The Giants’ setback shows they’re still not ready for prime time

It was more like one of those gripping events in New York, a white-clad army of defiant Giants fans defending MetLife Stadium against the Big Bad Dallas Cowboys and trying to get their team to make a long-lost statement. Ready For Prime-time, with the eyes of the nation watching.

When you win a game like this, a game that would take you 3-0 for the first time in 13 years, break an oppressive curse of Monday night football, the simmering flames of belief can burst into an unexpected fire that might not be so easy to put out, no matter what the naysayers say.

Lawrence Taylor was in the house, four of his former Super Bowl teammates were inducted into the club’s Ring of Honor at halftime, No. 1 draft pick Kayvon Thibodeaux, booked by Azeez Ojulari, was making his debut and was looking to open LT’s eyes, if not get to Cooper Rush faster than game demolisher Micah Parsons could get to Daniel Jones. … Saquon Barkley was looking to turn back time to his rookie season as the best player on the pitch. … Jones was looking to avoid an abysmal 0-9 record in prime-time games.

Brian Daboll has shown he can lead the Big Blue horse to water…but was it realistic for anyone to think he could water him in Year 1 of an ongoing rebuild?

It was not.

This is a work in progress, and no one should be under any illusions otherwise.

Daniel Jones looks to avoid a hit in the Giants' loss to the Cowboys.
Daniel Jones looks to avoid a hit in the Giants’ loss to the Cowboys.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

The 2-1 giants – 23-16 losers – are a scrappy bunch, but they’re not ready for Prime Time players.

For all of Daboll’s genius and creative gifts, he has no chance of beating quality teams when his offense is only 16 points.

When Danny Legs wasn’t running through and around the Cowboys, he was running for his life in the face of a wild and relentless passing rush (five sacks).

It was the Cowboys who recognized Winning Time, not the Giants.

Jones needed a touchdown to tie the game when he started at age 25 with 8:30 remaining.

Sterling Shepard had a knocked out completion by Anthony Brown. Kenny Golladay dropped a third-and-13 pass that was out of sticks anyway.

It was late in the third quarter after Jones had rushed for 14 yards and increased his rushing total to a club-best 54 yards when he handed the ball to Barkley.

Which started on the right, took a small jump step and exploded on the left in broad daylight.

Saquon Barkley rushes for a 36-yard touchdown.
Saquon Barkley rushes for a 36-yard touchdown.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

It was a 36-yard TD run and MetLife Stadium was in a frenzy.

Giants 13, Cowboys 6.

Everything was white with the world.

And then everything was Doomsday.

The Giants defense, which couldn’t fire Rush, buckled under the weight of an offense that just doesn’t score enough.

Wink Martindale had no answer for Rush, who answered immediately, and it was 13-13. This time it was the Cowboys fans who were screaming.

And then Rush did it again – 26 yards to CeeDee Lamb and a beauty of a 1-yard TD catch – and it was 20-13, and you heard “Let’s Go Cowboys. Come on Cowboys.

East Rutherford wasn’t built in a day.

Brian Daboll reacts during the Giants loss to the Cowboys.
Brian Daboll reacts during the Giants loss to the Cowboys.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

A day that right tackle Evan Neal will not soon forget.

Giants offensive line: Still undecided.

Demarcus Lawrence welcomed Neal to the NFL with three sacks in the first 32 minutes. Parsons had not taped a sack but was present nonetheless.

Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard rushed for a combined 126 yards in the first half. The Giants, meanwhile, had 53 rushing yards, 24 of which belonged to Jones.

The Giants have no room for error when Barkley doesn’t impose his will on the game.

Jones, just before being tagged by Dorance Armstrong, had found Golladay for 21 yards – except the Zebras called terrible pass interference on Shepard against Trevon Diggs.

It was Cowboys 6, Giants 3 in the second quarter when David Sills was flagged for an illegal block in the back, and now it was first-and-19, and Jones couldn’t get over it.

Jones had walked the Giants into field goal position on his first possession, but Armstrong blocked Graham Gano’s 47-yard attempt.

The Giants tried hard. No medals for trying.


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