Phillips, Bernard ruled out for showdown at Dallas

The defending Super Bowl champions square-off in a pivotal NFC East matchup this Sunday, as the 3-3 Dallas Cowboys look to get within striking distance of the 5-2 New York Giants.

Unfortunately for the G-Men, they will once again be missing a pair of defensive starters.

According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, Giants' safety Kenny Phillips and defensive tackle Rocky Bernard did not make the trip with the team to Dallas and have been ruled out for the game.

Neither defender has suited up since Week 4's 19-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Phillips, who is battling a knee injury, will once again be replaced by Stevie Brown. The 2010 seventh-round draft choice from Michigan has spent time on-field with the Oakland Raiders and Indianapolis Colts over the past two seasons, but appears to be catching on in New York. With three interceptions in as many starts, coupled with an impressive 131 interception-return yards, Brown has quickly carved out a nice role for himself.

Rocky Bernard has been ailing with a quadriceps issue, but said the injury is improving. Expected to take his place in the lineup is former Cowboy lineman Chris Canty.

Although this week's game marks only the mid-point of the season for each team, it very well could go a long way in deciding the outcome of the division.

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