The Giants dealt with a laundry list of injuries heading into this game, and that list only grew Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.
No Sterling Shepard. No Darius Slayton.
Andrew Thomas was active but didn’t play, Jabrill Peppers was out with a hamstring injury, and Ben Bredeson was sidelined with a hand issue. Not to mention, Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates are on injured reserve.
The Giants entered their Week 5 road matchup against the division-rival Cowboys with a lengthy injury report, and it only grew worse in the midst of a 44-20 loss.
Kenny Golladay was then ruled out at the beginning of the third quarter with a knee injury.
It reminded fans of the team’s crushing loss to the Chargers in 2017, when numerous receivers — Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris — went down with injuries and essentially solidified what was a disastrous season.
There was not much the Giants could do following the departures of Barkley, Jones, and Golladay besides rely on backup quarterback Mike Glennon, running back Devontae Booker, and rookie wideout Kadarius Toney.
While the first-year receiver put together a sensational game, you can probably guess how the rest of the day turned out for Big Blue on the offensive end. Glennon isn’t the guy that’s going to be winning you football games, especially against a red-hot Cowboys team in their own stadium.
The Giants finished with 365 total yards but obviously weren’t impressive on the scoreboard.
The loss of Barkley was noticeable, especially considering he was becoming more and more comfortable following his major knee injury. The Giants recorded just 71 yards on the ground and, in turn, failed to take much pressure off both Jones and Glennon.
A few offensive positives?
Believe it or not, there were two positive takeaways when it came to the Giants offense.
Number one: The offensive line, despite missing three of its five starters from the beginning of the year and fielding an aging Nate Solder at left tackle, allowed zero sacks. It’s an impressive feat considering what this offensive line has experienced already this season — this was Big Blue’s fifth different starting line rotation in as many games.
And number two: we said to expect a great deal of Kadarius Toney in this matchup — that’s exactly what fans saw.
Amid the injuries to Golladay, Shepard, and Slayton, and with the increased role the coaching staff has provided the rookie wideout, Toney proved to be a huge factor in this game.
Using his great hands (not making a joke because of the punch he threw that ejected him), speed, elusiveness, and attention to detail (especially with the impressive sideline grabs), Toney finished as the team’s leading receiver. He ultimately caught 10 balls for 189 yards and further proved he should be a huge game-plan component moving forward.
Defensive failures rise again
This Giants defense has absolutely failed to be as dominant as it was last year, and the struggles continued Sunday.
While New York succeeded more than usual in regard to pressuring the quarterback (the defense racked up a pair of sacks), the secondary experienced its fair share of problems and allowed Dak Prescott to throw for 302 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-32 passing.
The Giants also allowed Dallas to take pressure off Prescott when it needed to — Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 110 yards while Tony Pollard ran for 75 of his own.
Overall, Big Blue allowed 515 yards of total offense — an abysmal performance.
Oh, and the Giants also allowed a touchdown pass from Prescott to Amari Cooper in the final two minutes of the first half — who knew?
Follow Ryan Honey on Twitter: @RyanHoneyESNY