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Giants to host NFC East rival Cowboys in 2012 season opener

The Super Bowl champion New York Giants will host the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5 at MetLife Stadium in the 2012 season-opening NFL Kickoff game, the league announced Tuesday.

NBC will televise the game, which will kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET.

The NFL announced last month that the season opener would be held on a Wednesday night instead of the traditional Thursday night to avoid a conflict with President Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention.

"Who cares who we are playing? Hosting the game is all that's important," Giants owner John Mara jokingly said Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., knowing full well that the Super Bowl champion hosts the kickoff to the season.

"It's exciting," Mara said of opening the season against the Cowboys. "They're one of our big rivals. We had two great games last year. The fans will be jacked up for it."

The Cowboys' last game also was at the Meadowlands, where the Giants prevailed 31-14 to win the NFC East title. That was the second of six consecutive victories for New York that culminated in a Super Bowl XLVI victory over the New England Patriots.

The telecast of that victory over Dallas averaged 27.6 million viewers, the most ever for a Sunday night game. It was the most-watched regular-season prime-time game in 15 years.

It will be the first time the Giants closed one season and opened the next one in the same venue against the same opponent since 1994 and 1995. Back then, it also was the Cowboys, at Giants Stadium.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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