It's been a tough week for the New York Giants. Their star defensive end and sack machine Osi Umenyiora suffered a season-ending knee injury in the team's preseason game against its swamplands rival the New York Jets last Saturday.

Then their "Hail Mary" shot at getting Giants legend Michael Strahan to come out of retirement and help the team defend its Super Bowl title was denied when Strahan turned down the request. The Giants were able to pull off their major upset of the heavily favored Patriots in the Super Bowl largely because of their ability to limit quarterback Tom Brady and his offense.

The Giants did that by putting pressure on Brady. Therefore, the loss of Umenyiora is a double-whammy of sorts because the team's defense already had to fill the void left by Strahan's retirement. The Giants have moved linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka to defensive end for now.

Without those two bookends, the Giants defense looks dramatically different. And the loss of a major player this early in the year can take its toll on the psyche of a team. If the Giants' defense struggles early, watch out.

Umenyiora already has had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee -- doctors had to fix the lateral meniscus. However, his timetable for return isn't yet known and the team is keeping mum. The Giants haven't placed him on the injured reserve list, which would essentially end his season by preventing him from playing in any game during the regular season and playoffs.

Now, how does any of that football talk relate to stock-picking? Well ... it doesn't relate directly. Conceptually, however, the approach to picking a good company and evaluating a good team or player is very similar.

If the New York Giants were a publicly traded stock and the life span of the investment was this National Football League season many investors would have sold their stakes because of the developments the last week.

The valuations, or predictions on how the Giants would do, were based likely on the assumption that he would play. Now that he's out, those predictions may change.

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On to today's pick:

Rockwell Collins

(COL)

. The company designs and produces communications and aviation electronics worldwide. It has two segments -- government systems and commercial systems.

Its government systems unit serves the U.S. Department of Defense and supplies communication systems, military data link systems and other navigational products. The commercial systems area supplies integrated avionics systems and products. I think the defense sector is a good place to park some money. For that reason, I like Rockwell.

Like the Giants, the stock has been beaten up lately. It closed at $53.22 Thursday and has shed about 20% in the last year. It's trading a bit above its 52-week low of $44.53, which it hit in mid-July, and is still trading at a steep discount to its 52-week high last October of $76.

I like the stock's forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11.73. Investors are underestimating this stock. And it has a PE-to-growth ratio of 0.84. It's got a hefty return on equity of 43% and revenue of $4.72 billion.

At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.