IRVING -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made his playful boast at a kickoff rally at training camp. It's likely the New York Giants haven't forgotten, considering what happened in the season opener.
Jones' comment to fans that, "Y'all should come visit Cowboys Stadium and watch us kick the Giants' [butts]" is sure to be bulletin board material at The Meadowlands this week. As if the Giants need more motivation after a 24-17 loss to the Cowboys in the season opener Sept. 5.
"We know what to expect when we play the Giants," Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher said. "It's going to be a dogfight. It is what it is. We don't care for each other. It's going to be one of those games."
The funny thing is: Dallas has never beaten the Giants in Cowboys Stadium. All three losses hurt.
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The Giants' 33-31 victory, on a last-play, 37-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes, spoiled the regular-season debut of Cowboys Stadium in front of a record crowd of 105,121 in 2009. The next season, Giants linebacker Michael Boley knocked Tony Romo out for the season and dropped the Cowboys to 1-5 with a 41-35 victory. Last season, the Giants rallied from a 12-point deficit with 51/2 minutes to play to beat Dallas 37-34 in a game that helped kick-start their Super Bowl run.
"I don't care that they have won every single time [at Cowboys Stadium]," Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. "We have to find a way to beat them and win the game this time. We have an opportunity to do that this week."
The Cowboys played their best game of the season in the opener, holding Eli Manning to 213 passing yards, and DeMarco Murray had a 100-yard rushing day (131), Kevin Ogletree a 100-yard receiving day (114) and Tony Romo a 300-yard passing day (307).
"When we look back at that Giants game, we did a lot of good things in that game, but if you watch that tape there are things we weren't real happy with as well," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "It happened a long time ago. Both teams were coming out of training camp, and you never really know where you are. I think the best thing we did in that game is it was the first time a visiting team had beaten a Super Bowl champ at their place in that opening-night game."
The Cowboys and the Giants have headed in opposite directions since. Big Blue is 5-1 in its past six games, though the loss was to the Philadelphia Eagles in the division. The Cowboys are 2-3 since the season opener.
"Those guys are playing well right now," Hatcher said. "They look like a totally different team. Every team is getting better this time of the season. We're going to have our work cut out. We'll be ready."
If the Cowboys are going to live up to Jones' latest proclamation that they can be a contender this year, they will have to win their division games. Dallas went only 2-6 against the Eagles and the Giants in 2010-11.
The last time the Cowboys had a winning record against NFC East teams -- in 2009 -- they won the division.
In the past 10 seasons, no NFC East team with a losing division record has won the division. Only one NFC East team has won it with a .500 record in that span, and that was the Giants last season. New York swept the Cowboys in 2011 and went 1-3 in its other division games.
"I know that in the end, it's going to most likely come through us or them for this division," Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer said, "so we know what's at stake in this game."