Another Cowboys blowout of Giants will turn heat up for Daboll, Schoen

Another Cowboys blowout of Giants will turn heat up for Daboll, Schoen

DALLAS — Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll are under pressure on Sunday to start fielding a respectable, consistently competitive Giants team.

John Mara and Steve Tisch have remained silent as a season that began with players using the words “Super Bowl” has descended into dysfunction.

But precedent shows there is only so much embarrassment the Giants’ co-owners can take. And another 40-0 massacre against the Dallas Cowboys, which is 100% on the table Sunday, will turn up the heat inside a building where it’s already getting uncomfortable.

Xavier McKinney might have been off the mark, according to his teammates, by claiming his coaches weren’t listening to the leaders when he aired out Wink Martindale’s and Daboll’s operations last week.

But the captain’s vocal frustration should not be dismissed as insignificant.

It should be considered the first support to publicly fall from the Giants’ teetering house of cards, a structure that is too delicate to endure too many more games like last week’s disgusting 30-6 loss in Las Vegas.

The reality is the Giants (2-7) are on track for the worst season in modern franchise history. No Giants team has ever won only two games in a 16-game or 17-game schedule.

So if they lose a blowout to the Cowboys on Sunday, if they fall to Ron Rivera’s trade Upnewsdaily selling Washington Commanders in Week 11, and if they lose to the guy who allegedly texted the wrong Brian in Week 12, there is no telling what that Week 13 bye week and the Giants’ January breakup day could bring.

Veteran backup Tyrod Taylor (ribs, out three more games) left the door open this week to a possible return to the lineup this season.

However, if he has broken ribs — a safe assumption based on his overnight hospital stay — it’s difficult to imagine he would be effective or capable of taking hits.

The Giants’ hopes rest on the right arm of undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito, who lives at his family’s home in Cedar Grove, N.J., and admitted it would have been hard to envision this scenario.

“I woulda thought some bad things probably had to happen or some really good things had to happen for me going into camp,” DeVito, 25, said this week.

The Daniel Jones (torn right ACL) and Taylor injuries are not excuses for Schoen and Daboll, though. Injuries have never been an excuse, especially for Giants head coaches, even though injuries have been one of the franchise’s primary and consistently unaddressed problems from regime to regime.

Injuries are also not an excuse because Schoen and Daboll collaborated heavily with the Giants’ training staff to create their rest-filled, player-management training camp and early-season practice plan that has 13 players on injured reserve as of Saturday.

Out of the Giants’ 10 player captains, only five will take the field in Arlington, Tex., on Sunday: Bobby Okereke, Saquon Barkley, Dexter Lawrence, Andrew Thomas and McKinney.

Three of their captains are on injured reserve: Jones, Darren Waller (hamstring) and Graham Gano (left knee). One is injured and not traveling this week: Adoree Jackson (neck/concussion).

Schoen traded the other captain, Leonard Williams, to the Seattle Seahawks.

That trade yielded the Giants a second-round pick in next spring’s NFL Draft, a reminder that Schoen and Daboll are still trying to rebuild this roster and that ownership understood and signed off on it as necessary.

But Mara and Tisch did that hoping for only a slight dropoff in production.

They didn’t do it so fans would be making jokes all over social media about the Giants tanking after a 24-point loss to former Giants Pro Bowl linebacker Antonio Pierce — in his first game running the Raiders — five days after the firings of GM Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels.

Mara does not tolerate bottoming out. Remember the Chase Young Bowl?

Pat Shurmur’s Giants beat Washington on the road in Week 16 of the 2019 NFL season, even though the loser of the game was going to get the Ohio State pass rusher with the No. 2 overall pick in 2020.

Shurmur got fired anyway, and the Giants found their franchise left tackle Andrew Thomas at No. 4 overall when Joe Judge took over and helped run the 2020 draft.

Those who do not believe there is heat turning up in the Giants’ building already are missing a key point:

Schoen and Daboll made this year’s mess. They did not inherit it.

They extended Daniel Jones and then failed to assemble a competent offensive line to protect the organization’s most important asset. Schoen’s drafts and roster depth have contributed to the team’s futility and regression.

Schoen and Daboll have made strange personnel decisions that have backfired spectacularly, from forcing Eric Gray into a punt return role to making Josh Ezeudu the backup left tackle.

Daboll didn’t have his team ready to play the first three halves of the season. At all.

That included a Cowboys blocked field goal returned for a touchdown in Week 1 that practically made special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey shudder when it was broached on Thursday.

Daboll’s offense has been an abject disaster. His defense has played well enough that it would have given a team with even an average offense a chance to win about seven or eight of the team’s nine games.

The head coach’s situational football decisions have been brutal, from a run option being sent into Taylor’s headset at the goal line in Buffalo before halftime to the decision to kick with an IR-bound Gano against the Jets.

Daboll has been finger-pointing and red-hot on the sideline numerous times, most recently yelling “What the f—?” at tackle Evan Neal for a false start in Vegas.

Daboll took over running Mike Kafka’s offensive meetings beginning in Week 7 ahead of a win over Washington as urgency mounted.

In Vegas, at least three Giants defenders lollygagged on a Jakobi Meyers first quarter Raiders touchdown. And on Thursday, Martindale fired back at McKinney on Thursday for questioning his operation after that crushing loss that saw Jones go down for the season.

Daboll was named Coach of the Year last season, to be clear. Schoen and Daboll got the Giants to the postseason and won a Wild Card game in year one when no one expected anything. Okereke, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Micah McFadden are definitely building blocks.

The Giants’ house is burning, though. Daboll has a 2-6-1 NFC East record that likely will be 3-9-1 at best by season’s end. And while Daboll pretends everything is fine at his press conferences, inside the building, everyone knows how this team got to this pathetic state.

When things go this badly, everyone is under the microscope: players, assistants, coordinators, coaches, executives and GMs.

That’s what is at stake in these final eight weeks. That’s what is at stake on Sunday.

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