DeVITO TO START AT QB
Quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a torn ACL last week in Las Vegas and will miss the remainder of the season.
"It's tough, for sure," Jones told the media Wednesday. "You put a lot into the season. You put a lot into preparing to play and to get it taken from you through an injury is definitely tough. That's real and that's something that you deal with as a player, but it's part of the game at this level. At any level, really, it's something that you have to deal with, and part of it. I understand that and it's unfortunate, but I can't afford to feel sorry for myself or sulk. It's part of it, and I'll be fine. I'll bounce back, attack the rehab process like I have anything else and come back stronger."
Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor is also hurt and was placed on injured reserve last week following an injury to his rib cage in Week 8. On Monday, head coach Brian Daboll could not say for certain that the veteran will return this season.
With both Jones and Taylor out, the Giants made some moves to reshape their quarterback room, starting with the signing of Tommy DeVito from the practice squad to the active roster. When filling in for Jones last week, DeVito completed 15 of 20 passes (75 percent) for 150 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and added 17 yards on the ground. Daboll announced that the 25-year-old will start on Sunday.
"It was very helpful," DeVito said about playing against the Raiders. "I mean, I played in a game before, right? It wasn't just preseason. Whether it was the Jets – the Jets helped for the last week and this week's going to help for this one coming up. So, just trying to get better every play and every game and just trying to progress and move forward."
DeVito will become the first rookie free agent quarterback to start a regular-season game for the Giants in a non-strike season in the common draft era.
"He's a young rookie in this league, but he definitely did some good things," Daboll said about DeVito's performance against the Raiders. "This will be a challenging defense on the road, one of the better defenses in the league, with a lot of good players. I think the big thing for him is let's just focus on the things that he needs to do, put together a plan that we think he can go out there and operate and execute. He's going to do everything he can do."
"It feels good," the rookie added. "Just taking everything one play at a time, one meeting at a time, one day at a time and that's it. Just leaning on my teammates around me."
The New York Giants visit the Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium for an NFC East matchup on Sunday, Nov. 12. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX.
This is the 124th meeting overall and the second of the season between the Giants and the Cowboys. In their first meeting on Sept. 10, Dallas defeated the Giants, 40-0, in MetLife Stadium to open the 2023 season. The Cowboys have swept the season series 25 times, while the Giants own 13 series sweeps.
The Giants hold a record of 5-9 in AT&T Stadium and a 20-40-1 record against Dallas on the road. The last Giants' win in AT&T Stadium was on Sept. 11, 2016, by a score of 20-19.
View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 10 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.
Out: CB Adoree' Jackson (concussion/neck), RB Deon Jackson (concussion, OT Evan Neal (ankle)
Questionable: WR Parris Campbell (hamstring), RB Jashaun Corbin (hamstring), OLB Azeez Ojulari (ankle), G Mark Glowinski (Not Injury Related/Personal Matter)
Questionable: WR KaVontae Turpin (shoulder)
LEANING ON SAQUON
With the Giants down to their third-string quarterback, the offense will look towards running back Saquon Barkley to help elevate the unit moving forward. Barkley had his most efficient outing of the season last week in Las Vegas. While he carried the ball just 16 times, he finished with 90 rushing yards, good for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Heading into last week's outing, his highest yards per attempt on the year was 4.3 yards all the way back in Week 1. Barkley also added three receptions for 23 yards and finished the day with 113 total yards from scrimmage.
Barkley has played well since returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him three games. In those four contests, the talented back has gained at least 98 yards from scrimmage every week while averaging just over 114 total yards. He's caught at least three passes in each game during that span with an average of 27.5 touches.
"I don't go into any game with any expectations of how many times I'm going to touch the ball," Barkley said Thursday. "Just want to be in position to win football games, go out there and compete and whatever that takes, I'm willing to do."
The Cowboys boast one of the league's top defenses, but the unit has had more success against the pass than the run this year. Dallas ranks 15th in rushing yards and yards per attempt and 17th in rushing touchdowns allowed this season. In last week's loss to the Eagles, D'Andre Swift, Kenneth Gainwell and Rashaad Penny combined for 73 yards on 23 carries, although quarterback Jalen Hurts added another 36 yards on the ground.
Inside linebacker Micah McFadden continued his encouraging sophomore season with another strong performance against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 9. McFadden totaled six tackles (three solo), two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit. He also dropped into coverage on 15 snaps and did not allow a single reception. His performance earned him a spot on the PFF Team of the Week.
McFadden has seen his production increase over the last four weeks. Since Week 6, the 23-year-old has allowed just four receptions in coverage while picking up seven defensive stops. He has earned an overall PFF grade of 87.9 or higher in three of the four outings, and had the highest grade of any linebacker in Week 7. McFadden's 90.6 overall grade since Week 6 ranks third among all linebackers.
The second-year linebacker has started all eight games this season and has either topped or is on pace to beat all of his rookie season marks. McFadden has recorded 54 tackles (31 solo), seven tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, two passes defensed, one interception and two fumble recoveries along with 0.5 sacks. McFadden also has 11 total pressures on just 38 pass rushing snaps, according to PFF, after totaling just six pressures last season.
"He's a good, young player," Daboll told reporters Wednesday. "I'm happy we drafted him and he's really earning the things that he's getting. He's been productive. He's got a nose for the football, can play sideline-to-sideline, makes some productive tackles. He's really developed the way you hope young players develop."
THOMAS 'SETS THE TONE' FOR THE LINE
For the first time since Week 1, Andrew Thomas returned to the lineup for the Giants this past Sunday. The talented left tackle injured his hamstring early in the season opener, which forced him to miss the next seven games. His return to action led to yet another reshuffle of the O-line. From left to right, the starters were Thomas, LG Justin Pugh, C John Michael Schmitz, RG Ben Bredeson and RT Evan Neal, who also made his return after missing the previous two games.
Neal suffered an injury in his return and has been ruled out for Sunday's game. However, Thomas got through the game without any setbacks. The All-Pro tackle is a tone-setter for the entire O-line, and with another week separating him from the hamstring injury, Thomas should see even better results against the Cowboys, according to his offensive coordinator.
"It was great to have him back out there, you saw it right away..." said Mike Kafka. "I think he did a great job in the game. I think the more he's going to play, the better he's going to look. I think it's one of those things, he's a leader, he's a captain, he's back in the huddle. That whole offensive line now ramps up, it's a little bit more juice there, too. He certainly sets the tone and tempo for that group."
Following last year's breakout campaign that saw him earn his first All-Pro selection, defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence has quietly put together another dominant season. Through the first nine games of the year, the 25-year-old has picked up three sacks and 14 quarterback hits, most of which has come in recent weeks. Between Weeks 7 and 8, Lawrence had all three of his sacks and nine of those quarterback hits.
While he may not have been blowing up the box score to start the season, Lawrence has been a force all year. Pro Football Focus has him down for 44 total pressures so far this season, which puts him on pace to shatter his career-high of 63 pressures set last season. Lawrence's 92.3 overall grade from PFF is not only the highest of all interior defensive linemen in 2023, but it is also the highest of any player 25-years-old or younger in the NFL.
The Cowboys have surrendered 23 sacks through their first eight games, which is the 11th-most in the league. After only being sacked three times through the first three weeks of the season, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been sacked at least three times in each of their last five games, including five in last week's loss to the Eagles. Philadelphia defensive tackles Jalen Carter and Fletcher Cox each picked up a half-sack this past Sunday, while Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald had two sacks against the Cowboys the previous week.
LATEST ON KICKER SITUATION
The Giants placed kicker Graham Gano on injured reserve last week due to a knee injury. In need of a new kicker, the Giants actually brought in two players to help fill the void left by Gano. Cade York was signed to the active roster from the Titans practice' squad, while Randy Bullock was signed to the Giants' practice squad.
The Giants decided to elevate Bullock for last week's game while making York inactive, a decision that special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey explained on Thursday.
"We just thought it was best for the team," said McGaughey. "You get a veteran guy, quick turnaround, done it before. It makes it really easy. He's done a good job. Both of them have done a good job since they've been here. We just went with Randy because it was just the best for us at that time…
"It was a quick turnaround. That's late in the week, you want to make sure the guy feels comfortable, just all the different mechanics and different nuances between the two different kickers, just being able to get that ironed out as quick as you can. You get a quick little session on Friday, he just kicked in the workout on Thursday, you get pregame on Sunday, and now you've got to play. So, we didn't have a lot of time to mull over who was going to do what. You've got to make a decision and go with it, because you've got to get the reps in."
Bullock has played in 139 regular-season games since entering the NFL in 2013. This is a stark difference from York, who has played in just 17 games as a rookie last year for the Browns. McGaughey hopes they can help develop York and help the 22-year-old kicker grow.
"He's here for us right now," the special teams coordinator said about the young kicker. "We've got to try and make the best out of his situation and try and get him better for the time that he's here. He's very talented. You're right. He has a very strong leg. He's very talented. He's done some really good things in his career, and that's why he's here. We've identified that. His whole goal is to work to get better every day. We've got to make sure that we're doing those little things to help him get better every day."
WINK: DAK PLAYING AT 'THE HIGHEST LEVEL'
The Cowboys have not struggled to put points on the board this season. Through their first eight games, Dallas ranks third in points scored, and perhaps the biggest factor in that has been the performance of quarterback Dak Prescott.
Prescott has completed a career-best 70.2 percent of his passes this season to go with 2,011 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. After a slow start to the year in which he was responsible for multiple touchdowns in just one of Dallas' first five games, Prescott has reached that mark in each of the last three games. He threw for a touchdown and added a score on the ground against the Chargers in Week 6, and over the last two games has totaled seven touchdowns with just one interception. During that three-game stretch, he has topped 270 passing yards in each outing while averaging 316.7 yards through the air.
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale did not shy away from praising the talented Cowboys quarterback's play this season.
"Well, got a great challenge this week," Martindale told the media. "Dak's playing at a high level, (Cowboys wide receiver) CeeDee's (Lamb) playing at a high level. They are really turning it on as an offense and really starting to click and when I say Dak's playing at the highest level, I think he's really back. He's healthy and he's distributing the ball well."
SCOUTING THE REST OF THE COWBOYS
We already touched on Prescott's recent success, and the biggest beneficiary of the quarterback's production has been wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. The fourth-year receiver has caught 57 passes this season for 824 yards, the fifth-most in the NFL, and three touchdowns. Lamb has recorded at least seven receptions in each of the last three games and has topped 100 yards in each of those. In fact, he is averaging 155.3 receiving yards per game during that stretch after going for a career-high 191 yards last week against the Eagles.
Lamb leads the Cowboys in the major receiving categories, but right behind him is Jake Ferguson. The second-year tight end has recorded 32 receptions for 328 yards this year while matching Lamb with a team-high three receiving touchdowns. Ferguson has found the end zone in each of the last two games, and is coming off a career-high seven receptions for 91 yards last week.
While Dallas' aerial attack has been ascending the last few weeks, the run game has slowed down a bit. After rushing for over 120 yards in each of the first four weeks of the season, the Cowboys are averaging just 82 yards on the ground in their last four games. Running back Tony Pollard has been held under 55 rushing yards in his last five games, and has not scored a touchdown since his two against the Giants in the season opener.
Now let's move over to the defense, which has held each of the last three opponents (and all but two on the season) to under 300 total yards of offense. This has helped boost the unit to third in the league in yards allowed, while they rank sixth in points surrendered.
Micah Parsons has once again put together a dominant start to his season. Through the first eight games of the season, Parsons has recorded 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hits, while Pro Football Focus has him down for 49 total pressures. He is on pace to break his record of 13.5 sacks set last season. Defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. comes in second on the team with 3.5 sacks, and Osa Odighizuwa is right behind him with three, while DeMarcus Lawrence has just one sack since the season opener.
Despite losing Trevon Diggs to a torn ACL back in September, the Cowboys' pass defense has still played well. Cornerback DaRon Bland is tied for second in the league with four interceptions, while Stephon Gilmore has two himself. Bland has impressively returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns.
View rare photos from the historic rivalry between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.