The Giants were a heavy underdog on Sunday, against a team that already beat them by 40 earlier this year, the Dallas Cowboys.
To their credit, they competed well in the first quarter, after which they trailed 7-0 by virtue of CeeDee Lamb’s 14-yard touchdown on an end around. Predictably, Dallas soon took control and eased out into a comfortable 21-point lead on Dak Prescott’s second quarter touchdown passes to Jake Ferguson and Brandin Cooks. Prescott stretched the lead to 28 just before halftime on a 10-yard touchdown scramble.
Tommy DeVito, starting the first game of his career, went just 4-for-9 for 24 yards in the first half as the Giants managed just one first down on offense. The Cowboys racked up 20 and outgained the Giants by 368 yards to 27 in the first half.
Cooks, Lamb and Prescott all had huge games with Prescott ending up with over 400 yards and four touchdowns despite sitting out the fourth quarter.
In the second half, DeVito got the Giants on the board as Dallas took their foot off the gas somewhat. He led a scoring drive which he finished off with a touchdown pass to Lawrence Cager, although this was little more than a consolation score at that point, as it was 42-7 by the end of the third quarter.
DeVito ended up with 86 passing yards and 41 on the ground as he threw another touchdown to Sterling Shepard in the closing seconds.
Here are the takeaways…
– It was an ominous start for the Giants when the Cowboys marched all the way down to the goal line on an opening drive that was highlighted by a spectacular one-handed catch by Lamb. To their credit, though, the Giants held firm with a good tackle by Jason Pinnock on second down, good coverage by Xavier McKinney on third down and a fourth down run stuff by Dexter Lawrence and Azeez Ojulari.
– The Giants were very close to a dream start when Brandin Cooks lost the ball after a short catch over the middle on the very first snap of the game, but he was clearly down and Brian Daboll opting to challenge the ruling smacked of desperation.
– When they did get the big turnover they were craving, Cordale Flott’s interception return set them up with a chance to tie the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter. It was demoralizing to see them come up empty, though, as Saquon Barkley was stopped two yards short on fourth-and-goal at the five-yard line.
– DeVito offered so little of a threat for the Cowboys in the first half, that they were able to stack the box and focus on stopping the run. Barkley was held to just one yard on seven carries in the first half. He fared much better after halftime and ended up with 66 yards on 13 carries.
– Rookie Deonte Banks has been banged up for much of the season despite starting every game so far, and he was knocked out of this game with an ankle injury, and fellow rookie Tre Hawkins came in to replace him. Hawkins promptly gave up a long touchdown to Michael Gallup to extend the Cowboys’ lead back out to 35- 7 late in the third quarter.
– The Giants’ coaching staff has kept the locker room together quite well considering it’s been such a difficult season. However, fractures are starting to appear. After McKinney’s controversial comments during the week underscored how frustrated defensive leaders are becoming, there were several offensive players visibly frustrated on the sideline during this game, including Barkley and Shepard.
– The Giants had a chance to make some plays against the Cowboys’ backups late in the game. Darnay Holmes intercepted a Cooper Rush pass and Jashaun Corbin and Daniel Bellinger each made nice offensive plays on the final drive.
The Giants play their third road game in a row as they face the Washington Commanders on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 1:00 p.m.