ARLINGTON, Texas — This was hardly the debut Brandon Marshall envisioned when he signed a two-year contract with the Giants.
One catch for 10 yards in garbage time of the fourth quarter in a season-opening 19-3 loss to the defending NFC East champion Cowboys in a prime-time game Sunday night at AT&T Stadium? Not exactly a good first impression.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” Marshall said afterward.
He wasn’t talking about his individual performance, though. He was reacting strictly to the loss the Cowboys hung on a Giants team that has openly talked about making a Super Bowl run this season. He chose not to dwell on his own shortcomings, focusing more on the team aspect of the loss.
“We have high hopes and Sunday night football, wanted to put on a good show for ourselves, for our fans, and it didn’t happen,” he said. “It’s disappointing, but it’s a long season. That’s a division foe and they played a hell of a game. We’ll see them again come wintertime and we have to be prepared and we’ll be ready.”
Marshall said he felt the Giants had “an awesome week of practice. We had a great game plan, and the [Cowboys] made some big plays in big moments. Those three-and-outs killed us. We just have to get rolling early, and if we do that, we’ll be in good position come the fourth quarter.”
They were in no position at all in the fourth quarter this time. The Giants were outplayed from start to finish, and they managed only a third-quarter field goal to avoid a shutout. Marshall missed making a third-down conversion in the fourth quarter when one of Eli Manning’s passes caromed off his hand. It would have been a difficult catch, but he said he should have made it.
“We have high expectations in the wide receivers room, whether it’s one hand, two hands, a fingertip,” he said. “We expect to come down with that ball and make that play.”
The Giants were without star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who still is not fully recovered from an ankle injury he suffered three weeks ago in a preseason game against the Browns.
“Our offense isn’t about one player,” Marshall said. “We work as a team. There are going to be games where one guy gets more than another, or we may game-plan because it’s a better matchup, so today was a game where offensively, we didn’t function as a unit and play complementary football. We have to get better at that.”
Marshall isn’t ready to panic over one loss.
“I’m frustrated that we didn’t win, but I’ve been in this league for a long time,” he said. “It’s a long season. Obviously, we wanted to show well, we wanted to get this ‘W,’ especially in the division, but it’s a long season.”
Marshall said he isn’t concerned about developing better chemistry with Manning.
“I’m not worried about that,” he said. “I’m more worried about our offense being more efficient and starting faster.”
But he does admit he looks forward to Beckham’s return.
“[The offense] is not as good, I can say that,” Marshall said. “That’s a once-in-a-lifetime player. He’ll definitely make our offense better when he gets back out there healthy. Looking forward to playing with him, and I’m sure he’ll make us a lot better.”