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NFL Week 14: New York Giants (6-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-5)

The winner of Sunday night’s game in Big D between the Giants and Cowboys will have control of its own destiny in terms of winning the NFC East – although the two face off again on the final day of the regular season.

Dallas (7-5) leads New York (6-6) by one game. The Giants led the race by two before their current four-game slide. The Cowboys had their four-game win streak snapped thanks to mistakes that included poor clock management in last Sunday’s 19-13 overtime loss at Arizona — a defeat that cost them a chance to clinch the division this weekend.

The Giants, meanwhile, seem buoyed despite last Sunday’s 38-35 last-second loss to Green Bay. After giving the unbeaten Packers their toughest game, New York is looking forward to the chance to move back into first place.

Receiver Mario Manningham, out the last two games with a sore knee, could return for New York. Manningham has three touchdown catches in his last four games against Dallas and would complement a group that includes Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Cruz is fourth in the league with 1,076 receiving yards after three straight 100-yard efforts.

Cowboys star receiver Miles Austin and blocking fullback Tony Fiammetta returned to practice Wednesday and both are expected to play. That should provide help to an offense that has produced three touchdowns over the last two games.

The Giants had been very average rushing the football but were able to get on track in Week 13, when they averaged 5 yards per attempt versus the Packers. Dallas has been inconsistent defending the run, yielding 4.2 yards per attempt. Look for offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to pound the rock with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw between the tackles to control the tempo of the game.

QBs Eli Manning and Tony Romo have had statistically admirable seasons in lieu of consistent performances. Manning has at least one INT in each of their losses and Romo has gone from a 66.7 QB rating in one week (Oct. 30 loss to Eagles) to a 148.4 two weeks later (Nov. 14 win vs. Bills). Both QBs face ferocious pass rushes, with Giants reserve LT Dave Diehl set to face DeMarcus Ware, who leads the NFL with 15 sacks.

Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray averaged 108.5 yards during the Cowboys’ four-game winning streak before managing just 38 in the Cardinals loss. The New York run D is ranked 23rd in the league, allowing 127 yards per game. The Giants haven’t faced a club that emphasizes the run since Nov. 20, when LeSean McCoy managed 113 yards in a 17-10 Eagles victory.

WAGERWEB.COM NFL FOOTBALL BETS — Dallas by 3½

2011 RECORD VS. SPREAD — New York 5-7, Dallas 4-7-1

SERIES RECORD — Cowboys lead 56-40-2

LAST MEETING — Cowboys beat Giants 33-20, Nov. 14, 2010

LAST WEEK — Giants lost to Packers 38-35; Cowboys lost to Cardinals 19-13 OT

GIANTS OFFENSE — OVERALL (9), RUSH (32), PASS (4)

GIANTS DEFENSE — OVERALL (29), RUSH (23), PASS (29)

COWBOYS OFFENSE — OVERALL (7), RUSH (14T), PASS (7)

COWBOYS DEFENSE — OVERALL (11), RUSH (9), PASS (4)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES — Last season, teams had already played both regular-season games by mid-November. That Nov. 14 win by Cowboys in New York was first game after coach Wade Phillips was fired and Jason Garrett took over. … Dallas has lost five consecutive Sunday night games. … Giants 2-0 at Cowboys Stadium, including 33-31 win in 2009 that was first regular season game played there. … Eli Manning is most-sacked quarterback by Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware, NFL sacks leader with 15. Ware has sacked Manning nine times in his career. … Manning’s start will be 116th consecutive, matching Ron Jaworski (Philadelphia, 1977-84) for third-longest streak by quarterback in NFL history. Only streaks longer are by Manning’s older brother Peyton (208 for Indianapolis) and Brett Favre (297). … Tony Romo is Cowboys’ seventh starting quarterback since Manning’s starting streak began Nov. 21, 2004. … Giants PK Lawrence Tynes has made franchise-record 147 extra points in a row. … Cowboys have faced two teams — Philadelphia (99) and Washington (102) — more than they have faced Giants (97) in regular season. … Romo goes into 76th career regular-season game just shy of 20,000 yards passing, and joining former Dallas QBs Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach and Danny White to reach that mark. He has 19,975 yards passing with 140 TDs. … With four games left, RB DeMarco Murray has 872 yards rushing, 136 shy of breaking Tony Dorsett’s team rookie record that has held since 1977. NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith ran for 937 yards as a rookie in 1990.

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Sunday, December 11th, 2011 NFL Betting 2011

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