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Cowboys-Giants Preview: My Top 10 Things To Watch

Richie Whitt's 'Sportatorium' | CBSDFW.COM

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10. I’ll be shocked if Jason Witten plays. He suffered a lacerated spleen only 23 days ago. Reports are that he is willing to sign a medical waiver in order to play and absolve Cowboys of any liability. If that is even on the table, Witten shouldn’t play. This feels like the Super Bowl with a 5-month buildup, but after tonight there will be 15 more games. Giants started 0-1 last year and we know how they finished.

9. Before the game, Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani help kick-off NBC’s pre-game show. I’d rather hear them call the game than the condescending Al Michaels.

8. NY tabloids having a field day with Dallas. NY Post headline screams “CHAMPS vs. cowgirls!” and depicts a woman in boots and daisy duke shorts with Tony Romo’s helmeted head affixed atop.

7. Defending Super Bowl champions have won their last 12 season openers.

6. In two meetings against Giants last year Tony Romo (6) threw more TDs than Eli Manning (5), but was also sacked more, 9-2. In two December debacles vs. NY, the Cowboys allowed 746 passing yards and 68 points. That’s why you’ll see Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr starting at cornerback tonight.

5. Cowboys have opened a season on the road against the Giants only once. In 1995 Emmitt Smith set a Super Bowl season in motion with a 60-yard TD run on the game’s first play in a 35-0 rout.

4. Cowboys are 0-7 on NBC the last two seasons. Translation: They haven’t been good against elite teams in prime time. Want some good news? The Giants’ starting tight end is Martellus Bennett. Yes, that one.

3. Obviously no Witten is a problem. But so is no Jay Ratliff (ankle) and no Danny McCray (neck). McCray is Dallas’ special teams captain and the leader in special-teams tackles the last two years. Major blow.

2. Regardless of the outcome, Cowboys will set a record tonight with the first Wednesday game in their 52-year history. Remember, it’s moved up from Thursday because of President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

1. Fittingly, Cowboys begin 2012 where 2011 ended, at Met Life Stadium against the Giants. Secondary is better, yes, but offensive line against Giants’ relentless pass rush is still a losing scenario. Giants 27, Cowboys 24.

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