ARLINGTON, Texas – The New York Giants received a reality check in their loss to the Detroit Lions four days earlier.
Now came the bowel check.
Because for all the optimism that surrounded Brian Daboll’s Giants during the first three months of the season, and rightfully so given the best start for the franchise since 2008, they take the field at AT&T Stadium for their Thanksgiving clash against the Dallas Cowboys overwhelmed by a lot of uncertainty.
Injuries. Injuries. Injuries. A short week of preparation for an emotional downer in their worst performance to date.
And the challenge of taking on a Dallas team that had its best performance in a while after putting 40 points over the 8-win Vikings on the road in a smash win.
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So what did that mean for the Giants? It would be a tall order to triumph on Turkey Day, but it was an opportunity to prove their mettle. They did that for a half and took a 13-7 lead going into the break before being unable to hold the Cowboys. They also again lacked the firepower on offense to keep up with Dallas, and a pair of Dak Prescott-to-Dalton Schultz touchdown connections proved too much to work overtime in Thursday’s 28-20 rout.
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Daniel Jones threw a touchdown pass to Richie James in the waning moments to top the score.
The Giants (7-4) needed a better showing in this spot than the one they had against the Lions at home on Sunday. They were short, especially at cornerback without their starting tandem of Adoree’ Jackson and Fabian Moreau, forcing rookie Cor’Dale Flott, Rodarius Williams and Nick McCloud to step in.
The Giants have now lost 10 of their last 11 games to the Cowboys, including a regular season sweep this season.
While Dallas holds onto first place in Philadelphia in the NFC East, the Giants now face the challenge of battling Washington, who they will face in two of their next three games, to legitimately boost their playoff chances. to keep alive.
The Giants had to compete, and there was an urgent need to show they could come up with some things that caught the Cowboys off guard. In the end, the Giants’ only chance was to cause a loss of the ball and get their best players – Saquon Barkley, Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams – to make game-changing plays, which they did in key positions earlier this season.
The Giants provided turnovers, but only scored three runs on them. Barkley was held to 39 yards on 11 carries, his second consecutive underperformance that casts doubt on what defenses do to slow down the Giants’ best offensive player, and why they struggle to get Barkley going.
Jones is now 1-5 as a starter against the Cowboys, including four losses in games started by Dak Prescott. Prescott, meanwhile, is a career-high 10-2 against the Giants, including 10 consecutive starts after losing twice in his rookie season.
The biggest offensive play in the second half came on a fourth-and-1 near center field as the Giants went for it. Jones was under pressure and missed a throw to a wide-open Barkley, who bobbled the catch and didn’t finish the game as the Giants turned the ball over on downs.