For the first time in his short but illustrious career with the Giants, they were not yelling “Cruuuz!”
There were, in fact, some frustrated boos that rained down on Victor Cruz during Wednesday night’s game against the Cowboys in which the receiver dropped three passes that should have been caught. All three came at somewhat critical moments.
There was a third-and-6 pass to him on the first drive that went through his hands and killed a drive.
There was a first-and-10 pass to him on the last drive of the first half, after the Cowboys scored their first touchdown with 1:01 remaining that helped prevent the Giants from answering that score (and led to the Cowboys scoring essentially back-to-back touchdowns that bookended halftime).
And then there was a second-and-10 pass to him on the Giants’ final touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. Cruz later caught a fourth-down conversion pass on that drive, but the drop cost them time as they were trailing by two touchdowns with under five minutes to play.
“Victor, on occasion, has had some concentration drops where he tries to run before he catches the ball,” Tom Coughlin said after the game. “It’s something he continually has to work on and he’ll work on it again.”
Cruz finished with six receptions for 58 yards. He was targeted 11 times, more than any other Giants receiver.
Coughlin spoke about how the Cowboys were able to take the Giants’ big weapons out of the game. In this instance, Cruz did it to himself.
“Just a lack of concentration,” Cruz said. “A couple of them were me leaving too early before I caught the ball … Just kind of anticipating the play, not concentrating on the football. There's no excuses. I have to make plays when my team needs them the most.”
Of course last year Cruz started the season in somewhat similar fashion, dropping a third-down conversion pass in a loss to the Redskins. After that drop, Eli Manning told him there would be other opportunities to come and he turned out to break the franchise record for receiving yards and win a Super Bowl.