There's little doubt that the New York Giants are a desperate football team at the moment.
At 6-5, and coming off an ugly Thanksgiving Day loss to the (also) sliding Denver Broncos, the Giants find themselves at a crossroads: right the ship, as the say, beat Dallas and, perhaps, they can make a run at the division crown down the stretch. Lose, and the Cowboys will have all but sent the team's division hopes home for a long winter.
Patrick Crayton compared the Giants to rabid dogs backed into a corner recently, in describing the desperation of a team who went from 5-0 to 6-5 over the past two months. It's a pretty apt comparison, considering the Giants' levels of (a) talent, (b) desperation, and (c) dislike for all things silver and blue.
For Dallas, the desperation is less clear. Tony Romo said yesterday that it is there, but no one, outside of Bradie James, has been willing to say why. Seemingly, it's the December question; the rivalry with New York; the team's need to separate themselves from the 2008 team that underachieved across the board and the '07 squad that fell to these Giants.
Whatever the case, Romo wanted to make clear that the Cowboys weren't exactly cocksure, coasting into the Meadowlands.
"We're desperate now, too," Romo said Thursday. "This is absolutely the most important game of the season, and every one will be as we go forward, but this one is very big and we understand that. This is an important, important game down the stretch for us. It's going to be hard because we're going up there, and they have homefield advantage. Obviously, it would be nice if it was here, but they got us here."
With an extended week behind them, after traversing a span of three games in 11 days, Romo believes the team will be well prepared for a tough game in New Jersey.
"We've got to go up there in a tough environment and play really sound, good football to have a chance, but I suspect our team will be very ready for this. We feel very prepared for this game going in, and we know that this is an important game in our stretch."