New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll attempted to pull off yet another masterclass of short, terse answers to describe another embarrassing result for his team on Sunday evening.
The Giants were blown out for a second time this season by the Dallas Cowboys, falling 49-17 in Week 10 after getting shut out in the season opener at MetLife Stadium 40-0. They’re now 2-8 — outscored 89-17 by the Cowboys this year and 79-23 in their last two games with Tommy DeVito under center for the injured Daniel Jones, who is done for the year with a torn ACL.
Tempers continued to seemingly boil on the sidelines as multiple animated conversations were caught by the FOX television crews — though Daboll bombarded the media in Dallas with his usual frenzy of “not what we wanteds” and “give credit to Dallases.”
He did his best to downplay the tension seemingly building on the sideline every week. Saying that what television viewers and fans alike saw was “not a big deal,” and “normal stuff during a game.”
But what happens to content that can’t alleviate pressure that has been building for weeks? Ultimately, it explodes.
Safety Xavier McKinney first blew the whistle on things growing rotten within the Giants’ ranks last week following a 30-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, saying that leadership hasn’t “done a great job of letting the leaders lead and listening to the leaders and the captains.” (h/t Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com)
On Sunday in Dallas, after Saquon Barkley was stuffed on a 4th-&-2 attempt in the first quarter of a 7-0 game to ensure the Giants stayed off the board after picking off Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott deep in plus territory, the star running back was, per FOX’s Tom Rinaldi, having a spirited conversation with Daboll before pacing up and down the sidelines in displeasure.
“I’m not going to go out and say that [this is the worst team I’ve experienced since being drafted by the Giants], it’s definitely tough right now,” Barkley said. “Losing like that, getting embarrassed week after week, but you got to be a man about it, obviously you can be in your feeling about it for a short time but you got to get ready for the next week, that’s NFL.
“Getting beat by anybody like that sucks… You know my six years here going against Dallas and Philly and coming up short and getting our butt whooped against them [is difficult] but if we want to be the team that we want to [be], those are the teams that we have to match-up against and win, and we haven’t been doing that since I’ve been here or before me.”
But rather than release some of the frustrations that have been building the game when prodded by the media, Barkley did all he could not to add fuel to the fire.
“It’s OK to be frustrated, it’s OK to be upset,” he began. “We’ll leave that for at home and in the locker room. I’ll definitely go home and talk to my family, let my frustrations out, but try my best not to show it and let you guys get a story out of it, to be honest.
“That’s my mindset and how I try to handle it. It’s tough, but put your hat on, keep coming to work, and keep grinding.”
Later in the game while down 35-7, the normally level-headed Darius Slayton, who rarely shows emotion of any kind, was seen getting into it with Giants wide receivers coach Mike Groh before veteran Sterling Shepard stepped in to try and diffuse the situation.
The wheels are coming off.
Giants WRs Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton having a heated discussion on the sideline now. 👀👇 pic.twitter.com/YwhnANv3Bl
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RalphVacchiano) November 12, 2023
“It’s Week 10 and we have not done a lot of winning or been very productive on offense which is very frustrating as somebody who considers themselves one of the better players on offense — someone who can help this team win,” Slayton said. “You prepare your butt off, you practice your butt off and you study and you want the results, you want the wins on gameday, you want to go out there and be part of one of the best offensive units in the league. So, that’s all it is man, I have a deep desire to win.
“I’m a very calm, collected person I don’t speak very much but on the inside, I always feel that way. If we’re losing or if it’s not going our way… it happened to come out of me today, but that’s how I always feel. If we’re losing, if things aren’t going our way that’s always going on inside of me I just normally contain it and it got away from me a little bit today.”
How much further will it get away if they’re a no-show down in Landover, MD in Week 11 against a Commanders team they defeated 14-7 in Week 7? Because right now there doesn’t seem to be any kind of solution that can get the Giants out of this rut.