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Cowboys-Giants flexed to Sunday Night Football

New York quarterback Manning reacts after running back Jacobs scored a touchdown against Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas Reuters

The results of Saturday’s games created a lot compelling playoff scenarios for Week 17.

But only one game next week was guaranteed to include a win-and-in scenario if played on Sunday night. And so that game, Cowboys-Giants, will be played next Sunday night.

The NFL announced that Dallas’ trip to the Meadowlands was flexed to 8:20 p.m. ET next Sunday.

Many other games were logical options, including Broncos-Chiefs. But there was a scenario in which Denver could have clinched the AFC West before Sunday night if the Raiders lost early, so ultimately Giants-Cowboys got the call.

(We strongly suspect Broncos-Chiefs would have been the game if the Chargers had won in Detroit Saturday. But San Diego’s loss created a way that Orton vs. Tebow didn’t mean anything.)

It’s hard to imagine a better finale than Cowboys-Giants. The winner gets the NFC East crown. The loser will be home for the playoffs, with the losing head coach in serious hot water. If it’s anything like the first Giants-Cowboys game, we are in for a treat for the 2011 regular season finale.

Three games were moved to 4:15 p.m. ET. The AFC North will be decided when the Ravens and Bengals face off at the same time as Steelers-Browns. Baltimore can clinch a bye if they win in Cincinnati, while the Bengals can clinch the final playoff spot in the AFC if they win. The Bucs-Falcons game was also moved to 4:15 p.m. ET.

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52 Responses to “Cowboys-Giants flexed to Sunday Night Football”
  1. webehighrollin says: Dec 24, 2011 8:52 PM

    We need that Giant win. Then they’ll go off to GB and then come to SF to get spanked in the Conf. Championship. Yezzir

  2. blackqbwhiterb says: Dec 24, 2011 8:54 PM

    Well, I don’t think anyone will argue the changing of the schedules to prevent meaningless games in the final week has become a smashingly successful idea.

  3. trbowman says: Dec 24, 2011 8:56 PM

    Oh my god! No way!

  4. trbowman says: Dec 24, 2011 8:56 PM

    Everyone at the league office is crying tears of joy.

    These two teams could play a primetime game with zero playoff implications, and the ratings would still be high.

  5. trbowman says: Dec 24, 2011 8:58 PM

    “Three games were moved to 4:15 p.m. ET. The AFC North will be decided when the Ravens and Bengals face off at the same time as Steelers-Browns.”

    Noooooo!

    I was planning on watching that game at 1 PM prior to Broncos/Chiefs.

    Ugh.

  6. steelerhypocrite says: Dec 24, 2011 9:01 PM

    Oh boy, the freaks will be out for this game…or in NY’s case, the ordinary fan base.

  7. kmdp4 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:02 PM

    San Fran will get bounced in the 1st round.

  8. bearsrulepackdrool says: Dec 24, 2011 9:04 PM

    Lions/Packers will be better. Preview of a potentially crazy Divisional round matchup.

  9. trbowman says: Dec 24, 2011 9:04 PM

    What was the point of flexing Bengals/Ravens outside of annoying trbowman?

    League wide conspiracy here folks!

  10. bigredtuna says: Dec 24, 2011 9:05 PM

    For an Eagle fan who just got a lot of coal in his stocking, this will be too tough to watch. I’ll turn in early, and hope for a Giant win.

  11. brosama says: Dec 24, 2011 9:09 PM

    TIM.TEBOW.?

  12. abninf says: Dec 24, 2011 9:10 PM

    Losing head coach will be in hot water? Coughlin won a SB not too long ago, there’s no one else available who’s worlds better to replace. And all you folks suggesting Garrett should be gone don’t know the game of football. Guess it’s a good thing Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson didn’t get fired after their first seasons.

  13. chrisinnc says: Dec 24, 2011 9:14 PM

    Can someone please explain to me how the Cowboys vs. Giants is allowed to be flexed? According to the rules, NO team is allowed to have more than 3 Sunday night football games in a year (the Cowboys already have had 3 appearances), even their favorite teams from the NFC East. That really pisses me off that they make an exception to the rule because of their obsession with the NFC East.

  14. moerawn says: Dec 24, 2011 9:15 PM

    No good for Dallas…what are they, 0 and 6 on Sunday night?

  15. kd75 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:18 PM

    While Giants fans hate night games, at least I know that I can party late on NYE and not miss the best game of the week.

  16. jaggedmark says: Dec 24, 2011 9:26 PM

    (We strongly suspect Broncos-Chiefs would have been the game if the Chargers had won in Detroit Saturday. But San Diego’s loss created a way that Orton vs. Tebow didn’t mean anything.)
    ——————————————–
    Incorrect. It was the Chiefs loss (not the Chargers) that destroyed win & in scenario for Orton/Tebow match up.

  17. mikehockhurtz says: Dec 24, 2011 9:36 PM

    And hopefully we can leave Rob Ryan in New York after the game…

    he can go stay at his fart knocker brothers house and they can tell each other how great they are

  18. shian11 says: Dec 24, 2011 9:36 PM

    Thanks for moving the bucs game to 415, now I have to wait till 730 for the nightmare to end instead of 4p !!!!!!

  19. claymatthewsisonsteroids says: Dec 24, 2011 9:55 PM

    Eli for President!!!

  20. morganwick says: Dec 24, 2011 10:02 PM

    “(We strongly suspect Broncos-Chiefs would have been the game if the Chargers had won in Detroit Saturday. But San Diego’s loss created a way that Orton vs. Tebow didn’t mean anything.)”

    Actually, the result that would have caused Broncos-Chiefs to be flexed in if it were different was the Chiefs beating the Raiders. Believe it or not, that would have created a win-and-you’re-in scenario for the Chiefs regardless of the Chargers-Raiders result. Work out the tiebreakers.

    “Can someone please explain to me how the Cowboys vs. Giants is allowed to be flexed? According to the rules, NO team is allowed to have more than 3 Sunday night football games in a year (the Cowboys already have had 3 appearances), even their favorite teams from the NFC East.”

    No, the rule is 4 NBC appearances. No team is allowed to be scheduled for 4 appearances at the start, but that’s only to provide flexing flexibility.

  21. 8man says: Dec 24, 2011 10:05 PM

    Good call. This will top off a great start to the New Year.

    It’s as good as having a WWE pay-per-view on a Sunday night, but it’s free!

    Fun, fun, fun!

  22. woodyg says: Dec 24, 2011 10:08 PM

    The 49′ers will be ‘one & done’ no matter who they play in the playoffs if all they can do is kick FGs …….. That red zone offense won’t cut it against teams with winning records (playoff teams) …… 49′er fans need to start looking at the 2012 season ….. This one’s pretty much predictable & the end won’t be pretty …..

  23. usmutts says: Dec 24, 2011 10:08 PM

    I saw a pretty good close-up of Romo’s hand before it was placed in a bandage. I think he has a fractured bone. It’s extremely swollen. Oftentimes, initial x-rays will miss a fracture when there’s that much swelling. After the swelling recedes a bit, then we’ll know for sure.

  24. football272 says: Dec 24, 2011 10:47 PM

    FOX got boned pretty good by the NFL. Losing two Giant-Cowboy matchups in one year is a huge hit for them. Obviously there will be no mention of that on this NBC blog though.

    Also…why couldn’t have NBC taken Ravens-Bengals? Wouldn’t that have been guaranteed to have playoff implications? Win and in for Bungles, and it’s almost a lock the Steelers beat the Browns, so it easily could have had AFC North title implications too.

  25. keeley2 says: Dec 24, 2011 10:47 PM

    usmutts – Are you a doctor or did you sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night?

  26. jmat40 says: Dec 24, 2011 10:51 PM

    Instead of saying ‘flexed’ can we just say ‘moved’?

  27. hellawaitsusall says: Dec 24, 2011 11:00 PM

    A great hangover game this will be. Maybe I’ll be able to muster enough energy that time of night to enjoy it with friends.

  28. CowboyErik says: Dec 24, 2011 11:03 PM

    Romo’s hand looked dislocated and horribly swollen, doesn’t look good; atleast they have an extra day than normal between games, he really doens’t have to start throwing until wednesday. Perhaps its time to bring in BRETT FARVE or MCNABB!! lolololololololol

  29. colinsnooks says: Dec 24, 2011 11:18 PM

    Where did you guys find all of these rules for SNF appearances? I’ve never heard of any rule like that.

  30. joecb91 says: Dec 24, 2011 11:18 PM

    Great, more of the mediocre NFC East….

  31. buzzbissinger says: Dec 24, 2011 11:25 PM

    Just what we need to end the season, (be forced to) watch two NFC East teams stagger into the playoffs…

    I don’t care who wins, once he playoffs start, one and done.

  32. stairwayto7 says: Dec 24, 2011 11:26 PM

    Giants 28 Cowpokes 3

  33. mattlion says: Dec 24, 2011 11:27 PM

    The “three SNF maximum” rule only applies to the originally scheduled games, not to week 17 (which is left open for the purposes of flexing in the most attractive matchup).

    You will never see a team have 4 scheduled SNF games, but they are allowed to flex anyone they want in the last week.

    Week 17 is also the only week where both networks are allowed to show doubleheaders, which is something that SHOULD happen every week.

  34. usmutts says: Dec 24, 2011 11:42 PM

    keeley2,

    yes.

  35. howley1 says: Dec 25, 2011 12:16 AM

    “Just what we need to end the season, (be forced to) watch two NFC East teams stagger into the playoffs…”

    How melodramatic. Here’s an idea: change the channel.

  36. period6eng says: Dec 25, 2011 12:31 AM

    I don’t think the Cowboy team has enough guts to compete in this one

  37. profootballwalk says: Dec 25, 2011 12:37 AM

    Two mediocre teams playing for a playoff spot neither deserves? Yeah, that’s Must See TV.

  38. localbandhero says: Dec 25, 2011 12:45 AM

    They’re showing and NFC East game because Cowboys are always a big draw. Oh, and the Giants are a big market team. Ratings=money.

    Duh.

  39. ppc50 says: Dec 25, 2011 12:52 AM

    “And all you folks suggesting Garrett should be gone don’t know the game of football. Guess it’s a good thing Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson didn’t get fired after their first seasons.”

    ————————————————————–
    Ok, so you are an expert in football, just like Jerry Jones is qualified to be a great GM. Both Landry and Johnson had terrible teams to work with in their initial season(s) – look at their rosters. Landry had Charlie Waters playing CB, before he was a safety. Do you remember those days expert? Garrett’s horrible time management skills, bad play-calling, and lack of desire/discipline instilled in his players has cost them 5 games that were basically wins. As much as I like Johnson, if it wasn’t for the Herschel Walker fleecing of the Vikings, it would have taken him 3 more years to come close to the success that the Cowboys had. Garrett is a QB coach – nothing more and had no experience running a team, mostly as a “leader” and OC at the same time. Johnson had Norv Turner, a very good OC, Garrett has Garrett, who is not a good OC at all. Your argument is lame and Garrett, as well as Newman, Ball, Brooking, among others, should be fired.

  40. donlagreca says: Dec 25, 2011 1:16 AM

    This game might as well be the superbowl with the rivalry and how much is at stake. Metlife better be rocking because this is going to be a battle. Giants play with as much intensity on defense as they did today, and they will be staring at the playoffs.

  41. mikehockhurtz says: Dec 25, 2011 1:17 AM

    New years resolution….

    Get Rob Ryan fired.

    Signed,

    Cowboys secondary

  42. stercuilus65 says: Dec 25, 2011 5:46 AM

    Two 8-7 titans duke it out.
    Wow.
    Thrilling.

  43. morganwick says: Dec 25, 2011 5:51 AM

    “Also…why couldn’t have NBC taken Ravens-Bengals? Wouldn’t that have been guaranteed to have playoff implications? Win and in for Bungles, and it’s almost a lock the Steelers beat the Browns, so it easily could have had AFC North title implications too.”

    Just like it was almost a lock the Packers would beat the Chiefs? Yeah, it would have been win-and-in for the Bengals, but the Bengals might have locked down the playoff spot anyway by the time the game rolled around, if the Jets, Titans, and one of the Broncos or Raiders all lost. That’s what makes this so difficult: it has to be win-and-in and lose-and-out.

  44. acieu says: Dec 25, 2011 6:13 AM

    Love this game in prime time as the whole nation can watch Rex Ryan turn purple on the sidelines as his defensive genius is exposed.

  45. billh1947 says: Dec 25, 2011 7:20 AM

    With Romo severly injuring his throwing hand against a helmet and not playing against the Giants next week does anyone really think they will win that game? it would have been hard enough to win with him but no way now,the Giants will win,go to Lambeau and get aired out by the well rested and healed up Packers.

  46. TheWizard says: Dec 25, 2011 8:03 AM

    the Cowboys already have had 3 appearances

    Hopes of a “media’s dream” Super Bowl of Chargers/Cowboys are now trashed with San Diego’s elimination, so they only have one team left to cling to.

  47. abninf says: Dec 25, 2011 9:13 AM

    ppc50 says: Dec 25, 2011 12:52 AM

    “And all you folks suggesting Garrett should be gone don’t know the game of football. Guess it’s a good thing Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson didn’t get fired after their first seasons.”

    ————————————————————–
    Ok, so you are an expert in football, just like Jerry Jones is qualified to be a great GM. Both Landry and Johnson had terrible teams to work with in their initial season(s) – look at their rosters. Landry had Charlie Waters playing CB, before he was a safety. Do you remember those days expert?
    ———————————————–

    Yeah, expert. And I also remember the rookie coach needs one more win to make the playoffs. Same as the Superbowl winning coach he will be against. And better than the two time championship coach in his own division over in DC.

  48. greymares says: Dec 25, 2011 10:18 AM

    since both teams cant lose, and i hate Giant fans more than any other classification of people anywhere. go cowboys! but either way I’ll be rooting for the opponent in the playoffs.

  49. morganwick says: Dec 25, 2011 10:24 AM

    “New years resolution….

    Get Rob Ryan fired.

    Signed,

    Cowboys secondary”

    If they wanted Rob Ryan out they’d play out of their minds so the Jags, Rams, or Colts snapped him up to fill their HC vacancies. Frankly I’m not sure if he’s really that good or people just love him because he’s Rex’s brother. (Similarly it’s hard for me to shake the notion that Tony Romo is only successful because of the talent he’s had around him in Dallas.)

  50. pravin68 says: Dec 25, 2011 10:26 AM

    I don’t understand how flexing Bengals to 4:15 is fair. The Browns are going to play the Steelers the same whether it is 1 or 4:15. But the Bengals will play Ravens differently depending on theJets and TN 1 pm game results and the Oakland game in progress.

    If Bengals make it to the playoffs at some point by halftime, they are just going to rest players and won’t have that desperation.

  51. gcsuk says: Dec 25, 2011 11:20 AM

    greymares says:
    Dec 25, 2011 10:18 AM
    since both teams cant lose, and i hate Giant fans more than any other classification of people anywhere. go cowboys! but either way I’ll be rooting for the opponent in the playoffs.
    ———————————————————
    Merry Christmas to you, greymares! And we Giants fans hate you just as much! Enjoy your day.

  52. buzzbissinger says: Dec 25, 2011 2:39 PM

    howley1 says:

    How melodramatic. Here’s an idea: change the channel.

    Well excuse me for expecting decent football on primtime. Instead of being force-fed NFC East tripe…

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