EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - NOVEMBER 14: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys on November 14 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The NFL season opens up on Wednesday night, in a matchup between the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and their arch rival, the Dallas Cowboys. We're not predicting a blowout just because we're presenting this list, and we're not even prognosticating a win, but we might as well think positive. And why would we feature blowout losses? The Giants have an all-time record vs. Dallas of 42-56-2, which includes the one playoff meeting between the two teams, a Giants win after the 2007 season, of course. This is really a Top 6 list, with a four-way tie of 21-point wins, a 30-point victory and the largest margin of victory ever for Big Blue over the Cowboys, a 31-point win.
3. October 15, 1961, 31-10: It was the second-ever meeting between the two teams, played at the Cotton Bowl (they played to a 31-31 tie in Dallas' debut season the year before). The Cowboys were 3-1 entering the game, beating the expansion Minnesota Vikings twice in the first four weeks and defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers on opening day for the first-ever franchise victory (they went 0-11-1 in 1960). The Giants were also 3-1, and went on to post a 9-3-1 record before losing to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Championship Game. In this game, the Cowboys jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a Don Meredith to J.W. Lockett touchdown pass. The two teams traded field goals in the second quarter (a Pat Summerall 34-yarder for the Giants and an Allen Green 16-yarder for Dallas). Alex Webster caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Y.A. Tittle to tie the game, and it was all Giants from there on out, with a Joe Morrison one-yard touchdown run, a 102-yard interception return by cornerback Erich Barnes (he had two picks on the day) and a Kyle Rote 14-yard touchdown reception. Bob Gaiters of the Giants rushed for 129 yards, while Tittle was 9-for-24, throwing for 117 yards, with two touchdown passes and four interceptions. Cowboy quarterbacks Meredith and Eddie LeBaron combined for four interceptions of their own.
3. September 9, 1984, 28-7: Both teams came into the game at Giants Stadium with 1-0 records. They both finished the season at 9-7, but the Giants qualified for the postseason while the Cowboys didn't due to New York winning both games against Dallas that season (the Giants beat the Los Angeles Rams in the first round of the playoffs but lost to the San Francisco 49ers the following week). In this first meeting, the Giants jumped out to a 21-0 lead by halftime on a Phil Simms to Byron Williams 62-yard touchdown pass, a Lionel Manuel 16-yard touchdown reception and linebacker Andy Headon's 81-yard fumble return. The Giants poured it on in the third quarter with a Zeke Mowatt 18-yard TD catch upping ths score to 28-0, and the Cowboys finally put some points on the board with a two-yard Gary Hogeboom to Doug Cosbie connection. Simms tossed three touchdown passes with no picks, going 10-for-20 for 185 yards, while Rob Carpenter rushed for 87 yards. Tony Dorsett ran for 95 yards for Dallas. And Lawrence Taylor had three sacks in the game.
3. September 16, 1990, 28-7: Like that game six years earlier, both teams were 1-0 in the matchup at Texas Stadium. The rebuilding, up-and-coming Cowboys went 7-9 that year, while the Giants were 13-3 and capped off their season with a Super Bowl victory. The Giants scored 14 points in the second quarter and led all the way. Simms ran for one of his six career rushing touchdowns and Ottis Anderson also crossed the goal line before Cowboy Alexander Wright returned a kickoff 90 yards for Dallas' only score. Simms hit Mark Bavaro with a touchdown pass in the second half and Taylor picked off a Troy Aikman pass and ran into the end zone to finish the scoring (he also had a sack in the game). Second-year quarterback Aikman's 109 passing yards were the bulk of the Cowboys' offense, as his team could only gain 20 yards on the ground, compared to the Giants' 161.
3. November 2, 2008, 35-14: Both teams were in the playoff hunt as they met for their ninth game of the season, at Giants Stadium, with the Cowboys' record at 5-3 and the Giants' 6-1. The Cowboys missed the playoffs, with a 9-7 mark, while the Giants finished in first place, going 12-4, but they lost to the Eagles in the playoffs, sans a gunshot-wounded Plaxico Burress. Eli Manning threw touchdown passes to Kevin Boss and Steve Smith in the first quarter, before Mike Jenkins intercepted one of his passes and ran it into the end zone to cut the lead in half. Two more Giant touchdowns -- an Amani Toomer reception and a Brandon Jacobs 12-yard run -- gave them a commanding 28-7 lead. Brooks Bollinger connected with Terrell Owens for Dallas' final score, and Derrick Ward ran 17 yards for the Giants' fifth touchdown of the day. Manning tossed three touchdown passes, and Jacobs rambled for 117 yards. Justin Tuck had 2.5 sacks while Corey Webster intercepted two passes. Future Giant Chris Canty sacked Manning once.
2. December 15, 2002, 37-7: The Cowboys came into Giants Stadium at 5-8 and would lose the rest of their games that season, while the Giants were 7-6 and would win their remaining games. Unfortunately, that was the year of the 39-38 playoff debacle in San Francisco. The Giants scored their 37 points first. Tiki Barber ran one yard for the first touchdown, Kenny Holmes' 50-yard fumble return made it 14-0, Ron Dayne scored the first of his two touchdowns, Matt Bryant kicked field goals in the second, third and fourth quarters and Dayne scored again. The Cowboys finally scored their lone points of the day when Chad Hutchinson hit Antonio Bryant with a nine-yard pass. The game was so lopsided that Jessie Palmer relieved Kerry Collins and threw his only four passes of the season (completing three). It was the era of Thunder and Lightning, with Dayne rushing for 80 yards and Barber 81. Giants defensive end Byron Frisch recorded two of his career five sacks (he played for the Cowboys the previous season). Filip Filipovic was Dallas' star, punting nine times in the game.
1. November 11, 1962, 41-10: The third-year Cowboys were a respectablle 4-3-1 when these two teams met (but would finish with a 5-8-1 mark), while the Giants were 6-2, and would lose another NFL Championshp to the Packers after going 12-2. Del Shofner was the star of the game, with three touchdown receptions, and six catches overall for 158 yards. Frank Gifford crossed the goal line twice while Don Chandler kicked two field goals. Cowboy Sam Baker booted a 53-yarder while Don Meredith's touchdown pass to Billy Howton in the fourth quarter was just window dressing. Y.A. Tittle threw for 351 yards and tossed three touchdown passes, and backup Ralph Guglielmi threw one as well.