New York Giants: Three takeaways from 35-17 loss at Dallas

Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Bad play-calling

The offensive play calling was absolutely awful yesterday. Big Blue proved they could move the ball during their first drive. Aside from a short pass to Sterling Shepard, the other six plays went to either Saquon Barkley or Evan Engram, the two hardest men on the team to bring down.

They went with the same plan in dive two, but as soon as quarterback Eli Manning started getting pressure on him, things changed. OC Mike Shula went away from anything that resembled successful. Spreading the ball around to different players is a good thing, as is playing catch up when behind. It doesn’t mean they had to abandon everything else that worked.

Dallas has talent on defense, they will make plays, no one questions that. What is concerning is that the New York Giants have two players on offense who a matchup nightmares. Barkley is a multi-faceted weapon, who is a superior athlete. Engram’s size and speed are a mismatch for pass defenders. The G-Men must make other teams stop their stars, even when behind. Shula changed his play-calling after the first quarter and the game got out of hand.

Sticking to your guns also doesn’t replace playing with a sense of urgency. On their final drive of the first half, Big Blue didn’t have any urgency. The OC should have plays ready to go in seconds. If not, Manning has to call plays at the line.

It seemed as though the team was playing in slow-motion when they needed to do the opposite. Several times in the final minute of the first half, Manning was shown staring at the sideline. For what, we don’t know, but that can’t happen. The coordinator and quarterback have to be on the same page.

Finally, the Giants tried to have Eli Manning roll out of the pocket. First of all, at this point in his career, it’s a bad idea because he’s slow. Secondly, Manning does his best work in the pocket. Like most good QBs he can feel pressure coming and can make a step up (or sideways) to make a good pass. Trying to get him outside of the tackles didn’t fool Dallas at all.