The video session of the Giants’ 40-0 regular season opening game loss at home at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night to the Dallas Cowboys was undoubtedly both instructive and mortifying.
Bluntly, the Giants were horrible in all facets of the game. The Cowboys imposed their will on them early in the game, taking a 16-0 first quarter lead and essentially deciding the outcome by halftime when the score was 26-0. The Cowboys 14 second half points were for posterity.
It made the shutout the largest by either team in head-to-head matchups, surpassing the Cowboys’ 35-0 victory in 1995. The one positive takeaway for the Giants is that the game took place in Week 1, so they have 16 more to go. But if what transpired was more of an exposure of lingering weaknesses than an anomaly—most glaringly a disjointed offensive line—the Giants will find the next three and a half months problematic.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was under siege all evening by the fast and physical Cowboys defense and did not respond well, looking uncertain, hurried, and rattled. He passed for just 104 yards and threw two interceptions. Similarly, running back Saquon Barkley was not able to get untracked and was pounded between the tackles and in space.
Barkley had a respectable 4.3 yards per carry average, rushing for 51 yards on 12 attempts, including an 18-yard scamper. One of Jones’ interceptions came when Barkley was hammered by Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs late in the first quarter on a dump off from Jones. The hit jarred the ball from Barkley and it was picked out of the air by Cowboys cornerback DaRon Bland, who sprinted 22-yards for a touchdown with 2:22 remaining in the first quarter.
“Obviously, a tough loss, a disappointing loss, got beat all the way around, [from] coaching to playing and I accept that, got a lot to learn from, a lot to work on and that’s what we’ll do,” said Giants head coach Brian Daboll to begin his postgame press conference.
“No excuses, give credit to Dallas. They just did everything better than we did tonight.”
We got skunked in the National Football League against Dallas, and at home,” said Barkley. “That’s football. We’ve got to do a better job, starting with myself and the leaders of stop the leaking, stop the bleeding and we didn’t do that. We can’t go down like that to a team of that caliber. Just got to go, watch film, learn from it, and get ready for Arizona.”
The Giants will play the Cardinals on the road this Sunday (4:05 p.m.).