We knew the where and the when. Now we know the who.
The Giants will open the 2012 regular season by hosting the Cowboys on Sept. 5, the NFL announced on Tuesday from the league meetings in Florida. As has become a tradition, the defending Super Bowl champion opens the following season with a home game to start kickoff weekend. This time, though, the game was moved from the usual Thursday spot to a Wednesday to accommodate an address by Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
It was widely expected that the NFL would have the Packers play the Giants in that game, which would pit the last two Super Bowl champs against each other, be a rematch of a playoff game at Lambeau Field this January, and also save the high ratings of a Giants-Cowboys game for another week. But the league decided to jump right into it and the 2012 season will pick up right where it left off.
The Giants hosted the Cowboys in the final game of the 2011 regular season, a Sunday Night game they won to win the NFC East title and advance to the playoffs. It's the second year in a row that the Giants will start against the same team in the same place that they finished the previous season. The last time it happened before that -- at Washington to end 2010 and open 2011 -- was 1994 and 1995 when they hosted the Cowboys nearly nine months apart.
Defending Super Bowl champions are 8-0 in kickoff games. The Giants are 5-1 all-time in games on Wednesdays, but they haven’t played one since Oct. 3, 1934, a 14-12 win over Pittsburgh.
The rest of the NFL schedule is expected to be announced next month.