C+ When the Giants needed points, they were able to produce them. But there were too many abbreviated drives that fell short. While they were able to get two first downs on their final drive they could not seal the win with the ball in their hands. The rushing (113 yards) and passing (203) numbers were pedestrian. Still, there was a quick-strike drive to open the scoring and a methodical one to take the late lead.
B The only touchdown drive the Giants allowed was a 35-yard possession that came after an Eli Manning interception. Other than that they held Dallas to long drives that resulted in four field goals. The run defense was stout — Ezekiel Elliott ran for 51 yards but his longest carry was the 8-yard TD run — and the secondary took Dez Bryant out of the game (one catch on five targets for 8 yards). There were no sacks, but a number of pressures from the defensive ends that should bode well for future endeavors, and no turnovers. Get a few of those and you deserve an ‘A.’
D Some bad execution and bad decision-making. Randy Bullock, playing for the suspended Josh Brown, missed an extra point. Dwayne Harris blundered taking a kickoff out of the end zone to the 14-yard line when a touchback would have given the Giants the ball at the 25. Brad Wing had two punts go into the end zone for touchbacks, something he mostly avoided in a stellar preseason. And even Zak DeOssie’s snaps, including the one on the final punt that Wing had to jump for, was a bit erratic. DeOssie did save the unit from an ‘F’ with good coverage on punts and a nice tackle on Lucky Whitehead.
B If nothing else, Ben McAdoo made the Giants understand that just because they couldn’t win these types of games last season doesn’t mean they can’t this season. His first big decision as a head coach came when he punted the ball back to the Cowboys with 1:05 remaining rather than attempt to convert a fourth-and-1. It worked out, barely. Steve Spagnuolo dialed up a few blitzes that worked, even though none got home. He got the game ball from the team, but not an ‘A’ here.