It’s come to this for the Giants:
They aren’t even interested in playing spoiler against the Cowboys. There isn’t much they can do to stop their NFC East rival from making the playoffs at this point anyway. Even an unlikely win on Sunday at MetLife Stadium likely would delay Dallas’ official berth in the bracket only for a week or so.
Instead, they are putting at least some of their effort toward a different way of making the weekend somewhat less hospitable to the Cowboys.
That’s right. Some of the Giants players have taken an active role in attempting to acquire and distribute tickets from Giants fans who are so bummed out about the direction of the franchise and the outcomes of this season that they won’t be attending what normally would be one of the biggest home games of the year.
All of it in an attempt to keep those tickets away from the many Cowboys fans who live in the area and plan to travel to New Jersey from around the country.
"I don’t want to see Cowboys fans in there," safety Logan Ryan said. "I don’t appreciate that."
Ryan and others on the team — plus noted superfan Joe Ruback (aka License Plate Guy) — have been trying to round up as many available tickets as they can to prevent them from hitting the open market, where Cowboys fans can snatch them up.
It’s bad enough that the Cowboys have started to bring their own bench with them to plant on visiting sidelines. The rest of the seats at MetLife don’t have to belong to them, too.
"I was trying to find a way to kind of be on that same wave," Ryan said of the effort Ruback began online earlier in the week. "Try to take a situation where you hear that’s happening and try to get those less fortunate in the stands or those who wish to be at the game or those who still want to be at the game. You want to have enthusiastic fans and I understand people spend their hard-earned money, so give it to LPG and he’ll do a good thing with it. I support him."
It’s a noble idea. And probably smart considering how ugly things might get at MetLife Stadium for the Giants if it is overrun by fans in Prescott and Elliott jerseys.
If those tickets do find their way into the hands of folks who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to see an NFL game — first responders, veterans, the underprivileged — it would be hard to argue with the altruism of such a drive.
But it also highlights the state of the Giants' organization. They’ve fallen so deeply into a funk of bad football and have been mired in it for so many years that what once was the marquee game on the schedule has needed this kind of saving.
Joe Judge has spoken about earning the respect of Giants fans since the day he was hired. Sunday will be an illustration of how far he and the team have to go to claim that prize.
The irony is that the Giants actually have been good at home this season. Well, maybe not good, but not awful. They have won three straight at MetLife Stadium for the first time since 2016, already have matched their home win total from last season (three), and are 4-0 against NFC East opponents in the building over the past two seasons. The Giants have never lost a division home game under Judge.
Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day at MetLife Stadium. Season-ticket holders will be given one free medium-sized soft drink.
"There’s gotta be one up there for me someplace," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a radio interview this past week, laughing at trying to cash in on the soda promotion.
Chances are he won’t be the only Dallas fan looking for the freebie.
The Giants will have plenty going against them on Sunday. They’ll be starting a third straight game with backup quarterback Mike Glennon, who at any time could be yanked in favor of backup Jake Fromm, who has never played in an NFL game. They have at least eight players on COVID/reserve, including some key pieces in their secondary. It’s been two months since a wide receiver scored a touchdown for them. And they have not won a game Dak Prescott has started against them since 2016, when they beat him twice in his rookie season.
Playing the game at home but in a road environment clearly is an obstacle the Giants want to avoid.
"We look forward to getting out there in MetLife this weekend and hearing the fans in our jerseys," Judge said.
If the Giants were better, they wouldn’t have to worry about what the fans wear or which side they are rooting for.