The NFL doesn’t need any extra juice to sell the opening game of the season, although their choice of the Cowboys as the Giants’ first opponent comes with plenty.
There’s the fact that the two teams are rivals in the NFC East, meaning that their games always have a little extra buzz, and then there’s the matter of the salary cap penalty imposed on the Cowboys for their spending during the uncapped 2010 season. Giants owner John Mara, the chairman of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee, has been outspoken in support of the penalties against the Cowboys and Redskins. Over the weekend, Mara said that the teams are lucky that they didn’t lose draft picks in addition to stripping of them of cap space that now goes to the Giants and 27 other teams.
Jerry Jones said that his relationship with Mara is fine, but comments to Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com reveal a little extra motivation on the part of the Cowboys owner.
“I would like to settle this on the field,” Jones said before passing on the suggestion of a halftime boxing match with his fellow owner.
And here we thought we’d be lost without some way to fire up the rivalry without former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs telling the world how much he hated the Cowboys.
NFL owners reaffirmed the cap penalties on Tuesday. The Cowboys and Redskins have filed a grievance against the NFL and the NFLPA on the matter which will be heard by an arbitrator. While that means everything won’t be settled on the field, it won’t take anything away from the September 5th game.