Giants to host Cowboys in opener

The Super Bowl champion New York Giants will open the 2012 NFL season -- and their title defense -- against the division rival Dallas Cowboys.

The NFL on Tuesday announced that the season-opening kickoff game will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 8:30 p.m. ET at MetLife Stadium.

This is the ninth consecutive season in which the defending Super Bowl champion will host the kickoff game. Usually, the opening game is held on a Thursday night, but the Giants-Cowboys game will be on a Wednesday because President Barack Obama will deliver his Democratic National Convention speech on Thursday, Sept. 6.

The Giants would have missed the playoffs last season, if not for two critical victories over the Cowboys in the span of a month.

They won 37-34 in Dallas after Jason Pierre-Paul blocked a potential overtime-forcing field goal on Dec. 11. Then the Giants swept the Cowboys with a 31-14 victory in the regular-season finale on Jan. 1, with the NFC East division title and playoff berth at stake. That was one of the Giants' six straight victories en route to the Super Bowl title.

The Giants have won five of their last six meetings against the Cowboys. This will be the second time the Giants have played in the NFL kickoff game. They opened their Super Bowl title defense in 2008 by beating Washington 16-7 at home.