Eli Manning will test Cowboys' upgrades

IRVING, Texas – To improve their secondary in 2012, the Cowboys gave up $50.1 million in a free-agent contract to Brandon Carr and swapped first-round picks and gave up a second rounder to move up to get Morris Claiborne.

You need to look no further than at what New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning did to the Cowboys' defense last season. Manning completed 51 of 80 passes for 746 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in two New York victories.

“Certainly you evaluate your division opponents maybe more than anybody else,” coach Jason Garrett said. “You have to beat your teams in the divisions.”

Manning will see a reworked secondary with only safety Gerald Sensabaugh returning. Barry Church will be the other starting safety between Carr and Claiborne.

Manning will not have the same weapons as last season with Mario Manningham gone, but he will have Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, who had 100-yard games against the Cowboys, as well as rookie Rueben Randle, a teammate of Claiborne’s last year at LSU.

“He’s an elite quarterback,” Carr sad. “He carries himself that way. He runs his offense the exact same way. I haven’t seen too many throws he can’t make. He has a lot of faith and trust in his offensive scheme and his receivers that if he puts it in the right situation, the right spot, they’ll make a play on it. They’re two of the most explosive in the game right now with Cruz and Nicks. I know they’re going to try to get those guys the ball. In the secondary, we’ve got to bring our A game and match that intensity on each play.”