New York Giants 23, Dallas Cowboys 19 - My 10 'Whitty' Observations on an NFL season-ender that needs to be about 6-10 ... and not about excuses.
10. There are reasons. Maybe even some excuses. But, bottom line: The Cowboys finished 6-10. With a chance at the NFL Playoffs on the line, they couldn’t beat a rookie coach's 5-10 Giants team that committed two unforced turnovers.
9. Instead of a cutesy, canned featurette on the Giants' Logan Ryan, wouldn’t it have been nice if sideline “reporter” Erin Andrews actually did some reporting and provided news on what was going on with Ezekiel Elliott’s leg injury or non-injury?
8. In today’s offensive-oriented NFL, the Cowboys achieved the impossible: They failed to score a touchdown on 16 game-opening possessions. You’d think by accident they’d fall into one.
But no, all they could manage was seven field goals. Epic inefficiency.
7. Cowboys were on the verge of extinction, but the Giants being the Giants resuscitated them.
The Cowboys’ two “takeaways” were a product of a botched hand-off fumble and a dropped pass leading to an easy interception.
Wayne Gallman almost breathed life into their dead bodies with a late, careless fumble that – for a split second – appeared to be recovered by Dallas. But, no.
6. The 6-10 Giants might make the playoffs. The 10-6 Dolphins are out. But, hey, life ain’t fair. Or maybe you don’t remember that Pete Davidson dated Ariana Grande.
5. Atrocious throws. Senseless penalties. Curious coaching. Fundamentals follies.
Still wrapping my brain around the fact that at 7 p.m. Sunday either of these horrendous squads was to be alive for the NFC East championships and hosting a playoff game.
4. Does anyone produce ill-time celebrations more than Jaylon Smith?
To stay true to his annoying brand, I’m assuming the linebacker started moon-walking and swiping and then dumped Gatorade on head coach Mike McCarthy’s head when the clock struck 0:00 on the game and the season.
3. CeeDee Lamb has an impressive rookie season. But his next step is not making the spectacular catch, but merely the routine. His drop on second-and-goal on Dallas’ final drive would have made third down more manageable and, given his skills, maybe found the end zone.
2. Dalton was bloody and gutsy and wild and accurate and … inexcusable.
On third-and-goal with the game on the line, the 10-year veteran quarterback responded by throwing an unnecessary, premature, desperation Hail Mary that was intercepted in the end zone.
A heroic, bloody glove effort that almost rivaled Emmitt Smith’s shoulder game in 1993 and Curt Schilling’s bloody sock performance in the 2004 World Series instead merely put us all out of our of misery.
Even worse, the interception might have cost Dalton a $1 million contract bonus he would have received if he played 50 percent of snaps and guided the Cowboys to the postseason.
1. A full season comes and goes and I still can’t begin to decipher McCarthy’s beloved McAnalytics.
In a low-scoring game in the third quarter the Cowboys scored to pull within 20-15 and he goes for … one?
Then he didn’t challenge what would have been a Giants’ incompletion in the fourth, allowing a 50-yard field goal that provided New York’s final margin and forced Dallas to attempt to score a touchdown instead of a game-winning field goal on its final, futile drive.
Your Dallas Cowboys had a bad season. Your head coach was a big part of the problem.