3. New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
This matchup is one of the most high-profile rivalries in the NFL. Premier franchises—the flashy, showy, extravagant Cowboys, a.k.a “America’s team,” against the gritty, tough, business-like Giants—and two of the most popular teams in the league. While this is a division rivalry with both teams in the NFC East, this matchup goes way back before the division even existed.
The teams first played in 1960 at Yankee Stadium, and that matchup ended in a tie—a somewhat symbolic beginning for the rivalry, considering so many of the games played between the teams have been close calls. Whether it was the 13-10 win by the Giants on an overtime field goal to make the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades, the 2003 Monday Night Football game that saw the Cowboys win after being down with just 11 seconds left, or the 33-31 overtime win for New York in the opening game of the new Cowboys Stadium in 2009, the games are always hard-fought.
Star players like Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Emmitt Smith, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Irvin, Terrell Owens, Phil Sims, and Michael Statham have made the matchups on the field entertaining, but the men on the sidelines have added to the intensity as well. Legendary Cowboys coach Tom Landry previously played and coached for the Giants, while Hall of Famer Bill Parcells coached both teams during the course of his career. Let’s put it this way: These teams know each other very well, and they aren’t close friends.
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