The Giants were 2-0 for the first time since 2016. They wanted to be 3-0 for the first time since seven years before that, but the Cowboys got in the way on Monday night.
Dallas took the first leg of the season series with a 23-16 victory that left both sides with matching 2-1 records while Philadelphia remained the lone undefeated team in the NFC. While it was the first loss of the Brian Daboll era, the head coach had the same message in his postgame presser after both wins.
"You can't let these things linger, just like you can't let a win linger," Daboll said. "You have to move on and get ready for the next opponent. To ride the rollercoaster, there's going to be a lot of ups and downs throughout the league, throughout the year for any team. I'm just speaking for our team. Be consistent. Own it. Take responsibility for it. Move on and get ready for the next week. That's all you can do."
View photos from the Giants' Week 3 game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.
IT WAS OVER WHEN
David Sills V slipped on a route with 1:17 remaining in the game, and All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs grabbed his 15th career interception – his first off Daniel Jones – to give the ball back to Cooper Rush in the victory formation. The Giants needed 81 yards and a touchdown to tie the game (or possibly take the lead if Daboll would have gone for two again). Making matters worse, wide receiver Sterling Shepard suffered an injury on the play and was carted off the field. Daboll did not have an update immediately after the game but said it "didn't look good."
MONDAY NIGHT PRESSURE
A major story of the night was Dallas generating 12 quarterback hits and five sacks on Jones, who has now been sacked 13 times in three games. The Giants knew it would be a tall task against a Cowboys defensive front that notched six sacks against Cincinnati's Joe Burrow a week ago.
"We were chipping. We were slamming. We were doing a lot of different things," Daboll said. "That's a good defensive line, and they got the better of us."
COWBOYS RUN AWAY
In three-straight weeks to start the season, the Giants faced premier running backs Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, and Ezekiel Elliott. What set Dallas apart, however, was its two-headed monster in Elliott and Tony Pollard. The two of them combined for 178 yards on 28 carries on Monday night, including a long of 46 yards by Pollard, who averaged 8.1 yards per carry. Elliott's one-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter counterpunched Saquon Barkley's 36-yard score on the previous possession, knotting the teams at 13-13 heading into the fourth quarter.
"I'd say they controlled the line of scrimmage," Daboll said. "They ran the ball for, what was it, 180 yards? We had no sacks. So, when you can control the line of scrimmage and you're not getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback, you can usually stay in rhythm pretty good. They had a couple of plays on the sideline off a little switch-release routes, and I thought [Rush] did a good job."
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
The Giants were looking to join the Eagles and Dolphins as the last remaining undefeated teams in the NFL. Instead, they will look to rebound in their final leg of a three-game homestand against the Chicago Bears, who improved to 2-1 with a 23-20 victory over the Houston Texans in Week 3.
"[Daboll] was the same and his message was we've got to get back to work," Jones said. "It's not going to change how we prepare, how we go about this week. It's a short week coming up. We've got Chicago on Sunday, so we don't have time to hang our heads or feel sorry for ourselves. We've got to get back to work, and that's what we're going to do. That was his message."
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE COWBOYS
After a 19-3 season-opening loss to the Buccaneers, a game in which they lost Dak Prescott to a right thumb injury, the Cowboys won back-to-back games and will look to make it three in a row against the 1-2 Washington Commanders. Rush joined Hall of Famer Kurt Warner as the only undrafted quarterbacks since 1950 to win their first three starts and have 750 pass yards (Rush defeated Minnesota in his first start in 2021).
"We needed some momentum," Elliott said. "As a team, going on the road with a backup quarterback, it's going to be a little tough. It's always tough on the road, a tough division game on the road, but Coop was poised as usual. We ran the ball really well, and D just balled out."