The Giants are one day removed from a turnover-filled performance in Dallas, but even with some time to reflect, head coach Tom Coughlin was still unhappy with such a sloppy performance.
“It was a total disregard of the carelessness for the ball and lack of understanding of [ball security],” Coughlin said. “There’s just no way you’re going to win anything with minus-5 in turnovers.”
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The Giants committed six turnovers, which led to 24 Dallas points — including two defensive touchdowns — as they finally lost in AT&T Stadium for the first time in five attempts.
Coughlin added he hopes his team has a sense of urgency this week as they prepare for the “Manning Bowl.”
“We have to control ourselves and recognize situations that are going to lead to those kinds of things and then you can’t turn the ball over,” Coughlin said. “You can’t win turning the football over. That’s the bottom line. There are a lot of other things that we can fix. ... We’re going to fix that, too. What occurred is correctable.”
Despite the comical way the Giants treated the football, they were still in the ball game in the waning minutes. And if not for a crucial lack of communication between quarterback Eli Manning and running back Da’Rel Scott on a screen play — that resulted in a Cowboys pick-six — Big Blue might’ve miraculously managed to steal a win in Dallas.
That fact is what kept Coughlin optimistic heading into their preparation for Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Sunday.
“We played hard and we believe in each other. We fight for each other [and] there’s no finger pointing,” said Coughlin. “It’s a good team. We have good leadership. The captains are good. They are saying the right things in there. We never were discouraged and that’s something I’m real proud of. ... But it doesn’t ease the pain of giving the game away, which I felt we did.”
“Obviously we’re disappointed. We never want to start off a season like that, especially against a division opponent in the Dallas Cowboys. It just seemed like everything that could’ve gone wrong, went wrong,” captain Antrel Rolle said. “But at the same time we’re fighters, we’re champions and we’re going to learn how to rise above that. This game is a week-to-week performance. Yesterday was yesterday. That [Dallas game] was last week. Now we have to look forward to the Denver Broncos. ... We all know what Peyton brings to the table. He’s one of the best quarterbacks to play the game [and a] true Hall of Famer. But at the same time that doesn’t fear us. You have to get him out of rhythm. And once you get him out of his comfort zone he’s like any other quarterback.”
Big Blue notes ...
»The Giants lost their season opener for the third season in a row, the first time that’s happened since 1981-83.
»The loss was Big Blue’s first in five games at AT&T Stadium, nee Cowboys Stadium. The five games have been decided by a total of 21 points.
»New York is 49-35-5 in both season-opening games and road openers. They are 32-23-5 in season-opening road games — including 0-6 in season-opening games against the Cowboys.
»Coughlin is 10-8 in openers, including 4-6 with the Giants.
»The Giants are 16-22-1 on Sunday night, including 9-12-1 on the road. They are 7-12 against Dallas in prime time.
»The six turnovers tied their highest number of turnovers in a game during Coughlin’s 10-year reign. They last had six turnovers at Green Bay, Dec. 26, 2010, in a 45-17 loss.
»Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware’s interception on the Giants’ first play marked the first turnover on an opening play for Big Blue since Oct. 7, 2012, when former running back Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled at home vs. Cleveland.
»The Cowboys were the first Giants’ opponent to score more than one defensive touchdown in a game since Nov. 25 2007, when Darren Sharper, Dwight Smith and Chad Greenway all scored on interception returns for Minnesota.
»Manning’s performance was the ninth time he has thrown at least four touchdowns. It’s mostly been for naught, however, as the Giants are 4-5 in those games.
»Wideouts Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle each had five catches and each had more than 100 receiving yards – Cruz had 118 yards, Nicks with 114 and Randle notched 101. It was the first time in franchise history three receivers had more than 100 yards in a game.
»Cruz was the first Giant with three touchdowns in a game since running back David Wilson did so on Dec. 9, 2012. Wilson had a kickoff return and two rushing scores against the Saints. It’s the second three-touchdown game of Cruz’s career. He also accomplished the feat against the Browns on Oct. 7, 2012.
»Defensive end Justin Tuck (eight tackles and half a sack) now has 50 career sacks. He is the sixth Giant to reach that plateau since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.
»Running back David Wilson's fumble-itis, Da'Rel Scott's game-killing mistake on a screen pass and Michael Cox's relative newness has the Giants scrambling for veteran help — which is why Big Blue is reportedly looking to work out another set of running backs on their Tuesday off day. Last week, the Giants worked out veteran running backs Jonathan Dwyer, Beanie Wells and former Jets' running back/return specialist Leon Washington. And this week, they'll reportedly bring in former Giant Brandon Jacobs — as well as ex-Jet Joe McKnight and former Broncos Willis McGahee. If McGahee signs, it’ll add even more drama to next week's "Manning Bowl," since he’ll get a crack at playing against his former team.
»The Giants waived preseason standout defensive end Adewale Ojomo. The second-year player was inactive against the Cowboys after initially being promoted from the practice squad. He was upgraded as insurance in case Jason Pierre-Paul (back) wasn’t able to play, but made expendable once Pierre-Paul was cleared to play.
»The team also waived/reached injury settlement with offensive lineman Selvish Capers. That now leaves the Giants with 52 players on their active roster, meaning they have one open spot — perhaps for a free-agent running back.
»Cornerback Prince Amukamara suffered a concussion when he collided head-to-head with teammate Ryan Mundy early in Sunday’s game and didn’t return. Mundy was able to return. Coughlin said Amukamara “is feeling better,” but must pass the concussion protocol to be cleared.
Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.