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It All Comes Down to This: Who Will Win the NFC East?

Doom Looms for the Cowboys (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The term “one-and-done” is usually reserved for the postseason, but the playoffs have come early for a pair of NFC rivals. The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys probably didn’t foresee the entire 2011 season coming down to four quarters in New Jersey. The Giants won the last matchup between the teams, which ended on a blocked field goal attempt. It’ll be an exciting game tonight as the winner will make the postseason while the loser stays home.

Offensive Explosion

The first Dallas-New York game featured 71 total points scored as the two high-flying offenses went off. The Giants dismal running game showed promise behind a 101-yard effort by Brandon Jacobs. Eli Manning added 400 yards through the air as well as two touchdown throws. Tony Romo matched Manning and threw for a season-high four touchdowns.

The Giants running attack is kicking in at the right time. Ahmad Bradshaw, who is still nursing an injured foot, has put together two strong games, and Brandon Jacobs is offering veteran support. Keep the ball moving on the ground, and the pressure will stay off Manning.

Injuries

The 2011 Giants have seen more than their share of injuries this season. For example, Osi Umenyiora has either been playing hurt or playing wounded for the whole year. Contract troubles have weighed him down as much as injuries. He’s questionable for tonight’s matchup.

Kenny Phillips, a defensive leader, missed the last game against Dallas. He’s been a Cowboys killer in years past, and he’ll be lining up across from the Cowboys quarterback tonight, whoever that might be. Phillips’ presence alone will be a game changer.

The Cowboys star quarterback Tony Romo injured his hand last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Following through after a pass, Romo slammed his right hand into an opponent’s helmet. While Romo is expected to start in this important game, the injury to his throwing arm may damage him psychologically. Romo is 0-4 with a TD-INT ratio of 9-3 in his last four games.

About Abigail Miskowiec - @AMiskowiec

I live in Brooklyn. Unless the L train isn't running. Then I live on the streets.

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