New York Giants vs. Cowboys
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The New York Giants’ 37-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys drops Big Blue to 0-5 in this still-young 2020 NFL season.

They went to war. They fought. They battled.

But in the end, losing teams find ways to lose, and the New York Giants — now 0-5 on the year — did just that against the Cowboys on Sunday.

Sure, the Giants ultimately improved on the offensive end, scoring 20 points in a game for the first time all year. In the midst of the team’s 37-34 defeat, quarterback Daniel Jones made some big throws while Darius Slayton woke up from an extended nap to rack up 129 yards through the air on eight catches.

There were even some positives on the defensive end, such as Kyler Fackrell’s first-quarter pick-six along with the Giants’ success in holding star wideout Amari Cooper to just two receptions and 23 yards.

Nonetheless, a number of mistakes were made, which led to the Giants losing their fifth game of this still-young season.

The most noteworthy error when evaluating the game on the surface was likely the illegal shift penalty when the Giants beautifully executed a fake field goal for a touchdown. It was a play in which punter (and holder) Riley Dixon hit Evan Engram down near the goal line.

Officials called the penalty on center Nick Gates, but right tackle Cam Fleming was seemingly the one who made the mistake. The veteran didn’t get all the way down in his stance prior to the snap of the ball, a blunder that cost the Giants six points in a game where every single point was crucial from start to finish.

Then there was the third-quarter touchdown pass from Jones to Slayton, a play that would’ve been the third scoring connection between the pair of second-year players this season. But of course, it was another big play that didn’t count (due to Damion Ratley’s offensive pass interference call) and another notable mistake that took six points off the board.

Oh, and a Giants game wouldn’t be complete without a Jones fumble. The young quarterback coughed the ball up for the fourth time this year and lost it to the opposing team for the third time after rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas missed a block. Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown returned the DeMarcus Lawrence-forced fumble to the end zone, scoring the touchdown that not only led to a game-tying extra point, but also solidified that the momentum was on Dallas’ side.

Then late in the game, the Giants defense just had to keep the Cowboys out of field-goal range on Dallas’ final drive in regulation. However, Michael Gallup reeled in a catch on back-to-back plays, the latter being a deep ball down the right sideline that put Greg Zuerlein in position to convert the game-winning kick as time expired.

But when truly looking deep into this loss, you realize that Big Blue’s inability to defend the run was a significant reason for the defeat.

With Andy Dalton in the game for Dak Prescott, who suffered a gruesome ankle injury that sent him to the locker room in the third quarter, the Giants needed to just contain the run and force the veteran quarterback to defeat them through the air.

Big Blue’s defense looked unprepared for the situation though, ultimately allowing star running back Ezekiel Elliott to rush for 91 yards and a pair of scores.

There were signs of life from the Giants offense and signs of intensity from the defense, at least initially. But as mentioned earlier, losing teams find ways to lose games.

On Sunday at AT&T Stadium, the Giants discovered a number of ways to come up short. And when the clock hit triple zero, that’s exactly what the final outcome portrayed.

Zero wins. Five losses. One organization with a ton of issues, still.

Next up: Washington.

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