Giants’ gap behind Cowboys extended even further after ’embarrassing’ season opening loss

Sep 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; head coach Brian Daboll seems to be on through the first half in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports activities

EAST RUTHERFORD — They wished to bridge the hole — wanted to bridge the hole. With the intention to ascend to the higher echelon of groups of their convention, the Giants first wanted to catch these of their division.

What higher option to present that they had than this? Internet hosting the Cowboys, lengthy a thorn in New York’s aspect, beneath the lights of Sunday Night time Soccer. This was after they’d lastly beat them — they genuinely felt that. And so they’d set the tone for the season in doing so.

They even constructed up the hype — a “blue out,” they referred to as it.

Extra like blowout.

The Giants misplaced to the Cowboys, 40-0. They have been outmanned, outplayed and, possibly greater than anything, outcoached. Caught up? No. This was a reality-checking slap within the face.

There’s no bridged hole. It’s wider than ever.

“It’s embarrassing,” stated security Xavier McKinney.

It’s exhausting to explain the Giants’ opener as something aside from a Huge Blue embarrassment. They wished an electrical ambiance. By the second quarter, Cowboys followers reigned de-fense chants down on Daniel Jones and Co. By the third quarter, those self same followers occupied the decrease bowl to the purpose MetLife felt like AT&T North East.

Sep 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Dallas Cowboys safety Juanyeh Thomas (30) blocks a field goal attempt by New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano (9) as cornerback Noah Igbinoghene (19) recovers the block during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium.
Sep 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Dallas Cowboys security Juanyeh Thomas (30) blocks a area aim try by New York Giants place kicker Graham Gano (9) as cornerback Noah Igbinoghene (19) recovers the block through the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports activities

It’s gorgeous to imagine the Giants as soon as regarded answerable for this sport — albeit transient. They took their opening drive right down to the Cowboys’ 13 yard line. Saquon Barkley ran violently. Jones scampered and scrambled, too.

A false begin on third-and-two pushed issues again, then got here a nasty snap from rookie middle John Michael Schmitz, adopted by a blocked Graham Gano area aim that Noah Igbinoghene returned for a landing.

After which the flood gates opened.

Jones was horrific, trying nothing just like the participant who earned a $160-million contract extension within the offseason. He accomplished 15-of-28 passes (53.6 p.c) for 104 yards. He threw two interceptions, one among which was returned by Daron Bland for a 22-yard landing. He married poor choices with errant throws till being relieved late within the fourth quarter by backup Tyrod Taylor.

Granted, it wasn’t like Jones had a lot assist. The Cowboys made little one’s play with the Giants’ supposedly-improved line. New York really felt they have been higher suited to deal with Dallas’ cross rush than they have been a yr in the past, when the Cowboys sacked Jones eight instances of their two video games, that was comically ignorant.

The Cowboys sacked Jones seven instances on Sunday evening, and two extra have been negated by way of penalty. They hit him 12 instances and pressured him on 62.9 p.c of his drop-backs.

Final yr, it was Evan Neal who struggled immensely. He was unhealthy once more within the opener, however this time so have been so lots of his teammates round him. 5 totally different Cowboys had sacks, led by Dorance Armstrong and Osa Odighizuwa, every of whom had two.

“All we will do is be taught from this, develop from this, and be higher,” Neal stated. “As a competitor, being a person within the area, going on the market and placing the whole lot on the road, all of the exhausting work that it takes to go on the market and carry out and have a consequence like that? It sucks.

“However what are you able to do aside from come out and work more durable? What are you able to do aside from return within the workplace, be taught from it, and work more durable to ensure it doesn’t occur once more.”

The Giants’ protection wasn’t manhandled by any stretch (Dak Prescott completed 13-of-24 for 143 yards with no landing or interception), however with such little assist from the offense, Wink Martindale’s unit might solely bend a lot earlier than breaking.

A ten-play, 75-yard drive from the Cowboys on the opening possession of the second half proved to be the tipping level. The Giants performed nearly all of the second half trying like a workforce that give up on itself.

Alarming, contemplating this workforce’s never-say-die angle is what endeared itself to their fan base final yr.

“That’s not us,” Daboll stated when requested if he had considerations together with his workforce’s effort. “That’s not us to insinuate that that somebody’s not giving effort. All people provides ball’s-out effort. We simply didn’t do a adequate job executing.

“I don’t query that. Not ever.”

The Giants have been one of many feel-good tales of the 2022 season. The franchise had taken a gradual decline since its 2011 championship, however final yr proved to be a return to glory.

The Giants have been at a expertise drawback seemingly each week, however it didn’t matter. They embraced taking part in ugly, week in and week out they drug their opponent to the deep finish of the pool to see if they might swim, and most couldn’t.

The Giants made the playoffs, they usually beat the Vikings in Minnesota within the Wild Card spherical. Then got here a battle with the Eagles within the divisional spherical.

Philadelphia, uncovered New York’s roster deficiencies, which set the rallying cry for this offseason.

The litmus take a look at was this sport in opposition to the Cowboys, a workforce the Giants had crushed simply as soon as of their final 12 makes an attempt, they usually failed that take a look at miserably.

“It’s not what you wish to see,” stated tight finish Darren Waller, who had three catches for 36 yards. “It’s not the beginning that you simply wish to have.”

The defeat was the eighth-most lopsided in workforce historical past. It nearly definitely would have been worse had the Cowboys not pulled their starters early within the fourth quarter. Possibly worse was how the Giants appeared to give up as soon as they got here out within the second half.

Daboll earned his Coach of the Yr honor final yr, however Sunday displays as a lot on him as anybody else. The Giants by no means matched Dallas’ power. When issues started to spiral, nobody tried to drag them out.

This was regression in each sense of the phrase.

“We obtained our enamel kicked in tonight,” wideout Sterling Shepard stated.

Context is required. This is only one sport, in any case there are 16 nonetheless to go, together with one other assembly with the Cowboys.

It’s exhausting to place into phrases how disheartening this sport is. It completely has the potential to resonate and bleed into coming weeks.

The Giants spent all offseason speaking about wanting to indicate they have been pretty much as good as Dallas, pretty much as good because the Eagles. At instances on Sunday, it regarded just like the Cowboys have been taking part in a unique sport. In some way, the Giants got down to shut a niche and located a option to make it wider.

“It’s Week 1,” stated McKinney. “I assure that after we get to Week 10 it gained’t be the identical. We’ll be alright. We’ll be fantastic.”

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