Evan Neal and the Giants offensive line are responsible for the brutal night
There was a central theme among Giants offensive linemen after the Cowboys beat the Giants, 23-16, Monday night at MetLife Stadium: They dropped Daniel Jones.
The quarterback was harassed, pressed and – at times – crushed by Dallas’ defensive front, which might as well have been stalking all night as their passers feasted on the Giants’ porous offensive line.
Jones was sacked five times for losses of 27 yards, but he was pressured 23 – the most he has ever faced in his career for a game, according to ESPN. In other words, without its formidable jamming ability, those bag counts could easily have been doubled.
« We need to have 8 back, » Giants center Jon Feliciano said of Jones. “He went over there and played his balls. Everything he did. … We just have to have his back. »
Jones rushed for 79 yards on nine carries and almost single-handedly kept the Giants in the game.
« Everyone knows we have to help 8, » Feliciano said. “Doing what he was doing, never giving up, taking big hits, making plays with his legs…he did everything he could out there and that loss is on us up front. Not on Dave.
« The game was within reach despite our attacking performance, and that’s it [Jones]. He kept us in this game, and we have to be better for him.
The player whose performance stood out the most for all the wrong reasons was rookie right tackle Evan Neal, the team’s first-round pick. Neal spent the evening being educated by Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, who had three sacks and three more quarterback hits in the first half alone.
To Neal’s credit, when the media were allowed into the locker room, he was showered, dressed and waited at his locker to take responsibility for his poor game – a game he called the worst of his life. .
« It’s tough to win that way, » Neal said of Dallas’ five sacks. “Most of those bags were on me. I take full responsibility. I just have to play better. I hate being at the end. »
Neal talked about the stunts the Cowboys performed as the plays that got him into the most trouble.
“The way they changed their fronts made it confusing who I was supposed to block, but I just need to prepare better to be able to pick up this stuff,” he said. « I got screwed a lot. I wasn’t true to my angles and I got beaten on the edge. It’s something I have to clean up. Sometimes it just happens like that. I didn’t really any answer or explanation why. This was not the result I wanted.
“I have to focus on coming out and being better for Chicago. That’s really all I can do. I just have to play better. There’s no other way to call it or wrap it up. »
Feliciano said it was up to the veterans to make sure Neal didn’t depreciate too much for his performance.
« The competitor that he is and how seriously he takes it, it’s going to eat away at him and we have to make sure it doesn’t cripple him in the future, » he said. “We have to be there for him. It’s just a game. Poor performance. I understand. But it’s the NFL, it’s a rookie. It will happen. »