Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants kick off the 2012 NFL season on NBC

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- A good start is what is on the line this time when the New York Giants host the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL season opener.

The stakes were much greater the last time the NFC East foes faced off to close the last season. New York won to claim the division title en route to the Super Bowl title.

Dallas was left out of the postseason.

On Wednesday night at MetLife Stadium, the winner will take the early upper hand in the divisional race.

For Eli Manning and the Super Bowl champion Giants, this will be a chance to silence the critics and detractors who have sounded off repeatedly after they beat the New England Patriots in Indianapolis in February to claim their second title in five seasons.

As for the injury report, a total of five players will miss the game.

New York cornerback Prince Amukamara, defensive tackle Marvin Austin and offensive tackle James Brewer will be sidelined.

Dallas will be without starting nose tackle Jay Ratliff and rookie safety Matt Johnson. Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten (spleen) and backup safety Danny McCray are doubtful, meaning they only have a 25 percent chance of playing.

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