The Giants have long talked about the potential they have for being a great team if they can play with an edge they have shown at times this season and clean up their defensive mistakes and mental lapses.
The defense has yet to put together a complete game. But if they do, Mathias Kiwanuka knows what the outcome will be on Sunday night against the Cowboys.
"If we play a complete game from beginning to end, we'll pitch a shutout, which is what our goal is," the linebacker said. "The issue about miscommunication for missed gaps, gaps assignments, that kind of stuff -- this is the most important game on the schedule, so those kind of things are being taken care of right now."
The Giants had gap-control problems the last time they face the Cowboys, when Felix Jones rushed for 106 yards on just 16 carries.
As for the secondary, the Giants' defense had major issues in their previous meeting in Dallas. A breakdown in communication allowed Dez Bryant to walk in for a 50-yard touchdown catch.
The Giants were able to eliminate significant lapses in the secondary during last week's win over the Jets.
"I think when you watch the tape, they are playing really good football," Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said. "We caught a break one time when they had a miscommunication. ... They are a good group, so you have to be ready for them to come out and play their best game. I expect for them to come out and play tight man coverage and come after us. That is what our game plan is, to be ready for that."
The Giants will definitely try to get to Romo quicker, knowing he has an injured throwing hand.
"I think during the course of the game you get a sense of whether a guy is at full go or not," Kiwanuka said when asked about Romo's swollen hand. "The only thing that changes is you want to get after him and you want to get there a little faster.
"But in terms of Romo and the rest of the Cowboys playing, we expect them all to play. This is a playoff game for both of us. Everything is on the line. We’re expecting their best game."