Giants DE/LB Mathias Kiwanuka was asked on WFAN this morning what he thought about Jerry Jones predicting that his Cowboys would whoop the Giants’ asses when they played. Here’s what he said:
“He should, he should. The New York Giants have been whupping his ass for a long time. I mean it has got to be tough on the outside looking in on all these championships lately.”
This little back and forth between the Cowboys’ owner and the Giants’ players has been a cute storyline leading to Wednesday’s season opener between the two teams. But for all their bluster and tradition, I’d be surprised if any Giants fan was honestly afraid of the Cowboys heading into this season.
Dallas has some very good players, including a quarterback coming off of a career year. They have a young and talented coach. They have an owner who’s willing to win at all costs. They certainly have all the pieces for a long run into the postseason, and at least one “expert” at ESPN has picked them to win the Super Bowl (which is one more than chose Big Blue to repeat). But as a Giants fan, how can you take them seriously?
The Cowboys always have some very good players. Somebody always picks them to win the Super Bowl. But these are not the Cowboys of Aikman, Irvin and Smith. This franchise, in it’s modern era, hasn’t won a thing. The Cowboys have one playoff win in the last 15 years. They have only won the NFC East twice during that span. And every offseason, the “experts,” and often the Cowboys themselves, tell us this year will be different.
I’m not buying it. The teams that win championships in today’s NFL are the ones with stability, professionalism and leadership. The Patriots have those qualities. The Packers have those qualities. The Giants have those qualities. The Cowboys make headlines for putting their players in time out.
Jerry Jones desperately wants to believe that his current Dallas team is just as good as they were in the glory days of the early 90s, but they’re not. Look again at the quote by Kiwanuka: “It has got to be tough on the outside looking in on all these championships lately.” I started following the Giants in the early 1990s. Too young to remember Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor, not young enough to miss our bitterest rival’s run of three championships in four years. I was deeply jealous of the Cowboys in the 90s. Kiwi’s line is so appropriate because it’s easy to imagine Jones saying the same about the Giants back then.
But his time has passed. Whether anyone outside of New York cares to acknowledge it, the Giants have a talented roster and the coaching staff and front office to maximize its success. For once, it’s the Cowboys who are jealous. They should be.