Cowboys vs. Giants 2013 game preview: NFC East showdown in New York

The Cowboys and Giants face each other for the second time this season, and there are big playoff implications on the line. Here's everything you need to know about this game.

Division tiebreakers are on the line this week when the New York Giants take on the Dallas Cowboys. This game has important implications in the NFC East race.

The Cowboys already have one win over the Giants, beating them 36-31 in Week 1. The Giants went into a tailspin, but have clawed back into the playoff race at 4-6. The Cowboys have been their usual up-and-down selves, sitting in second place with a 5-5 record.

Meet the New York Giants

Just when it looked like their season was over, the Giants won four games in a row and are just two games behind the Philadelphia Eagles. Andre Brown came back from a fractured leg and gave the running game a much-needed pulse, rushing for 86 yards in last week's 27-13 win over the Green Bay Packers. With the Cowboys and Washington Redskins on the schedule next, this stretch of games might define New York's season.

Meet the Dallas Cowboys

One step forward, one step back. That's been the story of the Cowboys this season. They dropped out of first place after getting thrashed by the New Orleans Saints, 49-17, falling to 5-5. Philadelphia took the top spot during the Cowboys' bye week. The defense, already one of the worst in the NFL, took another hit when Sean Lee went down with a hamstring injury. He's expected to be out 3-4 weeks. It's a crushing blow to the entire unit, which gave up an NFL record 40 first downs to the Saints.

Local Takes: New York Giants

Ed Valentine from Big Blue View takes a look back at the Giants' Week 1 loss to the Cowboys and examines what has changed for each team since then:

The Giants are a different offensive team than they were in Week 1, particularly at the running back and offensive line positions. The Giants opened the season with Wilson and Scott at running back, and a not-ready-to-play Henry Hynoski trying to lead the way at fullback. They now have the power combo of Andre Brown and Brandon Jacobs in the backfield with John Conner, The Terminator, leading the way. On the offensive line, David Baas and Chris Snee, both on IR, have been replaced at center and guard by Jim Cordle and David Diehl.

In the Giants' first five games they averaged 17.4 rushing attempts and 56.8 yards per game, 3.3 yards per carry. Over the last five games the Giants have still averaged only 3.2 yards per carry, but they have also averaged 30.2 attempts and 97.2 yards per game.

Local Takes: Dallas Cowboys

Dawn Macelli at Blogging The Boys asks whether it's time for Jason Garrett to start calling plays again:

Although Jason Garrett has stated that he will not be stripping playcalling duties from offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, he clearly needs to take some steps that will save his own position as the Dallas Cowboys head coach. The fact that he is actually running offensive drills himself, and that he is the one running around Valley Ranch with the play sheet in his hand serves as a strong indicator that Garrett is once again stamping more of his influence on the offensive gameplan.

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Big Blue View and Blogging The Boys, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:

@bigblueview
@BloggingTheBoys

Prediction

Five out of six experts on SB Nation's panel have picked the Cowboys to win, with Joel Thorman the only one taking the Giants.

Odds

The Giants are favored by anywhere from one to three points, according to Odds Shark.

Next Week

New York at Washington
Dallas vs. Oakland

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