Brian Daboll
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants couldn’t have gotten off to a worst start to the 2023 season when they lost 40-0 to the division-rival Cowboys at home on Sunday Night Football. The vibe was unlike anything else ahead of kickoff, and whatever immaculate energy engulfed MetLife Stadium quickly evaporated due to a lackluster Big Blue performance.

There are many fingers to point and many will be pointed in the offensive line’s direction. Right tackle Evan Neal had an awful night, there were various issues on the interior including a low snap from rookie center John Michael Schmitz that led to a 13-yard loss, and injuries to starting left tackle Andrew Thomas and backup Matt Peart.

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Offensive line changes and improvements are needed. But the Giants are looking at the loss as a collective defeat, even after letting up seven sacks.

“We just got skunked here 40-0. When you play a game like that and coach a game like that, there’s nothing that’s good enough,” Daboll said. “And our job is to go back and look at it with a critical eye just like we would do with any game. 40-0 is not a good score, obviously. So a lot to work on and that’s what we’ll do.”

Even if the Giants were to make changes, it’s unclear who they would call on. Matt Peart and Josh Ezeudu aren’t much better options than Neal at the right tackle position. Marcus McKethan or Shane Lemieux wouldn’t be an upgrade on the interior. And honestly, it probably wouldn’t go over well in the locker room if a change at an important starting position is made after just one game.

But there was more than just the offensive line’s struggles on Sunday night that led to this East Rutherford disaster. Daniel Jones wasn’t great, Saquon Barkley dropped a pass that led to a Cowboys pick-six, and the three starting receivers — Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Parris Campbell — had trouble finding separation and only combined for five receptions.

These are, collectively, major issues to fix. And they don’t just involve the offensive line.

“I think everybody could play better — it’s not fair to [the offensive line],” tight end Darren Waller said. “I start by looking at myself. As tight ends, what can we do? And allow the offensive line to be on the journey as well. Nobody in here is perfect, as the scoreboard showed. We all have things we need to work on. So we support our offensive line and we’re going to build.”

Certainly, much of this team has things to work on. And so does this coaching staff. Because the year has gotten off to a worse start than many could imagine.

But if this offensive line continues to struggle amidst a brutal early-season schedule, Daboll may have to pull the plug on some guys. Right now, it seems Thomas and Schmitz may be the only two guys on the starting lineup who are safe.

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