(AP) - So there we were, the final game of the 2011 season, the Cowboys at the Giants with the NFC East title on the line.
New York won 31-14 and, a month or so later, was taking home its second Vince Lombardi Trophy in five seasons.
Now, here we are, the opening of the 2012 schedule, and there are the Cowboys journeying Wednesday to the Meadowlands to take on the Super Bowl champions, who are 4-point favorites.
It's one of the NFL's better rivalries, but the Giants have won most of the significant meetings in recent years. And no team has lost the prime-time kickoff to the season after winning the NFL title since the tradition was begun in 2004.
"Every game is a tough game," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "Seems to go pretty close to the wire. On the 17th week last year was a little bit of an exception, but every game is a battle. These two teams play each other hard and they're two talented teams that are very physical and that's the way these games always are."
As this one will be. Dallas retooled its defense, particularly the secondary, to deal with the strong passing game the Giants and Eagles present in the NFC East. The Giants (No. 3 in the AP Pro32) also had significant changes, especially on offense with rookie David Wilson now the primary backup to running back Ahmad Bradshaw, and big-play third receiver Mario Manningham gone.
One key player, Dallas tight end Jason Witten, is recovering from a lacerated spleen. The Cowboys (No. 15, AP Pro32) need him to have any chance.
No. 30 Miami (plus 10½) at No. 6 Houston
- BEST BET: Texans are aiming for Super Bowl. Dolphins are aiming to avoid cellar.
- TEXANS, 27-6
No. 10 Atlanta (minus 2½) at No. 17 Kansas City
- UPSET SPECIAL: Chiefs are hurting, but relatively healthy compared to 2011 debacle.
- CHIEFS, 17-14
No. 7 Pittsburgh (plus 1) at No. 11 Denver
- Could be punishing return for Peyton Manning. He'll survive the pounding.
- BRONCOS, 22-20
No. 27 Indianapolis (plus 9½) at No. 12 Chicago
- Rough debut for Andrew Luck. Better times ahead.
- BEARS, 27-10
No. 24 Washington (plus 9½) at No. 9 New Orleans
- Rough debut for RG3. Actually he should do well, but Saints are ticked off bunch that will score plenty.
- SAINTS, 33-23
No. 22 Seattle (minus 2½) at No. 25 Arizona
- Another rookie QB, Russell Wilson, will fare better than Luck and Griffin.
- SEAHAWKS, 20-16
No. 4 San Francisco (plus 5½) at No. 1 Green Bay
- They easily could meet again at Lambeau in January.
- PACKERS, 24-17
No. 8 Philadelphia (minus 8½) at No. 32 Cleveland
- Eagles can't afford another stumble out of the gate.
- EAGLES 17-10
No. 20 Buffalo (plus 3) at No. 19 N.Y. Jets
- Mario Williams and Mark Anderson meet at the QB, whether it's Sanchez or Tebow.
- BILLS, 17-13
No. 2 New England (minus 6½) at No. 21 Tennessee
- Tom Brady got banged around in preseason. Titans can rush passer. Still ...
- PATRIOTS, 28-24
No. 31 Jacksonville (plus 4) at No. 28 Minnesota
- Might be only time Vikings are favored this season.
- VIKINGS, 14-9
No. 29 St. Louis (plus 8½) at No. 13 Detroit
- Difficult spot for Jeff Fisher in first game as Rams coach.
- LIONS, 30-13
No. 18 Carolina (minus 2½) at No. 26 Tampa Bay
- Bucs being touted as one of most improved teams. We think that might be Panthers instead.
- PANTHERS, 27-20
No. 14 Cincinnati (plus 6) at No. 5 Baltimore, Monday
- With improving offense, Ravens could be class of AFC.
- RAVENS, 21-13
No. 16 San Diego (minus 1) at No. 23 Oakland, Monday
- Norv Turner needs fast start to season with Chargers.
- CHARGERS, 27-20
- Against spread: 133-111-5.
- Straight up 176-91.
- Best Bet: 4-15 against spread, 13-6 straight up.
- Upset Special: 11-7 against spread, 8-10 straight up.
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Police said a man barricaded himself inside of a home on Genessee Avenue early Sunday morning for more than two hours after threatening to commit suicide.
Detectives believe a three-year-old boy may have shot himself at a home in Indianapolis Saturday night. Police said the shooting appears to have been accidental.
There will be several holiday-themed events this weekend in the Fort Wayne area, including Christmas displays, children’s parties, visits from Santa Claus, and more.
A man is in critical condition after a stabbing early Sunday morning in Bluebird Court, off of St. Joe Road.
The 122nd Fighter Wing hosted the annual Airman of the Year Awards on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the achievements of members of the 122nd.
Saturday marked the 72nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. Fort Wayne area veterans and their families met for a service at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum to remember those who lost their lives back on December 7, 1941.
A doctor who performs abortions in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend has been asked to appear before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board.
Each year, students at Taylor University attend a men's basketball game and are completely silent until the Trojans score their 10th point of the game. The game is known as "Silent Night."
Governor Mike Pence is directing flags at Indiana state facilities be flown at half-staff on Saturday, Dec. 7 in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
A national campaign wants the NFL's Washington Redskins to change its name to not be offensive to Native Americans, and it could effect teams across the country.
The Lilly Endowment Inc. has given more than $62 million to 39 Indiana colleges and universities to increase employment opportunities for college graduates. receive
A two-car crash tied up traffic for a short time on Illinois Road at the entrance to Jefferson Pointe.
It's been a year since FBI agents and police raided several homes in Fort Wayne. The center of the investigation was Michael Fabini's home.
Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias are not toxic to humans or pets. Some mild side effects are possible if they are eaten.
A Fort Wayne man had the opportunity to have lunch with Nelson Mandela 20 years ago. He says the experience is something he has carried with him throughout the years.