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Know your history: The Giants return to the scene of the Dak Prescott injury

The Cowboys and Giants rivalry is well-known, but it’ll mean a bit more this time around.

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Break out the tissue boxes, Cowboys fans, because this one carries a little more weight than your average game. The Cowboys are hosting the Giants this week, and while it will represent their second divisional matchup this year and first against New York, it’s more than that.

When Dak Prescott takes the field Sunday, it will be one day away from exactly a calendar year since he suffered the gruesome ankle injury that ended his 2020 season and tanked the Cowboys’ year on the whole. Not only was that game in AT&T Stadium, but it came against this same exact opponent.

Of course, Dak is back and playing better than he ever has. He’s a virtual lock for Comeback Player of the Year and a legitimate MVP contender, and as a result he’s got the Cowboys at 3-1. He’s already had an emotional first game back in Dallas, and now he’ll have an opportunity to commemorate the one-year anniversary of his injury by playing against the same rival it happened against.

But that’s not the only recent history these two teams have. The Giants offense is coordinated by none other than Jason Garrett, whose decade as the Cowboys head coach will likely never be forgotten, as much as some may like to.

His time with the Giants has gone about as well as most Cowboys fans anticipated. New York finished last season ranked 26th in offensive DVOA and 31st in points scored. They never once scored 30 or more points in a game; New York tallied 34 points in their Week 5 loss to Dallas, but one of those touchdowns came on a pick six.

Upgrading the offense was a big focus for the Giants this year, and they reportedly coveted Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith. He almost fell into their laps at the 11th overall pick, but the Cowboys traded back with the Eagles and allowed Smith to end up in Philadelphia instead. New York was not happy about that, which adds yet another layer to this rivalry game.

Of course, the Cowboys have their own bone to pick with these Giants. Dallas was on a three-game winning streak and had a last ditch effort at making the playoffs before the Giants beat them in Week 17 by a narrow 23-19 score. And there’s the fact that these Cowboys are flying high at 3-1 right now and look to be playing at a level not seen in a while, largely thanks to the offensive approach from Kellen Moore that was mostly discouraged under Garrett’s tenure.

Suffice to say there is some bad blood in this one, for many different reasons. Now, everyone will be polite and respectful both before and after the game, but with all this history between these two teams a win will mean just a little more.

In recent years, however, this rivalry has been a tad one-sided. It’s no secret that the Giants have been in a downward spiral since Tom Coughlin, the coach who won two Super Bowls for them, left after the 2015 season. He was replaced by then-offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who is now a consultant for the Cowboys. Since McAdoo’s first season in charge in New York, Dallas has gone 7-3 against the Giants, with two of those losses coming in Prescott’s rookie year.

Going even further back to the last decade, the Cowboys are 13-7 against the Giants, including winning streaks of five games and seven games at various points during the stretch. And that rookie year, when Prescott went 0-2 against New York, is the last time he’s lost to the Giants considering he didn’t play in that Week 17 loss. Dallas also leads the all-time series 69-46-2. They’ve only met in the playoffs once, and the less said about that particular game the better.

As for Mike McCarthy, he’s 6-5 in his career against the Giants, with three of those games coming in the playoffs. McCarthy’s Packers were eliminated from the playoffs by this franchise in each of the Giants’ Super Bowl runs, but McCarthy knocked them out in 2016 just a week before hosting the Cowboys in another game that doesn’t merit any further discussion.

All that needs to be said is that the Cowboys have been bullying these Giants lately, and there’s no reason to expect a different outcome Sunday with how these two teams have been playing this year.

As we do every week we simulated this week’s Dallas Cowboys game against the New York Giants on Madden to see how it sees things shaking out. You can watch it below.

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