To the surprise of no one, both Giants-Cowboys matchups are the definition of must-see TV. The week, the scene was set on Sunday Night Football in front of a primetime audience.
How would the Giants handle the hottest team in the National Football League? How would the Giants cool off a team that won 11 consecutive games.
It wasn’t pretty, it certainly wasn’t easy, but the Giants pulled off their most important victory of the season with a 10-7 win, sweeping the season series against those mighty Cowboys.
The Giants blueprint for victory on Sunday - and for most of their nine victories in 2016 - is the result of what general manager Jerry Reese was able to do in the offseason in free agency.
The Giants spent over $100 million on Oliver Vernon, Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Janoris Jenkins.
The hope was that these three players would provide a much-needed boost to a defense that was one of the worst units in all of football in 2015.
Well, those veterans combined with the emergence of youngsters like safety Landon Collins have turned a much-maligned defense into a juggernaut.
The Cowboys came into MetLife Stadium with the best offensive line in football, MVP candidate running back Ezekiel Elliot, and emerging rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.
Yet this surging offense couldn’t do a darn thing against the Big Blue Wrecking Crew.
The Giants contained the Cowboys rushing attack and forced the rookie quarterback to beat them in the air.
He simply was unable to do it. The Giants secondary was ball hawking, relentless and all over the field.
The Giants secondary has the elite-level quality the pass rush had in their championship seasons of 2007 and 2011.
It can wreck a game.
There’s no doubt that the defense has become the strength of the 2016 New York Giants.
However, on the other side of the ball, the offense continues to be a flat-out mess.
The Giants cannot run the football and, yes, they have been horrific on the offensive line. But it’s also time to address the elephant in the room.
Eli Manning is not playing well enough for this team to be a championship-caliber group.
The Giants are very fortunate that Eli did not turn it over more than three times on Sunday. He easily could’ve thrown another two or three interceptions that would have been costly.
It’s not a question of whether or not Eli is capable.
That’s obvious. He’s won two Super Bowl MVP Awards and he’s coming off arguably his best statistical season.
The talent is there, but the performance in 2016 has not reflected that.
The Giants need a lot more out of their star quarterback. It's December, it’s money time, the Giants need Eli to be “The Mann.”
Sunday proved that their defense is championship caliber. It completely shut down one of the best offenses in all of football.
If the Giants are going to be a championship-caliber team, it’s time for the Giants offense to get on the same page with their all-world D.
You can listen to me on WFAN Sports Radio 660 AM & 1019 FM on Sunday from 1-6 a.m. & on CBS Sports Radio Monday & Tuesday from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Week 15 NFL Unlocks of the Week (34-24-2)
• Miami -2.5
• Baltimore -6
• Denver +3
• Kansas City -5.5
• Tampa Bay +7