The Giants have had plenty of issues to deal with since their opening night loss to the Cowboys, including an embarrassing 27-7 loss to the Eagles earlier this week. But don't think they forgot about that trip to Dallas and what it meant to their season.
The early lead. The chance to close it out with a late touchdown. The miscommunications and bizarre misunderstandings that led to them not scoring that touchdown, either purposely or not. And then the back-to-back touchdown drives in the final 5:08, including a touchdown pass to Jason Witten with seven seconds left, that gave the Cowboys the win.
Latest Giants stories
Scars like that don't heal easily. Certainly not in six weeks.
Which is why this Giants-Cowboys game has a little more juice than the usual variety, which are typically saucy enough.
"I know a lot of guys are looking forward to getting after these guys again just because we owe them one," guard Justin Pugh said on Wednesday. "We owe them one for the way that went down last time."
Added tackle Ereck Flowers: "We definitely didn't like the way the first game ended. That's a lot of motivation going into this game. We have a lot of hungry dudes right now ready for this game."
Interestingly, not everyone was publicly on that point. Running back Rashad Jennings, who said after that Week 1 loss that he could have scored the game-sealing touchdown had he not been erroneously told to fall down, claimed to be treating this just like every other game.
"There's nothing extra," he said. "It's irrelevant. That's my frame of mind."
Many of his teammates find it very relevant.
"We went down there and we played a good game for three quarters," defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. "We had a chance to win and we let one get away from us. It was big. A division game. It's a game that we would have liked to have had but we have to move on. Now we have a chance to face them again and we have to make sure we take advantage of opportunities this time around."
Think about how different the Giants season might be had they won that game. Had Eli Manning known the number of timeouts the Cowboys had left, had he taken a sack instead of throwing an incompletion on third-and-goal and sparing Dallas 30 or so seconds of game clock.
If everything else had played out exactly as it did besides those final few minutes in Dallas, the Giants would be 4-2 and alone in first place in the NFC East. Instead they are in a tie at the top of an unimpressive division and could tumble back into third place by the end of the weekend.
The Giants won't have to face Tony Romo, the beneficiary of their Week 1 blunders. He's out for several more weeks. And the dangerous Dez Bryant is unlikely to play with a foot injury he suffered in that game; Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he is day-to-day and a determination on his availability probably won't be made until the weekend.
But they are facing an improved Dallas defense that now has the menacing Greg Hardy at defensive end. After the way they were unable to protect Manning against the Eagles, Hardy is likely looking forward to this game as much as the Giants are.
Well, maybe not.
"It's in our place, we have to make sure we are physical, we execute, and don't put ourselves in a bad position and give their offense a short field," Pugh said. "It's gonna be a good one."