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Cover 4

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Cover 4: Week 10 takeaways & what lies ahead


The crew reacts to Sunday's 49-17 loss to the Cowboys in Dallas:

John Schmeelk: Heading into the game against the Cowboys, the path to victory was narrow, but it was there. It was going to be tough sledding for undrafted third-string quarterback Tommy DeVito against one of the best pass defenses in football, so the Giants were going to have to play good defense and run the football to keep the game close and give the team a chance to win. The Giants failed in both of those areas. In the first half, Saquon Barkley ran it seven times for one yard as the offensive line failed to create any push up front. The Cowboys' offense scored four touchdowns on their seven first half drives, and went at least 40 yards on five of those drives. It was 28-0 at the half and the Cowboys' pass rush was let loose, giving the Giants' passing offense very little time to operate.

After re-watching the tape Monday morning, the majority of the issues in the first half once again came up front. The Cowboys managed a 43.6 percent pressure rate, while the Giants got pressure on just 22.4 percent of Dak Prescott's dropbacks, according to PFF. The Cowboys had five sacks while the Giants had none.

Lance Medow: If you're looking for one statistic that effectively demonstrates why Sunday's game was such a lopsided affair, then look no further than the explosive plays. Dallas produced 10 plays of 20 or more yards, nine through the air and one on the ground. That was a big reason why on the six touchdown drives that Dak Prescott helped orchestrate, the Cowboys faced only four third downs and converted on all of them.

In comparison, the Giants recorded just two plays of 20 or more yards. Moving the ball methodically down the field with lengthy drives is not sustainable because you're bound to experience at least one negative play (turnover, sack, loss of yardage, penalty, etc). Dallas boasts the number two scoring offense in the NFL with an average of nearly 30 points per game. Meanwhile, the Giants are dead last in the NFL at just under 12. That noticeable difference was front and center on Sunday.

Matt Citak: The stat that really stands out from Sunday is the team's performance on third down, both on offense and defense. Let's start with the offense, where the Giants had 12 third down attempts against the Cowboys but failed to convert a single one. Despite the offense's struggles on third down throughout the season, Sunday marked the first time that the unit was unable to convert on even one third down attempt. Over the last three games, the offense has seen its struggles on third down grow. During that span, the unit has converted five out of 43 third down attempts, a conversion rate of just 11.6 percent. That has dropped the offense to 31st in the league with a 30.5 third down conversion percentage on the season.

Now let's move over to the defense, who has had success on third down this year. However, the unit struggled on Sunday to get the Cowboys off the field. Dallas converted on six of their 12 third down attempts, including one on five different drives that resulted in a touchdown. This was a drastic change from the previous three weeks in which the defense held the Raiders, Jets and Commanders to a combined eight of 44 (18.2 percent) on third down. Despite the Cowboys' success, the Giants' defense still ranks eighth in the NFL with a third down defense of 35.4 percent. We'll see if Wink Martindale's unit can get back on track against the Commanders this weekend, whose offense enters the matchup ranking 21st in third down conversions. Washington went 1 for 15 on third down in Week 7.

View photos from the Giants' Week 10 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.


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