a win would keep them at least tied.
The skinny...Having not played since November 9 when they ran the Jaguars out of Wembley Stadium by the score of 31-17, the Cowboys will be rested. In their last game, QB Tony Romo (back) returned to the lineup and completed 20 of 27 passes for 236 yards and three TDs. Beating the Giants is Romo's specialty of late and with this being a division game, expect another efficient, productive performance out of him.
Stat you can't ignore...Led by RB DeMarco Murray, Dallas is averaging 153 yards per game on the ground and 4.9 YPC. The Giants' defense is last in the NFL against the run, surrendering 145 YPG, 4.9 YPC and 13 TDs. In the Cowboys' Week 7 win in Dallas, they rushed for 156 yards, gaining 4.5 YPC.
Players you have to keep an eye on....Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr., who had two TD grabs in the first meeting. Beckham has 33 catches for 357 yards over the past three games since then. He has gone up against some of the league's top corners over that stretch and come out ahead. The Cowboys defense is ranked 14th in the NFL against the pass, but Dallas lacks a top CB that can run with Beckham.
Cowboys TE Jason Witten is getting up there in age, but he's still productive. A forgotten man at the beginning of the season, Witten has 22 targets over his last three games, and is reasserting himself back into the Cowboys' offense. Witten is 16th on the NFL's all-time receptions list. His 918 receptions are the most by any active TE and second overall to Tony Gonzalez (1,325).
Did you know?.....DE Jason Pierre-Paul has 3.5 sacks this season, two of which came against the Cowboys in Week 7...DE Robert Ayers, Jr. - not JPP or Damontre Moore - leads the team in sacks with 5....The Giants have lost the time of possession battle in each of their last five games and in six of their first ten games. The only games they held the ball longer than their opponent was during their three victories and their Week Two loss to the Cardinals.