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Cover 3: Takeaways from Giants vs. Cowboys


The crew reacts to Sunday's 44-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys:

John Schmeelk: The Giants are 1-4 and now have injuries to eight of their 11 projected starters on offense from the summer. Only Nate Solder, Will Hernandez and Evan Engram remain without injuries that could hold out the banged up players Sunday when the Giants host the Rams. Much like Kadarius Toney was able to take advantage of the opportunities presented to him the last two weeks, other players will now have a similar chances in the coming weeks.

Matt Peart already did so against the Cowboys in place of Andrew Thomas. He allowed only two pressures on 44 pass protection snaps. Devontae Booker will have a chance to carry the load at running back in place of Saquon Barkley. John Ross's role may increase. Mike Glennon may be the team's starting quarterback.

Opportunities like this are why a team's backups pay attention in meeting every day and still work their butts off at practice. All that hard work will now have a chance to pay off as they are potentially thrust into bigger roles. Having to do so against a team as talented against the Rams will be extremely difficult but that it is the nature of the NFL. Next man up.

Check out the best photos from the New York Giants' Week 5 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

Dan Salomone: Even the Cowboys saw the silver lining for the Giants as they lost player after player to injuries. After an encouraging performance in New Orleans, wide receiver Kadarius Toney had a true breakout game and broke Odell Beckham Jr.'s franchise rookie record by four receiving yards with 189 in Dallas.

"He's a great player," Cowboys linebacker Keanu Neal said about Toney's 10-catch game. "He's extremely shifty. He stops on a dime. That's one thing I noticed playing him today. Watching him on film, he gets open, he's a great route runner, and I think he's going to be a great one."

It could have been more, though. The first-round draft choice was ejected with 6:06 remaining in the game after punching safety Damontae Kazee.

"Look, there's a pretty distinct line in terms of competing and doing the things we're not going to condone as a team that put us behind; that's not going to be accepted," coach Joe Judge said. "It's not going to be condoned. That's as far as I'm going to go with that. Obviously, it resulted in him leaving the game and I'm just going to leave it at that right now."

But even Judge couldn't deny what he saw from the rookie as they are short on playmakers for the time being.

"I think he's being very productive," Judge said. "He's a very talented player. I've said for a number of weeks, especially at that position, the receiver position, it takes some time to learn. There a lot of differences coming from college to the league for those positions. These guys obviously have a lot of just natural ability. He's building a lot of technique, a lot of savvy. He's really understanding what the other teams are giving him. He's making plays. He was highly productive for us today in terms of making plays, getting down the field. He's a tough dude, I don't think there's any question about that and I think he's a very smart football player."

Lance Medow: Most will point to injuries as to why the Dallas game got out of hand but there's many other reasons for the final result. Entering Sunday, the Cowboys were tied for first in the NFL in turnover differential (+7) and were second in takeaways with 10. They had only three turnovers in the first four games combined yet in the first quarter against the Giants, Dallas coughed up the ball twice. Lorenzo Carter made an athletic play to pick off Dak Prescott on the opening drive of the game. Later in the quarter, Prescott mishandled a snap on a 2nd-and-goal at the New York 5 - a huge break for the Giants. Takeaways are great but it's all about what you do with them. Big Blue scored no points off Dallas' mishaps. Graham Gano missed a 54-yard field goal after the first takeaway and they went three-and-out following the second one. In comparison, the Cowboys scored 10 points off a pair of Giants turnovers (including a Pick-6 by Anthony Brown).

The Cowboys scored on each of their last five possessions of the game (three touchdowns, two field goals), piled up 515 total yards, including 201 on the ground, and went 8-14 on third down. It's hard to pin that on injuries, given the bulk of the defensive starters were on the field. Much like last week in New Orleans, missed tackles came back to haunt the Giants as the Cowboys had seven runs of 10 or more yards. That's a big reason why nine of their 14 third downs were for six yards or less and, no coincidence, they converted seven of them for first downs.

Despite the injuries, it was a 17-13 Dallas lead with just over 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, but the Giants' offense only scored seven points on its last four possessions combined. When you add that to the defensive issues mentioned above, it's extremely challenging to keep pace with one of the top offenses in the NFL. There were some early opportunities to dictate the tone of the game but New York couldn't take advantage.

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