After two drives of 60-plus yards in the first half to account for their 10 points, the Giants didn’t have a second-half possession Sunday that went more than 37 yards. The usual allotment of dropped passes, including one by Roger Lewis Jr. on a key third down, stalled a few of those drives. They punted at the end of six straight drives and two others ended with interceptions. They managed just one play in the game for more than 16 yards, a 35-yard pass to Evan Engram. Rookie RB Wayne Gallman saw an increased workload with a team-high 12 carries for 59 yards and seven catches for another 40 yards.
The big plays continue to be the unit’s downfall. The Cowboys totaled 185 yards and two touchdowns combined on just three plays: a 50-yard pass to Dez Bryant, a 54-yard pass to Cole Beasley, and an 81-yard pass to Rod Smith. There was hardly any pressure on Dak Prescott, who was hit just twice. On one play, Olivier Vernon wrapped and spun him and he still completed the pass. It’s a season when things aren’t going your way when a blitz by Landon Collins results in a batted pass that winds up as an 8-yard completion on third-and-8 to extend the drive.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
In a game that was being decided by field position for most of the action, a couple of Giants punts wound up as unnecessary touchbacks. One was a punt from the Cowboys’ 37 in the second quarter that resulted in a swing of just 17 yards. The other was a third-quarter punt that bounced twice inside the 5 before flopping into the end zone. Kalif Raymond had one punt return for the Giants for minus-3 yards. He’s had six returns since taking over the job three games ago for a total of 26 yards, one fumble, and a long return of 8. Aldrick Rosas was good on his only attempt, a 39-yarder at the end of the first drive.
A two-win team should be more aggressive than the Giants were. They ran the ball three straight times beginning from the Cowboys’ 23 in the second quarter, settling for a field goal, and punted twice inside Cowboys territory when attempting a fourth-down conversion would have seemed worth the gamble. Spagnuolo also blamed himself for some of the defensive calls that resulted in the Cowboys’ big plays. He seemed uncertain about some game details when questioned after the game, which may be an indication that he’d better serve the team by giving up his defensive play-calling.