Cowboys must handle pregame hoopla

NEWARK, N.J. – There will be a lot of hoopla prior to tonight’s kickoff between the Cowboys and New York Giants as the hosts celebrate their Super Bowl XLI victory one last time.

The Cowboys will have to see and hear all of it as the emotions grow.

“I think the important thing we emphasize in all situations is to e your best regardless of circumstances,” coach Jason Garrett said. “It’ll be a great challenge for us going to their place, 2011 Super Bowl champs at their stadium with their crowd, all that stuff that goes with playing this game in general let alone the Super Bowl champs. But what we have to focus on is playing and coaching to the best of our ability.”

Since 2001 when the league put the defending Super Bowl champ in the NFL Kickoff Game, the champs have not lost (8-0). The Giants beat Washington, 16-7, to open the 2008 season. That experience might help the Giants tonight.

“It is exciting and the fans get fired up and I think it’ll be a great atmosphere for the players,” Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. “We’ve got to enjoy that moment for a second but you’ve got to get yourself in game mode. There’s always butterflies and you’re nervous for the first game and excited, but that will be a quick moment and then it’s right back to what our assignments are, what are plays are and what we’re trying to execute.”