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Three Key Reasons For Giants Defeat To Cowboys Monday Night

The Giants dropped their first game of the season Monday Night as they lost to the Cowboys 23-16. There were a number of reasons why but the Giants offensive line, wide receivers and secondary certainly didn’t play up to quality.

The Giants started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2016 and all concerns that were there before the season was put on hold. Through the first two weeks, the defense was playing well, Running Back Saquon Barkley was back to being one of the best runners in the league and the offensive line was finally playing good football. After Monday Night’s loss to the Cowboys, those concerns have definitely returned. 

The Giants only scored 16 points and left a lot of points on the table. They struggled on third down which set them back and defensive penalties extended a couple of Dallas drives. However, the loss was on the Giants’ offensive line, wide receivers, and secondary. Those three groups really struggled and made it difficult for the Giants, especially late in the game when the Cowboys scored 17 unanswered points. Here is a look at how the reasons these position groups struggled.

1. Offensive Line Struggles Mightily

An area that Giants fans have been clamoring to get better, the offensive line was actually making significant strides during the first two weeks this season. They were doing great in the run game that has catapulted Saquon Barkley back to one of the best running backs in the league. They were doing enough in the passing game to keep Daniel Jones comfortable and Left Tackle Andrew Thomas was ranked among the best tackles in the league. It all fell apart however when the Cowboys rolled into Metlife Stadium.

The Giants’ offensive line allowed 24 pressures and five sacks. That’s the most times a Giants quarterback has been pressured in a game since ESPN began tracking that stat in 2009. It’s an indictment on the entire offensive line and explains why the Giants struggled so much to sustain drives on offense. 

Giants’ rookie Right Tackle Evan Neal was the one man on the offensive line who stuck out the most. He allowed three sacks to Cowboys Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence and looked lost at times. He is a rookie who has a lot of potential, so you have to be patient, but Monday Night’s performance was certainly a ‘Welcome to the NFL’ moment for Neal.

Daniel Jones actually played a really good game, all things considered. There were Cowboys in his face all night and he didn’t let that lead to bad decisions. He even made one throw in the fourth quarter off his back foot, with defenders in his face and the ball was perfect to WR Richie James. If Jones wants to prove doubters wrong though, he has to get more help from the guys who are paid to protect him.

2. Wide Receivers Can’t Seem To Stay In Any Rhythm

Before the season started, many saw the Giants’ wide receiver room as one of the strengths of the team. Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepherd, and Wan’Dale Robinson all had the abilities to be big contributors this season. There were injuries to start the season, but things were still on track. As Week Three comes to a close, it couldn’t be more different a mood in that room. 

The receivers struggled mightily against the Cowboys and were dropping way too many balls. Kenny Golladay was once again struggling to make an impact and even had a crucial drop that ended a drive. WR David Sills was someone who was a bright spot last week against the Panthers but late in the fourth quarter Monday, he fell on a route that led to a Dallas interception that iced the game.

To make matters worse, on that same play, Sterling Shepherd went down with what looks to be a major injury that could end his season. He just recovered from an Achilles injury that took him out late last season and to see him go down again is painful to see.

Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson should be back within the next couple of weeks from their injuries, but the Giants are hoping it’s as quick as possible because things are getting dire. On top of that, Kenny Golladay is complaining about his lack of playing time even though he has struggled every time he’s been in the game. It’s not looking good right for the Giants’ wide receiver room, and they need help fast.

3. Giants Secondary Struggles Against Cowboys Backup Cooper Rush

Giants Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale’s scheme is blitz-heavy and puts a lot of pressure on his secondary to make plays. They have to be able to cover receivers man-to-man and they certainly didn’t do a good job of that against the Cowboys. Constantly during the game, Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb was wide open catching eight balls for 87 yards and a touchdown. That one touchdown did have nice coverage from the Giants, but Lamb made a sensational one-handed catch on the sideline to real in the TD. Lamb should’ve had more yards as he was left as open as you’ll ever see a receiver in the NFL but dropped the pass that would’ve been a walk-in TD. 

The Cowboys played Monday’s game with Cooper Rush as the starting QB since Dak Prescott is still recovering from the thumb injury, he suffered in Week One. He has played well the past two weeks, but you can never allow a backup to play as well as Cooper Rush did. He completed 21-31 of his passes for 215 yards and a touchdown.

The Giants’ secondary made Rush look so good that some people, including Jerry Jones, are even throwing out blasphemous comments that he is a starting quarterback in the NFL. That alone should fill them with embarrassment and frustration over how they played. Next week they play Justin Fields and the Bears who are also surprisingly 2-1 this season. If the Giants want to stay afloat this season, they have to get better play from their defensive backs.



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