The Giants will experience something on Sunday that hasn’t happened to them all season.
They will be booed.
When they face the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium it will be their first experience — practice, scrimmage, game — in front of fans. About 20,000 fans will be allowed inside the building to watch the game. Given that most of them will be rooting against the Giants, it’s a good bet that the visiting team will be met with the usual throaty disdain that greeted them whenever they have taken that field in the past.
"It’s exciting," Giants coach Joe Judge said. "I think there is a part of football that obviously we all want fans there. There is a different kind of energy at home and away, but both energies really add to the atmosphere and add to the environment. I’m looking forward to playing Dallas this week and the bonus that there will be fans there as well. That’s just added incentive."
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy, who has been in front of the partial crowds at AT&T Stadium, said the atmosphere is "good for everybody because it’s not loud enough to create a crowd noise advantage for our team. I think it really creates a better atmosphere for both teams. Just to compare having fans to having no fans, it’s clearly night and day. I think our fans do a great job, but I think the offenses of the opponent still have an ability to communicate."
Judge did not seem worried about the reception his team will receive.
"I don’t think we need any pats on the back to be motivated to go out there," he said of being unwelcome.
Nor did he think that some teams allowing fans and others — such as the Giants — banning them during the pandemic makes for any unfair advantages.
"There are obviously rules state by state," Judge said. "We respect those rules. Whatever atmosphere we’re allowed to play in we’re going to embrace that."
With the way the winless Giants have been playing this season, it might behoove the team to avoid large crowds. Especially at MetLife Stadium. Cowboys fans are certainly not the only ones waiting to boo these Giants.
Ideally, though, the Giants will be able to squelch that sound on Sunday in favor of what has become a more familiar din.
"Nothing is better than quieting a road stadium," safety Logan Ryan said. "We have to do something to quiet those fans. We have to play well."
Notes & quotes: S Jabrill Peppers (ankle) was limited in Wednesday’s walk-through practice, a sign that he may be able to play Sunday after missing the game against the Rams. DB Adrian Colbert (neck) and LB Kyler Fackrell (neck) were also limited. LB Oshane Ximines (shoulder) did not practice.