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Giants-Cowboys ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review: The embarrassment continues for the Giants

Let’s review this week’s carnage in our usual style

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

There isn’t much more to say about the New York Giants’ 49-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Tradition, though, demands that we do our ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ autopsy. So, here goes.

Kudos to ...

Saquon Barkley — Barkley had 13 carries for 66 yards, 5.1 yards per rushing attempt. He camp up gimpy a couple of times, but kept going. Even after having both ankles taped heavily. Barkley plays hard, and plays well. With this team, though, it doesn’t matter.

Cor’Dale Flott — The second-year cornerback has been playing well, and his interception on the final play of the first quarter came when the Giants were still trailing by only a touchdown. It set the Giants up at the Dallas 12-yard line, but they couldn’t take advantage.

Arizona Cardinals — Thank you, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. Arizona winning on Sunday pushed the Giants to the No. 2 spot in the current 2024 NFL Draft order.

Wet Willies

Brian Daboll — Yes, the Giants are down to their third quarterback. Yes, they are under-manned. Still, they are an NFL team and they shouldn’t be getting embarrassed like this week after week. They have lost six games by at least 15 points and three by more than 20. They have been outscored 79-23 in the last two weeks. Their point differential of -148 is league-worst, by an astounding 51 points.

Daboll and his veteran coaching staff have got to figure out some way to at least keep some of these games respectable. Daboll lost a timeout on the first play of the game, inexplicably throwing a challenge flag and then trying not to challenge.

For the second straight week, the Giants at least played hard in the second half. Unfortunately, NFL games include first halves. The offensive game plan was so simplistic it had no chance. The defensive game plan kept allowing Dallas receivers to run free.

Daboll and his staff have to do better.

Overall defense — The Giants gave up 640 yards. They gave up 472 passing yards and four touchdown passes. They gave up 168 rushing yards on 33 carries, 5.1 yards per attempt. They couldn’t cover. They couldn’t tackle. They couldn’t rush the passer. They couldn’t stop the run. A pair of interceptions and one goal line stand might have separated them from giving up 60 points.

Fourth-and-2 play call — I absolutely think Daboll did the right thing by going for a touchdown on fourth down at the Dallas 4-yard line. But, slamming Barkley up the middle on a generic run play? That’s the best play call you have? Seriously? Daboll and Mike Kafka were lauded for their creativity a year ago. There was no creativity on that call. Nor was there really any creativity at all in the Giants’ rushing attack. Just lining up and trying to smash the ball straight ahead was never going to work.

Kwillies to ...

Tommy DeVito — The young quarterback can’t be held accountable for the fact that Sunday’s game was so lopsided. I certainly can’t give DeVito ‘Kudos’ after he passed for 86 yards, but I’m not giving him a ‘Wet Willie,’ either.

DeVito did what he could in terrible circumstances, beginning the first two drives with horrible field position and facing relentless pressure throughout the game. He stayed poised and he competed, and that’s about all you can ask.