"New York, New York" hasn't exactly been the top of the heap for the Cowboys lately. In lousy performances unfit for Broadway or the Bass Hall, the Cowboys have lost three consecutive games to the Giants.

And those came with Troy Aikman in the leading role.Now the spotlight is on understudy Jason Garrett.

The Princeton graduate has studied his lines all week. He is ready to make his first start in nearly four years against the defending NFC East champion Giants and the glossy backdrop of Monday Night Football.

The plot thickens with Aikman sidelined a month because of a broken collarbone, for this is the beginning of a four-week odyssey that could define the Cowboys' season.

"I can't get caught up in the pressure of the moment," said Garrett, who has thrown just 91 passes in his six-year Cowboys career. "I've got to go out and play like I've prepared. I know the guys are depending on me. But I'm depending on them, too."

Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, and a veteran offensive line are prepared to give Garrett offensive support. Deion Sanders, Darren Woodson, and a hobbling Leon Lett must force turnovers to help Garrett's cause.

But Garrett's play will tell the tale tonight.

To rattle Garrett's confidence, the Giants are expected to blitz from everywhere but the Holland Tunnel.