The Dallas Cowboys desperately needed to find a reliable backup for quarterback Tony Romo, and as rookie Dak Prescott started to shine in the preseason and fans of the team began to get comfortable, that backup was called into action.
Romo is out with an injury, well before anybody expected when Prescott was named the primary backup. The Cowboys have shuffled things a little — Jameill Showers was released and then signed to the practice squad after they brought in veteran Mark Sanchez — but it's very much the Prescott show on Sunday when the Cowboys begin their regular season with an NFC East rivalry game against the New York Giants.
It's unclear how long Romo will be out with his back injury, but the one saving grace is that the division doesn't look like it's gotten terribly stronger than it has been in recent years. It's been up for grabs for the past several seasons now and Prescott may only need to play average football to keep the Cowboys in it.
But all other things being equal, it's hard to imagine Prescott and Dez Bryant being able to keep up with the likes of Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham is one of the most explosive players in the NFL and while Manning has been inconsistent at times, when he's on his game he's really on his game.
This is all predicated on whether Prescott can even get the ball out, as the Giants have a ton of capital invested in their defensive line. Jason Pierre-Paul will be looking to be even better so much further removed from his fireworks injury, and then there are the guys next to him who are going to be champing at the bit to get at Prescott early and often on Sunday.
These two teams opened their seasons in the same fashion last year, and things did not go well for the Giants. Well, they did — to a point. The Giants held a 23-20 lead and were all the way at the Dallas 4-yard line with under two minutes remaining. Two ill-fated run plays and clock confusion that saw Manning throw the ball away at a crucial moment forced the Giants to settle for a field goal.
Naturally, Romo led the Cowboys on a six-play, 72-yard drive to score and take the victory. It launched a terrible Giants season that saw many fourth-quarter meltdowns of similar make, and one that saw the departure of head coach Tom Coughlin at the end of the season after 12 years at the helm.
Clearly, the Giants are hoping things go a bit better this time around.
Sunday's game will be among those played in the afternoon, beginning at 4:25 p.m. ET. Television coverage of the game will be provided by FOX, with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on commentary. The only way to catch the game online is to subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket or login to FOX Sports Go with a cable or satellite provider.
Below is all the information you need to watch Sunday's games.
How to watch Giants vs. Cowboys on Sunday
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman