Giants Waste the Afternoon in Epic Fashion, Losing to Division-Rival Cowboys
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Three quick thoughts from the Giants’ 30–10 loss to the Cowboys…
1. Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass on Sunday; a one-yarder to tight end Rhett Ellison that elicited a long cheer from the pacified crowd of 78,000 here at MetLife Stadium and bled into an Eli!Manning! Chant. He finished the game with … one touchdown pass and two interceptions, one of which could have been easily returned for a touchdown.
The Giants, falling to 2–11 on the season, again failed to score 20 points in what felt like such a wasted afternoon for everyone who didn’t have a hand in pressuring the Giants to return to their franchise quarterback—and even those fans lost energy after halftime. MetLife Stadium felt more like a well-attended golf classic than a football game between bitter divisional rivals, especially after Dallas went up 17–10 in the fourth quarter.
The new interim coaching staff (everyone except Ben McAdoo) seemed to inspire and motivate at the same level as the old coaching staff. Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo ran an ultra-conservative game plan—even punting in Cowboy territory twice, because, well, he’s a candidate for the full-time job and wins look good on your resume. Offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan ran largely the same offense save for one memorable chopped-offensive line formation because changing too many plays effects the interim’s ability to win games. The defense was gashed on big plays again because, why change that either?
This is what happens when everyone, individually, is trying to get what they want. The fans want Manning? There you go. They want a change at coach? There you go. One quick question: Why didn’t most of them stick around until the end? Isn’t this what everyone was hoping for?
2. Another good outing from Dak Prescott, who has found his game quite nicely since the initial, post-Zeke-Suspension rocky patch. That’s now five touchdowns and no picks in two weeks and one more game—against the beaten-down Raiders—before Ezekiel Elliott returns. There was always a suspicion about Prescott concerning what he was beyond that offensive line and transcendent star running back. If nothing else, he’s shown that he can manufacture points and offense well above the replacement level. Dallas doesn’t have to worry about his star falling anytime soon.
3. The Cowboys’ stretch in their two final games with Ezekiel Elliott—home against the Seahawks and on the road against the Eagles—is brutal, but the Cowboys are obviously a different team with Elliott in the backfield. In the press box Sunday, viewers at home saw a hopeful and charged Jerry Jones. Beyond flattening the division like he did last year, this is what Jones lives for. There’s still a chance.