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Jets-Cowboys set ratings record

Plaxico Burress celebrates after he scored a 26-yard

Plaxico Burress celebrates after he scored a 26-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys. (Sept. 11, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Americans survived the NHL lockout of 2004-05, and presumably will do the same if the NBA doesn’t play in 2011-12.

But early television ratings seem to confirm what many feared during the NFL lockout: that the mental health of the Republic might not have endured an extended disruption of pro football.

The sport continues to defy TV gravity, most recently Sunday night, when the Jets’ come-from-behind victory over the Cowboys on NBC averaged 16.9 percent of homes in major markets.

That was the best such figure in “Sunday Night Football” history. (Dallas ranked first among the 56 markets measured with 38.8 percent of homes tuned in. New York was 11th with 19.7.)

Fox, meanwhile, recorded a 17.1 overnight rating in its late window Sunday — with most markets getting Giants-Redskins — tying its best ever for Week 1. (The Washington rating was a 30.8; New York came in at 16.3.) Welcome back, football.

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