‘Dark time’ for Giants brings questions about what’s at core of Brian Daboll’s approach

They are what coach Brian Daboll calls “core beliefs.’’

The way he orchestrated everything around the Giants in his debut season as a head coach at any level made those beliefs easy to get behind.

The second time around for Daboll has been so disturbingly and numbingly inept that the door is left open to question anything Daboll is doing.

How the team practices. How the team prepares. How the meetings work. How training and nutrition intermix. Sleep habits. Dealing with team psychologists.

It is all part of the system Daboll brought to the Giants and every bit of everything can be scrutinized nowadays, with a team in free fall and a franchise in shock amid a nasty turn for the worst.

“You know I believe in what we do, but certainly when you don’t get the results, those can get questioned and I completely understand that,’’ Daboll said on another Monday following another Giants loss. “So, look, we’ve established something last year when we got here of how we are going to approach things, and how we are going to do things and you build on that in the offseason.

“Again, I understand this is a results business. I’ve been in it long enough to understand that. We look at our processes on a daily basis, of what we think we need to do to help our team be as successful as we can be and that’ll never change.’’

Giants coach Brian Daboll addresses the media on Monday.

The results business is exceedingly bad for the Giants, coming off a noncompetitive 49-17 loss to the Cowboys inside AT&T Stadium.

The third consecutive loss was as one-sided as a game can be and the feel of the varsity versus the JV was ripe in the air.

The Giants, now 2-8, were outclassed, out-played and out-everything-ed.

“We should make no excuses about where we’re at,’’ Daboll said. “I own it. So, I’ve got to do a better job all the way around and that’s what we are going to work towards.’’

Some of this does not seem real.

The Cowboys owned a massive statistical advantage in total yards (640-172), first downs (32-16), net passing yards (472-61) and time of possession (37:21-22:39).

The 49 points were the most given up by the Giants in more than six years.

The 640 total yards were the second-most ever allowed by the Giants.

Nearly 80 years ago to the day, the Bears gained 682 yards in a 56-7 rout of the Giants.

The 472 net passing yards and 32 first downs were both the third-highest totals given up in Giants history.

On offense, the Giants are down to their third quarterback, undrafted Tommy DeVito and it is not going splendidly.

The Giants managed to “gain” only 27 total yards in the first half (they trailed 28-0), their fewest yards in a first half in more than 10 years.

Daboll said after reviewing the game that the effort has not waned, meaning the Giants are actually trying as they fail so miserably.

“Certainly, when you’re in a little bit of a rut here, you want to make sure that you’re doing all of the things that you can do on and off the field the right way to give yourselves the best chance to get out of the rut, if you will,’’ Daboll said.

If this is “a little bit of a rut” then heaven help the Giants if they encounter a deep pothole in the last seven games.

DaRon Bland #26 of the Dallas Cowboys intercepts a pass intended for Jalin Hyatt #13 of the New York Giants during the third quarter on Sunday.
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It figures it will be a challenge for Daboll to keep his players motivated and interested, knowing there will not be any playoffs and that there likely will be additional abuse, considering the Giants have two games remaining against the Eagles, the team with the NFL’s best record.

“I respect Dabes a lot,’’ defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence said. “He’s just as or more competitive as the players, and he wants to win and create an environment of winning just as much as the players do. This year is not going that way. I think he’s doing a good job of just perspective. I think that’s the biggest thing about everything, putting things in perspective.

“I just told the team, look, we’ve got to be here for each other no matter what is going on, no matter how raggedy the season is. We love each other in here, and we’ve got to play for each other in here and be there for each other through this dark time, and we’ve got to fight our way out.’’

Saquon Barkley is tackles by the Cowboys on Sunday.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The Giants were out of their depth facing the Cowboys.

In the next three games the Giants head into the shallow end of the pool to face the Commanders (4-6), Patriots (2-8) and Packers (3-6).

Daniel Jones (knee) is out for the remainder of the season and Tyrod Taylor (rib cage) is out at least two more games.

Daboll said DeVito will start Sunday at FedEx Field.

“You make no excuses about it,’’ Daboll said. “We are at where we are at and that’s where we’re meant to be right now, relative to what we’ve done. So, you don’t feel sorry for yourself.’’

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