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BEAUTY AND THE EAST Print E-mail
by Mike Fisher    Fri, Dec 2, 2005, 11:08 AM
Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey says, "This is 'The Game of the Year' for the New York Giants and we're ready for it."

Newsflash for Shockey: This is "The Game of the Year'' for the Cowboys, too.
Coach Bill Parcells and his players spent the week pooh-poohing the notion that Sunday's Dallas-at-New York visit is anything more than just another casual stop to watch some leaves turn, do some shopping, maybe catch a Broadway play.
But behind closed doors, Parcells barked a contradictory message.
I'm told that InfalliBill gave some of his team leaders a kick in their shiny pants the other day, instructing them to "Put up or shut up. Either get it done now or don't get it done at all."

If Dallas wins Sunday in New York, the Cowboys will be 8-4 and essentially have a two-game lead over the Giants. A two-game lead with four to play. Plus the head-to-head tiebreaker edge. Plus a 7-2 record in the NFC, the third tiebreaker with any conference competition.

They will be sitting pretty. ... and really, sitting pretty in comparison with some of the other NFC entrants, too.
If Dallas wins Sunday in New York, the Cowboys will be 8-4 and essentially have a two-game lead over the Giants. A two-game lead with four to play. Plus the head-to-head tiebreaker edge. Plus a 7-2 record in the NFC, the third tiebreaker with any conference competition. They will be sitting pretty. ... and really, sitting pretty in comparison with some of the other NFC entrants, too.
Said Dallas’ Keyshawn Johnson, playing possum: "I look at them as one of the best teams in the NFC. They are way better than us."
That’s baloney, of course. More Parcells-directed propaganda. Nobody in the NFC is "way better’’ than anybody. Chicago isn’t. Seattle isn’t.
There really is not a gap between your Cowboys and the rest of the contenders. That’s a statistical fact, a read-the-standings fact, and a pass-the-eye-test fact. But it is just talk, isn’t it?


In the put-up-in-NY scenario, the Cowboys would need to simply win one more of the final four after that to be in the playoff mix, and two of the final four to have a shot at being in charge.

What of Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Carolina, you say? Aren’t they at least as good as Dallas?

Indeed. But those four teams are about to enter the final month of the season in a round-robin-style cage match. Tampa plays Carolina once. Atlanta plays Tampa once. And Carolina and Atlanta play each other twice.

Somebody – maybe two somebodies in there – is going down.

So if this weekend the Giants don’t get it done in their "Game of the Year,’’ they go down. And the Cowboys -- if they're not too distracted by a desire to get "Regis And Kelly'' tickets or something -- can go up. Way up.


 

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