Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/4/12

The first regular season NFL game of 2012 kicks off this Wednesday on the grand stage of MetLife Stadium.

The New York Giants will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys for a much anticipated opening night in less than 24 hours.

The Cowboys will be looking forward to their opportunity at taking down the defending Super Bowl champions to start the 2012 season off with a big bang.

A victory against the Giants on opening night would build momentum to start the year well for Dallas.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had made it clear that the Giants have a large target on their back.

“Y’all should come to Cowboys Stadium and watch us beat the Giants,’” said Jerry Jones to the media on July 30.

What to Watch For

The Giants swept the Cowboys in the two match-ups they had in the 2011 season. Giants quarterback Eli Manning was able to put up big numbers against the Cowboys' defense in both of last season’s games.

Cowboys linebacker DaMarcus Ware has the ability to cause havoc against opposing offenses when he’s healthy. On the other side of the ball the Cowboys have DeMarco Murray who started his rookie year big until he got hurt. If he can pick up where he left off we should see a successful offensive campaign.

The Giants' offense also has some weapons of their own with their running game, including Ahmad Bradshaw and David Wilson. Of course Victor Cruz is a huge threat to the Cowboys' defense as he’s a huge impact player on the Giants' offense.

Last season the Giants' defense was ruthless, sacking Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo a combined nine times. Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora both have the ability to shake up opposing offenses as they rush the passer and penetrate the line at an elite level.

Dallas impact players, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, are both coming to the opening game banged up with leg injuries.

They Both Talk the Talk

With the trash talk from Jerry Jones throughout the preseason about how the Cowboys were going to “beat the Giants asses” on the biggest stage, the Giants' crowd will be rowdy as ever. The championship banner will be going up in front of the Cowboys and I think they’ll be affected by this and unable to swing the momentum their way.

Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka spoke with the press about the pressure the team has on them as the Super Bowl defending champs to start off the season.

“You feel it, you sense it, you hear it. People talk about it when they’re out there on the field. We’ve been in this situation before, you want to measure yourself up against the best, and it doesn’t matter where you’re at in terms of wins-losses in the season. If you get a chance at the defending champs, you’re going to give it your best shot,” said Kiwanuka.

The Giants are coming off of a momentous season and they are favored to take the win in front of their own fans. Between the two teams, the Giants have won seven of the past nine meetings over the years.

The Cowboys are hungry for a Super Bowl and will be ready for their shot at taking down the best in the league, as the Giants have brought two Lombardi Trophies back to New York in the past five years.

All this excitement will be happening on Wednesday night and it’s only the beginning of the promising season ahead as 32 teams chase their dreams of becoming champions. 



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