Cowboys and Giants start the fight in the NFC East, beyond

Understandably, expectations are rising for both this season Dallas Cowboys and that New York Giants before their opening game under the lights of Sunday Night Football in East Rutherford, NJ

Dallas has one of the most talented rosters in recent memory and owner Jerry Jones says they don’t want to underperform in the playoffs. New York entered the playoff scene ahead of schedule last year and are bringing back the same core with some improvements on both sides of the ball.

Both teams must contend with the Philadelphia Eagles, who they defeated a year ago en route to a Super Bowl appearance for the NFC East title. On Sunday they just have to compete against each other.

“All division games are definitely big and a duel with a lot of tradition and history,” Giants said quarterback Daniel Jones. “Yeah, it’s a big deal, but it’s about what we do, it’s about how we play and going about our business first.”

New York started last season 7-2, stumbled along the way, eventually made the playoffs, and defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the wild card round before losing to Philadelphia.

The Giants decided that Daniel Jones had proven himself as their franchise quarterback and signed him for $40 million a year over four years. They then settled a dispute with star running back Saquon Barkley by giving him a one-year contract worth up to $11 million after Barkley’s best season since his rookie season.

The Giants He added inside linebacker Bobby Okereke and traded him for Arizona linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons, who is yet to fulfill his potential as a former eighth overall draft pick. Rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt and veteran tight end Darren Waller will give Jones more opportunities to work with him in the passing game.

“Like I said before, having grown up in a house with my parents who were NFC East fans, I know the story,” Waller said this week. “I know how heated and competitive these games have been over the years and I know what I’m getting into on Sunday. It is an honor for me to step onto the field.”

Fans of these other NFC East teams rejoice in the fact that 27 years have passed since then cowboys won a Super Bowl – or even reached an NFC championship game. Dallas never lost a straight game last season, but lost in the divisional round to San Francisco.

“It means so much that the whole thing comes together in the playoffs when you have a team like that and you increase their competitiveness, increase their level of execution, increase their intensity and play playoff football,” Jerry Jones, now 80, said in a radio appearance 105.3 The Fan. “That’s what I want.”

Despite a surprise trade for Trey Lance from the San Francisco 49ers late last month, the cowboys roll again with Dak Prescott as the starting quarterback. He was criticized for throwing 15 interceptions a year ago, but that cowboys are confident he will “own” a revamped offense with head coach Mike McCarthy taking the lead.

Tony Pollard is RB1, Ezekiel Elliott goes to New England. The cowboys Locked-in guard Zack Martin and cornerback Trevon Diggs are among the best in their respective positions and are backed by a defensive front seven led by linebacker Micah Parsons and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.

“Nobody did anything. It’s the first game, so there’s really no comparison,” McCarthy said. “The reputation is based on what you did last year. That doesn’t mean much. … Execution is obviously key.”

The cowboys have won 11 of the last 12 matches with Giantsincluding another prime-time visit to New Jersey last September, a 11:16 win on Monday night.

Dallas offensive lineman Tyler Smith (hamstring), safety Donovan Wilson (calf) and defensive end Sam Williams (foot) missed Wednesday’s practice. Seven backups were limited for that Giantsincluding WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee).

—Field-level media Cowboys and Giants start the fight in the NFC East, beyond

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