Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito is sacked by Cowboys defensive end Sam...

Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito is sacked by Cowboys defensive end Sam Williams, top, in the first half of an NFL game on Sunday in Arlington, Texas. Credit: AP/Julio Cortez

ARLINGTON, Texas — Brian Daboll is big on nicknames, especially the ones that shorten or alter the last syllable of someone’s actual name. He insists on folks he knows calling him “Dabes.” It probably stems from his growing up in hockey-centric Western New York.

Earlier this week, when talking about newly installed starting quarterback Tommy DeVito, the undrafted rookie who has been thrust into this role after a series of injuries at the position, Daboll publicly debuted the term of endearment assigned to him.

“I think they’ve got a lot of respect for DeVeets,” Daboll said, referring to the locker room’s supposed embrace of their new on-field leader.

But … DeVeets? Is that really what he’s called?

“Once in a while,” Daboll said, “or I wouldn’t have said it.”

Sunday very quickly became the Agony of DeVeets. The Cowboys crushed him and the Giants at AT&T Stadium, 49-17.

Not that DeVito — we’ll give him at least the dignity of using his actual name from now on, although witness protection may soon become an option if this season continues on its current trajectory — was the one responsible for the atrocious but not wholly unexpected display of football incompetence. After all, he was a mere practice-squadder watching from the stands when the Giants lost their opener to the Cowboys, 40-0, on Sept. 10.

This was just a continuation of that beatdown.

These Giants are lost. They are outclassed in almost every regard almost every time they step on the field and there is very little on the horizon that will offer them hope for the next two months. It’s a realistic concern that they may not win another game this season, and it is a sad, legitimate question to ask if they should want to, given their potential draft placement.

Call DeVito whatever you want, just don’t call him the root of that kind of organizational condemnation.

He turned out to be what most suspected: a much better story than he is a quarterback.

The Jersey born-and-bred son of a plumber who grew up just a few miles from MetLife Stadium (although as a Steelers fan, not a Giants backer) and who still lives at home where his mom greets him at the door with chicken cutlets when he comes home from practices would have had to play like Peyton Manning in his prime to outperform his narrative. He wasn’t awful — he did manage to throw a touchdown pass for the second straight game and broke the seasonlong schneid against Dallas in the third quarter — but he wasn’t a savior, either.

No, this game and this season were over long before DeVito entered the picture in any meaningful way. Probably long before Daniel Jones tore his ACL last week, which resulted in the soggy, barely smoldering torch being passed to (forced upon?) DeVito.

The Giants' secondary was unable to stop Dak Prescott from throwing for 404 yards and four touchdowns and running for one. CeeDee Lamb caught 11 passes for 151 yards and it wasn’t even the highest output on the team (Brandin Cooks had nine for 173). Offensively, Saquon Barkley, who figured to be the centerpiece of the offense with their quarterback situation, gained just 1 yard in the first half, although he finished with 66 on 13 carries.

There has been so little to celebrate that when Darnay Holmes picked off backup quarterback Cooper Rush midway through the fourth quarter, the entire defense ran to the end zone to mug for the cameras. The Giants can’t even read the room properly.

Asking DeVito to salvage all of this was just too big an ask.

There are teams around the league that survive and even thrive in worse quarterbacking situations. The Bears have gone 2-2 during a four-game stretch with an undrafted rookie quarterback from a Division II college. The Vikings have won twice with a quarterback who barely knows the names of his teammates. The NFL is brimming with weekly, compelling, uplifting underdog fables and unheralded players who become legends.

They just don’t seem to happen here. Not lately.

DeVito completed 14 of 27 passes for 86 yards (48, more than half of those, came on the final meaningless drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard) with two touchdowns and an interception. DeVito scrambled for 41 yards and was sacked five times.

He leads the team in touchdown passes this season.

It’s hard to recall now, but way back in September, this was supposed to be a season in which the Giants were going to try to close the gap on the two teams far ahead of them in the division. The only thing they closed the gap on Sunday was their own ineptitude by at least scoring points against the Cowboys this time and avoiding the ignominy of back-to-back shutouts. Of course they still have two games against the Eagles in the last three weeks of the season to look forward to.

Prior to this year, the most lopsided in-season series between the Giants and Cowboys was in 1966, when Dallas won 52-7 and 17-7 by a combined 55 points. This year’s 89-17 aggregated score tops that.

What kind of cute, annotated nickname will this forgettable campaign have if anyone ever finds themselves in the mood to provide one?

The Big Regresh(ion)? The Sea(son) Sickness? The Embarrassing Endeav(or)?

Certainly not the Thrill of DeVictory, although that would have been fun.

These Giants don’t deserve fun.

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