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New York Giants Fall to Dallas Cowboys, 44-20: Instant Reaction

The Giants came crashing back down to earth after last week's feel-good win, and now face an uncertain future with a tough slate of opponents coming up and some worrisome injuries.

What a rough Week 5 for the New York Giants, who fell 44-20 to the Dallas Cowboys in Jerry's World.

The Giants entered this game without wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. They also lost middle linebacker Blake Martinez for the year in Week 3 and were without safety Jabrill Peppers this week due to a hamstring injury.

If that wasn't bad enough, their best offensive lineman, Andrew Thomas, dressed for the game but was only available in an emergency, his foot injury still not right. That forced the team to roll with Nate Solder on the left side and Matt Peart on the right.

In the first quarter, start running back, Saquon Barkley rolled his ankle, resulting in a softball-sized swelling of the appendage. Before the second half, Daniel Jones attempted to keep the ball on the goal line off the backside of a fake run.

Jones lowered his shoulder and met a Dallas defender with helmet-to-helmet contact. Jones struggled to collect himself and get to his feet after the hit. He was ruled out of the game shortly after. It was a scary situation.

Starting left guard Matt Skura also left the first half with an injury, and Kenny Golladay finally had to take himself out of the game in the third quarter when his hyperextended knee became too painful to play through.

This opened up a significant opportunity for Kadarius Toney, one of the lone bright spots in the game (at least until his foolish punch was thrown when he lost his cool and got himself ejected).

Toney was everywhere for the offense. In a quick passing game, he was used vertically, with screen double-passes, as a running back, and in the wildcat. He finished the game with ten catches for 189-yards on 13 targets.

Toney was eventually ejected from the game after throwing a punch at Cowboys' safety Damante Kazee. This undisciplined type of play shouldn't be tolerated. Yes, Kazee should have been penalized for throwing Toney down after the play, and Kazee's push of Evan Engram should infuriate Toney, but the team has to keep its cool in high-stress situations.

After Jones was injured, the game was tied at 10, but the Giants defense allowed an eight-play, 75-yard drive in 2:15 seconds to close the first half.

For those keeping score, that makes every game this season that the Giants' defense allowed a late first-half score. This breaking in pivotal situations during the game is uncharacteristic of the Patrick Graham unit that impressed throughout 2020.

James Bradberry also dropped an interception on the late first-half drive, something the Giants' defensive backs have done quite frequently in key spots this season.

The Giants went into halftime down by seven, without their starting quarterback, running back, left tackle, left guard, and star receiver. They received the ball, but the offense couldn't establish a consistent rhythm with Mike Glennon at quarterback despite the field goal to open the third quarter.

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New York's defense was put in a tough spot against this talented Dallas offense. Running backs Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard ran all over the defense, who deployed a two-high look to limit the explosive playmaking ability of CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper. They could do that for most of the game, but quarterback Dak Prescott made them pay when they brought pressure or decided to focus more on the run.

Prescott was able to find Lamb for a 49-yard touchdown and Cooper for a 24-yard touchdown. And he consistently picked apart the intermediate zone coverage of the Giants with tight end Dalton Schultz.

Elliott finished with 21 carries for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns, one being through the air. Pollard had 14 carries for 75 yards.

Jones was shaky to start the game. His offensive line, again minus Andrew Thomas, struggled to stop Randy Gregory and the pass rush of Dallas, while Jason Garrett did everything in his power to help the left side of the protection.

Lorenzo Carter had a huge tipped pass interception on Dallas' first drive, and then Prescott fumbled the football on their third drive on the goal line. Reggie Ragland hopped on the ball, and the defense held strong with a bit of help from Prescott's slippery fingers.

Sadly, the offense couldn't do much until their 12-play, 88-yard touchdown drive resulting in Jones being carted off the field after Devontae Booker was stopped twice.

The Giants' defense was put into a tough spot and had to play 74 snaps. Dallas' offense won the time of possession, had more first downs, and had over 500-yards of offense.

Ouch!

The Giants are beat up physically. They just lost by 24 points on the road, and the schedule doesn't do them any favors. The Los Angeles Rams are coming to MetLife Stadium with ten days to prepare for the game.

And who knows how many of the Giants injured players will be ready to go by next week?

Like we said before. Ouch! 


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