Both teams lost their regular season opener and are hungry to put one in the win column. Over the years, players on both sides have added to the rivalry with some good ol’ fashioned trash talking.
The latest piece of bulletin board material comes courtesy of Giants safety and defensive co-captain Landon Collins. Dallas has long been known as America’s Team. On Wednesday, Collins said that moniker is incorrectly applied to the Cowboys and should belong to the Giants.
“I feel the Giants are America’s Team,” Collins said. “We’re red, white, and blue. I feel like that’s the right way to do it.”
No Week 2 game should be labeled as a “must win” but the Giants and Cowboys could both be playing for their postseason lives at AT&T Stadium.
“It’s a big hole, and especially this being a conference game, we need this game, we need this win,” Collins said. “It’s a big test, and out of these teams, we’re both 0-1. One of us has to come out with a victory.”
Since the NFL adopted its current playoff format in 1990, 231 teams started a season 0-2. Of those 231 teams, only 28 qualified for the postseason. In that span, the Giants started 0-2 eight times. They made the playoffs only once: in 2007 when they won Super Bowl XLII as a Wild Card.
This rivalry has had no shortage of vitriol over the years. However, Collins admitted many of his teammates are treating this upcoming game as No. 2 of 16.
“They’re just another team in our way, honestly,” Collins said.
The team’s youth is the biggest reason why there isn’t much animosity toward their Dallas counterparts. Still, the annual trip to AT&T Stadium does elicit certain emotions the closer it gets to game day.
“The atmosphere is crazy, always crazy when we go down there,” Collins said. “I feel like once we get there, we feel the hatred. That’s where the fumes, the emotions, and the tempers come.”
This will be Pat Shurmur’s first Giants/Cowboys game as head coach but not his first experience with the Cowboys or their fans. Shurmur had two different tenures with the Philadelphia Eagles as an assistant coach. He reflected on an encounter he had with an Eagles fan regarding the Cowboys.
“I remember when I was in Philly, I was putting my trash out early my first year and we weren’t very good, and it was early in the morning and I was surprised by this person,” Shurmur said. “And they said to me, ‘Listen, you can go 2-14 if you beat Dallas twice.’ So that was Philly’s take on it.”
Shurmur is more concerned about getting his first win as head coach than any historical perspective and he made that abundantly clear.
“We don’t worry about that,” Shurmur said. “That’s fun for everybody to talk about outside the building. We didn’t do enough in the first game to win the game, and we’re working to do what we can to win this next one. Period. End of story.”
Some history cannot be ignored, no matter how much Shurmur may want to forget about it.
The Giants started 0-2 (or worse) in four of the last five seasons. The lone exception was the 2-0 start in 2016. They finished ’16 with an 11-5 record and their first postseason berth since winning Super Bowl XLVI but went 7-9 (2013), 6-10 (2014 and 2014), and 3-13 (last season) in the four seasons.
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL, the New York Giants, and the NBA. Please like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.