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Morris Claiborne is key to Cowboys defense on Wednesday night

Dallas Cowboys 1st-round pick Morris Claiborne could be the key to their performance against Eli Manning and the Giants on Wednesday night.

Eli Manning will look Claiborne's direction early and often

Last season, the Giants picked on Terrence Newman, completing 12 of 19 passes thrown his direction for 240 yards in their two meetings. This year, Newman is gone, replaced by Claiborne and veteran Brandon Carr.

Given the choice, Manning will likely target the rookie Claiborne, and will hope to have the same success he found when picking on Newman last season. If Claiborne can come up some big plays, the Cowboys may be able to pull off the upset. But if Claiborne can’t improve upon Newman’s performance in 2011, it will likely be another long night for the Dallas defense.

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