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'Skunked' Giants embarrassed by 40-0 loss to Cowboys on opening night

The New York Giants came up small Sunday night, getting shellacked 40-0 by the Dallas Cowboys in a streaking rain at MetLife Stadium.

There was no sugarcoating the loss for Big Blue head coach Brian Daboll.

"We just got skunked here, 40 to nothing," he said after the game, via the official transcript. "When you play a game like that and coach a game like that, there's nothing that's good enough. Our job is to go back and look at it with a critical eye, just like we would do in any game, but 40 to nothing is not a good score, obviously. So, a lot to work on, and that's what we'll do."

Bury the tape, burn the tape, jettison the tape into the nearest black hole. Whatever the Giants do moving forward, it literally cannot be worse than what they put on film Sunday night.

The offense committed three turnovers and generated 171 total yards (2.6 yards per play), got to the red zone a single time in 12 possessions, and put up a goose egg on the scoreboard. The defense got run over, allowing scores on four of the Cowboys' first five possessions. The special teams had a field goal blocked for a score, and Graham Gano yanked another 36-yarder.

"This wasn't our best game, there is no doubt about it," quarterback Daniel Jones said. "This wasn't who we are capable of being. We've got to show that. We've got to put that on the field and play that way. We didn't do that tonight, and we have a lot to work on going forward."

Jones was harassed all night by the Cowboys' pass rush, getting sacked seven times while playing longer into the blowout than he should have participated. With the right side of the Giants' offensive line getting manhandled, Jones completed 15 of 28 attempts for a measly 104 yards (3.7 yards per attempt) with two interceptions. It's the third-fewest passing yards in a start in his career for the $40 million quarterback.

"We are certainly frustrated and extremely disappointed with how we performed tonight, and I know I certainly am with myself, so a lot to work on and clean up," he said. "We are going to be critical of ourselves and look to correct it and get back on the right page."

Teammates were a little more blunt than the quarterback.

"We got our teeth kicked in," receiver Sterling Shepard said.

"It's embarrassing, but it's over with now," safety Xavier McKinney said. "We got a long way to go. It's that simple. This was a wake-up call for us. It's definitely humbling but we'll figure it out. We'll be a lot better next week. We won't look like this next week."

The last two times Daboll's team has taken the field, it lost -- 38-7 to Philadelphia in last year's Divisional Round and then Sunday's 40-0 debacle. Taking it on the chin 78-7 from two division rivals is no way to live. Sunday's performance underscored that despite optimism in New York over Daboll's swift turnaround last season, the Giants are still, at best, the third-best team in the division, which makes getting back to the playoffs that much harder.

On the positive side, 40-0 counts the same in the loss column as a one-point defeat, and Big Blue has 16 more games to right the ship.

"I'm focused on trying to improve and there's a lot to improve on," Daboll said. "So, you know, it's one game. It wasn't a good game, don't sugarcoat it. It was a bad game and that's on me and we'll work to get the things we need to get fixed, which is certainly plenty of things."

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