*(Editor's Note: With the Cowboys having the bye week as the NFC's No. 1 seed, they get to not only rest up this weekend, but get an early look at the three possible opponents for the Divisional round. This week, DallasCowboys.com will take a closer glance at the three options to face Dallas on Sunday, Jan. 15 at AT&T Stadium. Today, we continue the series with the New York Giants.) *
Team: New York Giants
Finish: 2nd place in NFC East
Seed: Fifth in NFC
Streak: 1-game winning streak
How it Happens: Assuming the Lions don't upset Seattle Saturday night, the winner of the Packers-Giants game will play the Cowboys the next Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys will face the lowest-seeded team remaining in the playoffs. Considering Detroit has lost three straight, it doesn't seem likely the Lions could win at Seattle. The Packers are favored to beat the Giants at home but New York does have a better record this season at 11-5.
Biggest Storyline: While there will be plenty of talk about the Cowboys losing to the Giants in this same round at home back in 2007, it likely won't trump this season. The Giants were the only team to beat the Cowboys straight-up this year, sweeping their division rivals. The Cowboys have dominated the running game in most of the contests this year but the Giants have owned the line of scrimmage in the two meetings. So figuring out a way to get Ezekiel Elliott on track against the Giants will be the way to advance to the next round.
Who's Hot?: The Giants have plenty of offensive weapons but likely their most consistent player has been safety Landon Collins. The Pro Bowler will probably be a first-team All-Pro as well. He finds himself around the ball in just about every capacity, often playing close to the line of scrimmage but can be a deep-cover safety if needed.
Previous Meeting: The Giants were able to knock off the Cowboys back on Dec. 11 in the Meadowlands, ending their 11-game winning streak. That put the Cowboys at 11-2 for the season, with both losses occurring to the Giants. In the rematch, the Cowboys scored early with a touchdown pass to Terrance Williams, but never could get on the board again. A late fumble by Dez Bryant, who had just one catch, proved costly as the Giants were able to hold off the Cowboys 10-7.
What's Changed: Honestly, the Giants don't look much different from the team that downed the Cowboys, 10-7, on Dec. 11. Janoris Jenkins bruised his back in the Dec. 18 win against Detroit and sat out of the 24-19 loss to Philadelphia, but he returned to action on a limited basis last week and is expected to play against the Packers. Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to be unavailable, as he is still recovering from the sports hernia surgery he suffered on Dec. 7 – just before the Giants hosted the Cowboys. The New York offense still hasn't quite put it together in recent weeks. After scoring 10 points against the Cowboys, the Giants are averaging 21 points per game. It hasn't mattered much, though, as their defense is allowing just 12.5 points per game in the last month.
Playoff History: In both of their illustrious histories, the Cowboys and Giants have only met one time in the postseason – and it shouldn't need any explanation. In 2007, the 13-3 Cowboys won the NFC East and earned a first-round bye in the playoffs off the strength of a Pro Bowl season from Tony Romo. The Giants started the season 0-2 and were swept for the regular season by the Cowboys, but they rallied to finish 10-6. After defeating Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs, the Giants came to Texas Stadium and upset the Cowboys, 21-17 in a rematch. They'd ultimately go on to win Super Bowl XLII in a historic upset of the 18-0 New England Patriots.