Carson Wentz, Daniel Jones, Dak Prescott
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Giants will not be able to compete in this league if they can’t even compete against their division rivals.

After Monday night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants are now 10-31 since the beginning of the 2017 season. That’s right, 31 times they’ve succumbed to a defeat in the last 26 months. No team has lost more games in that time span in the entire NFL.

But even since the start of this horrific 2.5-year stretch, which includes a three-win 2017 campaign and a five-win 2018 campaign, this organization has made numerous adjustments. They’ve drafted and changed quarterbacks, drafted a sensational running back, hired a new head coach and general manager, traded away an outspoken wide receiver and improved the offensive line. Well, for the latter, they’ve at least attempted to.

However, none of this has contributed much to putting out the dumpster fire that is this team right now. So how can the Giants even become competitive in the NFL and rise up from the worst team overall since the start of 2017? Simply speaking, it starts with just being competitive in their own division.

Monday’s defeat marked the 12th straight division loss out of the last 15 division matchups for Big Blue. As a matter of fact, the last time the Giants had a winning record within their division was their playoff season in 2016. The last time before that? A decade ago in 2009.

Three of those last 15 division matchups that have become victories for the Giants were against the Redskins. They split the season series in 2017 and 2018. This year, Big Blue took the first meeting back in Week 4. Therefore, Washington hasn’t been a huge issue to the Giants when you consider the struggles they’ve had against Dallas and Philadelphia.

Of those 12 losses, six have been to the Cowboys (all consecutive) and four have been to the Eagles (all consecutive). That means of the 31 losses the Giants have suffered since the 2017 season commenced, 32% have been against just those two organizations.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the team’s struggles against Dallas, specifically.

In the last six meetings, the Giants are averaging 16 points-per-game. This hardly even compares to what the Cowboys’ points-per-game total is in those meetings at 29.5.

Dallas is beating the Giants in nearly every single major category as well.

On average, Dallas wins the first-down battle 21.17-19.33. They outrush the Giants 116.83 yards – 94.33 yards and outpass them 297.5 yards – 239.0 yards. Therefore, on average, the Cowboys gain an average of 414.33 total yards-per-game, while the Giants average just 333.33 total yards-per-game.

To top it off, the Cowboys usually have fewer turnovers, averaging just .5 per-game to the Giants’ 1.83.

The score sometimes doesn’t tell the whole story, but part of the story. The stats fill in the chapters of the horror novel that is the Giants’ efforts against the Cowboys. It’s become the same situation every time these teams play. Whether it’s a one-possession game, or a three-possession game (as it was on Monday night), Dallas will outplay the Giants in numerous categories. This needs to change if you’re New York.

Now, the Giants actually do have the Eagles defeated in some major categories in their last four matchups. If this actually translated to wins, we wouldn’t be having this category. But since they haven’t, we’ll continue on.

In the four meetings between the Eagles and Giants since the start of the 2017 regular season, Philly’s outscoring New York by 8.0 points-per-game. In an average game between these two teams, the Eagles would defeat the Giants 30-22. Philly also has Big Blue beat in first downs (22-20.75) and in rushing yards (134-99.25).

The Giants have actually ousted the Eagles in per-game passing yards (331.25-219.75) and per-game total yards (430.50-353.75). But, the turnover difference has overcome that reality for either team. The Giants have turned the ball over five times in the four meetings (1.25 turnovers-per-game), while the Eagles have only turned the ball over once (.25 turnovers-per-game).

On average, it’s a one-possession game between these teams at the end. The Giants have succumbed losses of three points (twice) and five points to this Eagles team. But, keyword there is “losses.” Again, if that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

If the Giants want to start being competitive in this league, it starts in their division. Two games against both the Cowboys and Eagles become 25% of their schedule every single year. There’s no way to get around that; there’s no way to avoid that. The only thing this Giants organization can do is figure out a way to consistently compete against those two ballclubs. If they can’t, it’ll be a long while before this team returns to January football.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.