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Giants Vs. Cowboys, Position-By-Position Breakdowns: The Offenses

The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys meet Sunday in a winner-take-all season finale, with the winner advancing to the NFC playoffs while the loser goes home for the off-season. Let's break down the offenses of each team, position by position, in advance of Sunday's clash.


The argument over which team's quarterback is better has been ongoing for years. The outcome of Sunday's game will give one fan base the upper hand, but it is hardly likely to settle anything -- at least in the scope of this debate.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has most of the gaudy numbers. He has Giants quarterback Eli Manning bettered in most career categories, and in 2011 numbers with the exception of yardage. Romo is a career 64.3 percent passer with a 96.8 passer rating. This season he has a 65.4 percent completion rate, a 102.2 passer rating (fourth in the league), 29 touchdown passes and just nine interceptions. What Romo does not have is playoff success, having just one playoff victory in four games. He also has a history of spectacular failures at critical moments.

Manning is having a career season with 4,587 yards passing, He has a 90.3 passer rating, has completed 60.3 percent of his passes, has 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Manning has led five fourth-quarter come-from-behind victories by the Giants this season. He also has a Super Bowl ring that has thus far eluded Romo.

Advantage: Even ... Both teams believe in their guy, and both want him with the ball at the end of the game. Romo's injured hand likely won't make any difference.

Running Back

Dallas lost star rookie DeMarco Murray (897 yards, 5.5 yards per carry) to injury in the first meeting between these teams three weeks ago. They will have to rely on Felix Jones (547 yards, 4.7 yards per carry) and retread Sammy Morris to carry the load.

The Giants have what appears to be a rejuvenated tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. Bradshaw has 602 yards (3.9 per carry) and Jacobs 555 (3.8 per carry). The Giants are still last in the league in yards rushing per game (88.1), but have been much better in the past three weeks. Both Jacobs and Bradshaw had powerful, dominating runs in Saturday's victory over the New York Jets.

Advantage: Giants ... Because Murray is not playing.


Tony Fiammetta is a third-year player for the Cowboys who is a key part of their running success. Fiammetta has played just nine games due to injuries, but is an impressive blocker who occasionally can catch or run with the ball.

Henry Hynoski is an undrafted free agent from Pittsburgh who has played in 10 games. He has played well the past three weeks as the Giants running game has begun to improve, and has caught eight passes.

Advantage: Even

Wide Receiver

Dez Bryant is Dallas' big-play receiver, and he has 57 catches for 858 yards, a 15.1 yards per catch average. Laurent Robinson has 50 catches and Miles Austin, who has played just nine games, has 41 catches.

The Giants have the dynamic duo of Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Cruz has 76 catches for a team-record 1,358 yards, eight touchdowns and a 17.9 yards per catch average. Nicks has also passed the 1,000-yard receiving mark, with 71 catches for 1,116 yards. Mario Manningham, the Giants No. 3 receiver, has 39 catches. A knee injury has his status for Sunday in doubt, however.

Advantage: Giants ... Despite Nicks' recent case of the dropsies he and Cruz have been incredibly productive.

Tight End

Jason Witten leads the Cowboys with 72 catches, and is always a nightmare for the Giants.

Jake Ballard has 38 catches for the Giants in 14 games. He did not play last week against the New York Jets due to a knee injury, and seems unlikely to play against the Cowboys. That leaves the Giants with Travis Beckum and Bear Pascoe, who have a combined 13 catches this season.

Advantage: Cowboys

Offensive Line

The Cowboys are being forced to shuffle their line for the game against the Giants since left guard Montrae Holland has been placed on IR with a torn bicep.

The Giants have struggled with injuries and inconsistency on their line all season. They have lost left tackle Will Beatty, and center David Baas has missed several games this season.

Despite all of that shuffling the Giants have allowed fewer sacks than Dallas (26 to 33) and fewer quarterback hits (66 to 74), while the Cowboys have run the ball better (4.5 yards per carry to 3.5).

Advantage: Even ... Meaning neither line is all that great.