USA Today

Things are getting chippy between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, to an unnecessary degree that could end up determining the outcome of the game -- if it continues. With that latter getting off to a three-point lead after scoring rather easily on their opening drive, the former attempted to fire themselves up and match serve emotionally, but it's spilling over in a way neither team wants.

The first came when linebacker Jaylon Smith got animated in the face of offensive lineman Nick Gates, in a weird display of supposed fury that led to the two being separated.

Then came a wildly poor decision by cornerback Jourdan Lewis, he threw a leaping head-butt at tight end Kaden Smith, resulting in a free 15 yards for the Giants.

Luckily for Lewis, the Cowboys were able to end the Giants' drive and force a punt.

With so much on the line, it's not unexpected to see emotions boiling over, albeit not necessarily in this manner. The winner of this contest has a shot at stealing away the NFC East crown from the Washington Football Team at the buzzer, while the loser gets to start their offseason planning as early as mid-afternoon on Sunday. If the Cowboys defenders can't reel in their emotions, or at least channel them in a productive fashion, they might end up being the team unworried about what Washington does to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

And for Lewis, who might be in the final game of his contract, serving up an immature penalty in a must-win game and then laughing about it won't go over well in offseason negotiations.