Giants downplay frustration on sideline in loss to Cowboys

Jordan RaananESPN staff writerNovember 14, 2023 at 09:00 AM ET4 minutes to read

Running backs Saquon Barkley and Brian Daboll engaged in an “animated” conversation after failing to convert a fourth-and-goal in the first quarter. Barkley downplayed the incident after the match.Cooper Neal/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — This is what Figure 2-8 looks like. The New York Giants are losing by more than 30 points, the players are losing their composure and directing their anger at the coaches on the bench, and coach Brian Daboll is holding his postgame press conference as if there wasn’t a five-alarm fire. .

The Giants lost 49-17 on Sunday to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. This was their sixth loss this season by two or more goals. “Awkward” was a word used by more than one player.

“It’s definitely tough to lose like that right now, and we’re embarrassed week after week,” Saquon Barkley said. “But you have to be a man about it. Obviously you can stay in your emotions for a little while, but you have to be ready for next week. This is the NFL.”

What punctuated the embarrassment — aside from being at the hands of rivals the Cowboys and Jerry Jones — were the events that occurred on their sidelines. Barkley had a conversation with Daboll after failing to convert a fourth-goal in the first quarter. Fox correspondent Tom Rinaldi described it as “cartoonish.”

Barkley would not say after the game exactly what it was about, avoiding a question about whether it was specifically about play, but admitted it was a result of frustration.

“We didn’t get fourth-and-three. Were you frustrated that we didn’t get that? Yes. So maybe it was a sign of frustration, but there was nothing like it.” [it being animated]. that happens. It’s football.”

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Cameras also showed wide receivers Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard shouting angrily on the sideline. Not into each other. Instead, Slayton admitted afterward that he let his emotions get the better of him and vented his frustration toward wide receivers coach Mike Groh.

He called this conversation “the pep talk.”

“I don’t know what the cameras captured,” Slayton said. “I’m sure it looked combative to me and… [Shepard]But he wasn’t at that moment. I’ve been really busy. I was just talking emotionally, but at that point, I don’t really remember what I was saying. We weren’t arguing back and forth. “We were talking about the same thing, passionately.”

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“We talked after the fact,” Slayton said. “Like I said, I was the one who started it. I said I had to control my emotions better in those moments, and we’re good.”

Daboll and defensive coordinator Wink Martindale had a lengthy conversation before halftime that continued when they exited the locker room, according to Rinaldi.

Once again, Daboll downplayed it after the game.

“Where are you, Sunday?” Daboll said. “There is interaction in every game. There is no difference. Standard.”

This all comes on the heels of Xavier McKinney venting his frustration with the coaching staff after last week’s 30-6 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. The Giants were blown out by the rival Cowboys for the second time this season, and several veterans on defense, including McKinney and Dexter Lawrence (both captains), declined to speak after Sunday’s game.

These are all bad signs for a core that has gone down this path before (see 2021 for the latest dysfunction). It is something that needs to be monitored and perhaps corrected before it gets worse.

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“Look, I would say this, we shouldn’t make any excuses about where we are,” Daboll said Monday. “I own it. So, I’ve got to do better along the way, and that’s what we’re going to work toward.”

The Giants head to Washington as 10-point underdogs.

“I like it. Obviously everyone is frustrated with the loss. I don’t think anyone wants to lose,” fullback Bobby Okereke said after the match. “And I think everyone feels proud. I think a lot of that frustration comes individually. I know me, the guys on defense and offense, everyone knows we can play better to help us win. So when I see that, I think it’s good that we can play better. Just Passionate people trying to solve the problem.

“You know we talked about that today: You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. I think we all want to be part of the solution. It’s how we all cohesively get there.”

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