Highlights of what the New York media and national media said after the Cowboys’ 24-17 win over the Giants:
Steve Serby (NY Post): When your elite quarterback is outplayed by Jerry Jones’ quarterback, you find yourself answering too many questions about a Super Bowl hangover when fans exiting MetLife Stadium were more ticked off about the Replacement Giants than the replacement refs.
Manning kept trying to win his chess game with Ryan, and found himself checkmated much too often for an elite quarterback to be checkmated.
On this opening night, the lasting image: Romo takes a knee.
“He’s a tremendous competitor, and a good quarterback and he made some great throws buying time, running around … he played well enough to win the game and made some big-time throws,” Manning said.
And kicked the Giants’ butts.
Gary Myers (NY Daily News): Tom Coughlin introduced his battle cry of “Build The Bridge,” during training camp, to build from the Super Bowl and carry the Giants right over into this season.
It was evident Wednesday night in the Giants’ season-opening loss to the Cowboys that, like most construction projects in New York, this one is way behind schedule. The lack of intensity the Giants showed against Dallas proved that this team needs an immediate attitude adjustment.
The Giants won the Super Bowl by getting their hands dirty; the way they played in the 24-17 loss to the Cowboys made it seem as if they still had their glitzy Super Bowl rings on their fingers.
If there was ever a case of a team playing with a Super Bowl hangover, this was it. By the time they decided to play and close to within seven points with 2:36 left, it turned out to be too late. The defense allowed Tony Romo to convert a crucial third-and-10 to Kevin Ogletree — he also scored two touchdowns — on the last play before the two-minute warning. Eli Manning never got the ball back in his hands to perform any last-minute magic.
Don Banks, SI.com: Make no mistake, this first night of the 2012 NFL season was a huge litmus test for the hotly debated Dallas quarterback. He needed to confront the recent demons that have haunted him in this stadium and against these Giants, and he needed to prove that his third trip here in the span of a mere 17 regular-season games would be the charm. All that hung in the balance was the Cowboys’ sense of self-respect in an NFC East rivalry that had grown lopsided of late, and perhaps Romo finally taking a vital step in erasing his reputation for not being able to win the biggest games, or get it done in crunch time.
One thing you can count on when it comes to the New York Post: its cover tends to speak for itself. Here it is for the NFL kickoff today between the Giants and the Cowboys.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys owner – Giants have ‘taken the bacon from us’
Maybe Jerry Jones thinks the Cowboys can only “beat the Giants’ ass” in Dallas.
A day before the two NFL East rivals meet in the season opener at MetLife Stadium, the Cowboys owner backed off his confident boast to fans that they should "watch us beat the New York Giants’ ass" in Dallas.
Jones responded to Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwunuka, who told WFAN last week that it “must be tough to be on the outside looking in at all these championships lately."
"It just reminds me that he’s right," Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. "They have taken the bacon from us the last few years and certainly last year.”
The Giants beat the Cowboys in the regular season finale last season in a game that decided the NFC East champion on their way to their second Super Bowl title in five years.
"They played the regular season at 9-7. We do know that given a couple of completions, we could have been in those same shoes. I don’t know of anybody that was playing better than the Giants at the end of the year,” Jones said.
“So there is no doubt that we can, we could, we should have been focused on this opener and playing the New York Giants. I don’t back away from that emphasis at all."
BART HUBBUCH | New York Post
Hakeem Nicks, left, could not make this catch in a 23-10 loss this month to the Redskins at MetLife Stadium, where the Giants are 3-4. Pass interference was called.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — For the Giants, Sunday’s prime-time game against the Dallas Cowboys should be a dream scenario: home-field advantage and needing only a win to make the playoffs. Instead, MetLife Stadium could be a setting where Giants fans may be reaching for a bottle of Pepto-Bismol or a stiff brew.
The Giants (8-7) have a poor record at home (3-4) even when matched against a supposed inferior opponent, leaving behind a series of forehead-slapping performances for their seat-license-paying crowds. This year’s low points included a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5 and an unsightly defeat to the Washington Redskins in Week 15. There are no explanations.
“If I had an answer to that, it wouldn’t ever happen,” Coach Tom Coughlin said of his team’s troubling home record. “Our approach is always the same.”
The Giants are 5-3 on the road and have had some notable performances away from home. They rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Eagles in Philadelphia in Week 3, toppled the mighty New England Patriots on the road in Week 9 and emerged victorious from a thriller at Cowboys Stadium in Week 14.
Some players said that they do not buy into the notion that the home environment relaxed them to the point of complacency, or that going on the road offered us-against-the-world motivation that comes with playing in front of a hostile crowd.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with home; I think it is just being consistent in general,” safety Antrel Rolle said. “I don’t think we have been a consistent team all year-long.”
The Giants’ lack of success at home, and their triumphs on the road, runs counter to the precedent established this season by the nine teams that have already clinched playoff spots. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, all of them have thrived at home.
In the AFC, the four playoff teams — the Patriots, the Texans, the Ravens and the Steelers — have won 86.7 percent of their home games, compared with just 60 percent of their road games. The five N.F.C. playoff teams — the Packers, the 49ers, the Saints, the Lions and the Falcons — have an 83.8 winning percentage at home and a 68.4 winning percentage on the road. New Orleans, Green Bay and Baltimore are all undefeated at home.
Whether playing at Giants Stadium or MetLife Stadium, the Giants’ playoff fortunes in recent years have mirrored their home record. They finished 5-3 at home last year and 4-4 in 2009 and missed the playoffs both seasons. But they went 7-1 in 2008 and won the N.F.C. East.
This season, though, the Giants’ successful record comes with a caveat. They acquired a road win over the Jets last Saturday that might have counted as such in name only: the teams share MetLife Stadium. The Jets still did their best to make the Giants feel uncomfortable by hanging black curtains over a mural near the locker room of the team’s Super Bowl trophies. By doing so, the Jets may have unwittingly done the Giants a favor by making them feel unwelcomed, a context in which they have largely succeeded.
“We let a few slip away early at home and certain times we didn’t come to play,” receiver Victor Cruz said. “We have to come out well and be ready to play. We are fighting for our playoff lives, and this last game is going to determine that.”
The atmosphere for Sunday’s game will be playoff-like. The kickoff was flexed last week to accommodate a prime-time television audience, and the Giants will be distributing white towels at the stadium with the team’s newest rallying cry: “All In.”
The Giants are hoping that the team-first mantra will help rally them to a run in the playoffs. But in order to do that, they will need to overcome perhaps the worst best-case scenario possible for them this season and pick up a big win at home.
(AP) — After leading the New York Jets to back-to-back AFC championship game appearances, Rex Ryan says he’s more anxious about this season’s opener than those games.
And it’s not because his brother, Rob Ryan, will be making his debut as Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator on the opposing sideline.
The Jets and Cowboys meet Sunday night at the newly renamed MetLife Stadium in what figures to be an emotionally charged atmosphere on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
This marquee matchup between sibling rivals will have father Buddy Ryan in attendance, even though it was revealed this week that the elder Ryan has a form of cancer.
It would normally figure that the outspoken twin brothers would be exchanging some good-natured trash talk. The timing of this game taking place in the New York area on such a significant date has Rex Ryan thinking other thoughts.
“Usually, it’s like I go against my brother and all that and you have a lot of fun with that, but obviously I feel it’s different, like a responsibility,” Rex Ryan said. “The significance of it, I think it’s stronger than any game I’ve ever felt. I feel more pressure on this game for whatever reason than any game I’ve ever coached, it seems like.”
Each fan will receive an American flag upon entering the stadium, and children of first responders will serve as honorary team captains.
Rex Ryan’s Jets won 26-20 in overtime last year when Rob Ryan was a coordinator for Cleveland. Rob Ryan is confident he can turn things around for Dallas, which allowed the second-most points in the NFL in 2010.
“I’ve been an assistant coach of the year in pro football and in college football, so apparently I’m pretty good,” said Rob Ryan, who has retained the 3-4 defense the Cowboys used in 2010. “No one else believes it, but they all will after this game.”
While a Jets’ defense that ranked third overall last season has been the team’s calling card under Rex Ryan, the offense figures to be more dynamic. Mark Sanchez will begin his third season as the starter, and he has a major new weapon in Plaxico Burress.
Burress will play in an NFL game for the first time since Nov. 23, 2008, with the Giants. Five days later, the infamous incident took place in which Burress shot himself in the thigh in a New York nightclub. The subsequent gun charge led to Burress spending 20 months in prison.
“You can’t ask for a better stage,” Burress said. “Especially with everything going on with the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 and playing ‘America’s Team,’ the Cowboys. It’s the first Sunday night game of the year. We’re playing them here. Great organization, great stadium. You just can’t set a better stage for the things that we want to accomplish as a team.”
While Burress comes back after being away from the game a long time, Tony Romo returns for his first action since breaking his left clavicle in the Cowboys’ sixth game last season against the Giants.
There are fewer question marks about Romo than about a Dallas offensive line that features three new blockers.
“These guys have done a good job coming together,” Romo said. “They’re starting to jell. They just have to go out and play, do what they’ve been coached to do. I think we’ve got a good group of guys. Guys are going to work hard and give it their all out there, and that’s all that you can ask.”
How good Romo’s protection is will help determine whether he can spread the ball around to Pro Bowlers Jason Witten and Miles Austin as well as explosive second-year receiver Dez Bryant.
“Start with the tight end (Witten), he caught almost 100 balls or something last year, a big, fast guy, a complete tight end,” Rex Ryan said. “And then you have Dez Bryant, the young kid from here (Austin) – they’re loaded.”
Jason Garrett begins his first full season as coach after guiding Dallas to a 5-3 mark when he took over for Wade Phillips midway through last year’s 6-10 campaign.
“When you’re zero wins and zero losses with the whole season in front of you,” Garrett said, “I think you are hopeful.”
Garrett’s counterpart is clearly more than hopeful.
“I know it’s football and we’re not talking about life or death or anything like that,” Rex Ryan said. “I don’t know, that’s kind of how I’m taking it. It’s my job. My job is to get this team ready to go, and we will.”
By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN