Giants head coach Brian Daboll gave his gamers an unplanned break day Friday after their 28-20 loss to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. As the gamers get a three-day break to recharge, right here’s a remaining evaluate of Thursday’s loss:

1. It was stunning that Giants normal supervisor Joe Schoen engaged in contract extensions with operating again Saquon Barkley throughout the crew’s bye week on the midpoint of the season. Barkley performed like an MVP candidate within the first half of the season, but it surely appeared prudent to see if the injury-prone operating again might stay wholesome and productive for 17 video games earlier than making a major long-term funding.

It might wind up being a blessing in disguise that the edges couldn’t attain an settlement and talks have been tabled till the offseason. Lucrative second contracts for operating backs are nearly all the time regrettable investments, and Barkley’s latest ineffectiveness could give Schoen second ideas about taking place that path.

It has been weeks since Barkley has regarded just like the game-breaking power who emphatically introduced that he was again after three injury-plagued seasons. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry within the first 5 video games, in contrast with 3.6 yards per carry up to now six video games. Even when Barkley rushed for 152 yards towards the Texans in Week 10, that was a grinding effort that required 35 carries towards a traditionally unhealthy run protection.

It’s inconceivable to pinpoint one cause for Barkley’s dip in manufacturing, however his well being is a priority. He hasn’t regarded the identical since injuring his proper shoulder towards the Packers in Week 5. He was operating with a newfound ferocity earlier than the harm, however that operating type has been absent for the reason that harm. It seems that he’s been making an attempt to guard the shoulder at occasions.

Another concept is that Barkley’s workload is taking its toll. He’s averaging 20.4 carries per sport after by no means topping 16.7 carries per sport in his first 4 seasons. Barkley’s defining burst has been missing because the season has progressed. He had 5 runs of 20-plus yards within the first 5 video games however simply two such runs up to now six video games.

If harm and workload are the first elements in Barkley’s decreased effectiveness, Schoen ought to have pause about an extension. Both ought to solely develop into better points as Barkley ages.


Saquon Barkley is tackled by the Cowboys protection throughout the second half Thursday. (Jerome Miron / USA Today)

Factors outdoors of Barkley’s management might be limiting his manufacturing. Defenses have keyed on him all season, however he’s develop into much more of a spotlight because the Giants’ passing sport hasn’t saved opponents trustworthy. There’s little deterrent to loading the field to cease Barkley towards a large receiver corps that now not options Sterling Shepard, Wan’Dale Robinson or Kadarius Toney.

Injuries up entrance is also a reason behind the speeding assault’s decline. When Barkley was rolling, left guard Ben Bredeson, proper deal with Evan Neal and tight finish Daniel Bellinger have been key blockers. All three gamers have been sidelined since struggling accidents within the Giants’ Week 7 win over the Jaguars.

It can be simple if the Giants might establish one cause for Barkley’s droop, however the actuality is all the elements listed above have performed a task. Schoen must weigh all of these dynamics, consider the ultimate six video games, then reassess his long-term plan for Barkley.

2. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka had a superb opening script, popping out throwing when everybody anticipated the Giants to lean on Barkley. Kafka didn’t name a run play on the Giants’ first two drives. Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons acknowledged after the sport that the Giants handed “way more” than he anticipated.

Kafka referred to as good, high-percentage move performs, with quarterback Daniel Jones typically faking a handoff, then rolling proper to maintain Dallas’ formidable move rush off-balance. The Giants have a well-designed bootleg bundle, with a receiver typically sneaking into the flat from the other aspect of the formation on what coach Brian Daboll calls a slide route.

Despite the Giants beginning three backups on the offensive linemen, the Cowboys move rush didn’t fully wreck the sport the best way it did in Dallas’ Week 3 win at MetLife Stadium. Jones was hit seven occasions Thursday in contrast with 12 hits in Week 3.

3. The Giants demonstrated an inexplicable lack of urgency after they bought the ball with 8:53 remaining after the Cowboys opened up a 28-13 lead. The Giants, who used the no-huddle extensively within the earlier two video games, continued to huddle after each play — lots of which have been runs.

A combination of runs and brief passes gained 31 yards to maneuver to the Dallas 44, however the Giants burned 3 1/2 minutes. The drive then stalled after an incompletion, a 10-yard sack, a false begin, a 16-yard completion to Richie James and an incompletion on fourth-and-9. The Giants have been nonetheless 37 yards from the top zone after they turned the ball over on downs with 3:12 remaining.

“I think we were just trying to call plays that gave us the best chance to stay two-dimensional and not just make it a pass game there being down 15,” Daboll stated. “We had a set time we wanted to score by. Are there times we could have been a little faster? Sure. I think we wanted to execute and give ourselves a chance to move the ball down and score.”

Daboll gained’t say it publicly, but it surely looks like the teaching employees’s worry of operating a straight drop-back passing assault prompted them to keep away from going up-tempo regardless of the scenario. The Giants’ incapacity to run a standard drop-back passing offense has been a shortcoming all season, and it’s practically inconceivable to beat after they fall behind.

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Giants playoff hopes at risk after Thanksgiving loss to Cowboys

4. Jones lastly unleashed some deep throws Thursday. Wide receiver Darius Slayton simply missed hauling in a bomb on the Giants’ opening possession, however he capitalized on his subsequent alternative, hovering over cornerback Anthony Brown for a 44-yard achieve to the aim line within the second quarter.

Jones’ move on the deep connection was stunning, particularly since defensive finish Chauncey Golston was in his face as he threw. Golston beat proper guard Mark Glowinski on the play, which has been an everyday incidence this season.

There’s a notion that the Giants haven’t been in a position to throw deep due to their shoddy move safety. But that play illustrated that it’s nonetheless potential even when the road doesn’t maintain up.

The Giants put the deep pictures into the sport plan, Jones allow them to rip, and the Giants bought a uncommon explosive passing play. That must be a part of the offense for the remainder of the season.

5. The Cowboys moved Parsons all around the formation within the first assembly with the Giants. But on Thursday, he lined throughout from Giants left deal with Andrew Thomas on 35 of his 38 snaps on the sting.

The Cowboys’ younger star bought the very best of the Giants’ younger star, as Parsons recorded two sacks and 5 pressures. Thomas, who was battling an sickness, had allowed zero sacks and 9 pressures within the first 10 video games.

Parsons tweeted after the sport that he “heard (Thomas) was the best” so he stayed on the left aspect all sport.

Parsons’ victory lap will solely amplify his picture as a villain to Giants followers, who will probably be haunted for years to return by the choice to move on him within the 2021 draft. The matchups between Parsons and Thomas will likely be some of the entertaining subplots of this rivalry.

6. It’s simple to get caught up within the frustration a few sport that slipped away from the Giants. But it’s value remembering the expectations coming into Thursday’s matchup for the severely undermanned squad.

Three of the six Giants who performed all 64 offensive snaps Thursday weren’t on the energetic roster on reduce day. Center Nick Gates, who changed an injured Jon Feliciano, was on the physically-unable-to-perform record till Week 8. Thursday marked Gates’ first begin for the reason that grotesque leg harm he suffered final September.

Jack Anderson, who was claimed off waivers from the Eagles after reduce day, turned the fourth participant to begin at left guard. Right deal with Tyre Phillips, who was claimed off waivers from the Ravens after reduce day, made his fourth consecutive begin at proper deal with instead of Evan Neal.

The scenario was comparable on protection, with three of the highest 4 gamers in snaps on Thursday added after reduce day. Safety Jason Pinnock, who was claimed off waivers from the Jets, and cornerback Nick McCloud, who was claimed off waivers from the Bills, performed each snap instead of Xavier McKinney and Adoree’ Jackson. Linebacker Jaylon Smith, who was signed off the road in Week 4, has taken over because the Giants’ prime inside linebacker and performed a season-high 91 % of the snaps Thursday.

The Giants’ personnel division has performed a pleasant job discovering hidden gems this season, however these gamers are higher fitted to help roles. It’s powerful to win when gamers signed off the scrap heap are counted on to play each snap towards a roster as proficient as Dallas’.

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Cowboys tight finish Dalton Schultz beats Nick McCloud for a landing within the second half Thursday. (Jerome Miron / USA Today)

7. The Giants didn’t have a sack for the second straight sport and the fourth time this season. Their 20 sacks are the eighth fewest within the league.

Defensive deal with Dexter Lawrence leads the Giants with 5 sacks. No one else on the crew has greater than two.

Rookie edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux had the very best sport of his profession Thursday with 9 pressures, which is tied for the seventh most in a sport this season. Still, Thibodeaux didn’t file a sack, permitting Prescott to spin away and scramble for five yards on second-and-9 on the Cowboys’ opening drive of the second half.

As a lot as some devalue sacks, that was an enormous play. A sack would have put the Cowboys in third-and-long. Dallas as an alternative transformed on third-and-4 and saved alive a drive that resulted in a landing.

Thibodeaux has only one sack this season, however that whole is certain to extend if he continues to hurry the best way he did Thursday. The Giants’ move rush desperately wants the jolt it might obtain from outdoors linebacker Azeez Ojulari, who is anticipated to return subsequent week from the calf harm that has sidelined him for seven video games.

8. The Giants’ margin of error is so skinny that each error is magnified. Twice, Jamie Gillan, who has struggled mightily with contact this season, dropped punts close to the aim line that would have been downed. But McCloud couldn’t corral the ball earlier than it crossed the aim line within the first quarter and inexperienced gunners Trenton Thompson and Marcus Johnson didn’t find the ball because it hit on the 5-yard line and bounced into the top zone early within the fourth quarter.

9. The Giants have misplaced 11 of their previous 12 conferences with the Cowboys and 6 straight in Dallas. The Cowboys have averaged a 30.5-17.8 win in these six video games at AT&T Stadium.

The expertise discrepancy has been stark throughout the groups’ latest conferences. Dallas has drafted exceptionally properly in recent times. The Cowboys have 12 gamers they drafted from 2018 or earlier nonetheless on their roster, in contrast with simply two for the Giants (Shepard and Barkley).

10. Wide receiver Odell Beckham’s much-hyped free-agent tour is lastly set to begin. Beckham is scheduled to go to the Cowboys on Dec. 5, in keeping with Fox Sports. The Giants are forward of the Cowboys in Beckham’s go to order, in keeping with CBS Sports, however no date for that assembly has been reported. Daboll declined to share any info on the crew’s plans with Beckham.

The Giants have principally saved a low profile with their curiosity of their former star, whereas the Cowboys have utilized a full-court press publicly. Dallas proprietor Jerry Jones advised reporters that he spoke to Beckham on Thursday.

It will likely be fascinating to see how a lot all the curiosity in Beckham is mirrored in contract provides. Teams first should examine Beckham’s left knee after his second torn ACL in two years. It’s exhausting to think about the Giants will make a major funding in a 30-year-old with that harm historical past, however their intentions will likely be revealed as soon as he makes his go to.

(Top photograph: Wesley Hitt / Getty Images)



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