Joe Judge not buying Giants’ spoiler narrative vs. Cowboys


He is tall. He can jump. He has long arms. He is reputed to be able to come away with the ball when leaping against smaller defensive backs. So, why not just throw a jump ball from time-to-time and see if Kenny Golladay can rise up and get it?

That makes sense, right?

Golladay, on and off the field as he deals with multiple injuries and maladies, has played in 10 games this season. How many times have the Giants thrown one up there for him to go up and get, high man wins?

“Well, maybe the first one was what, last week?’’ Golladay said. “Maybe 12 seconds after going into halftime. Maybe that was, maybe. I’m not sure. Yeah, so, I don’t know.’’

Yeah, the Giants are having some kind of season. They gave a 6-foot-4 wide receiver a $72 million contract and, whether it is Jason Garrett or Freddie Kitchens calling the plays or Daniel Jones or Mike Glennon throwing it, they have not put the ball up to this towering target to see if he can come down with it.

To see how a real offense operates, check out the Cowboys on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. They can throw it, they can run it, and their 29.2 points a game is second only to Tom Brady’s Buccaneers for scoring proficiency.

Dak Prescott and Joe Judge
Getty Images; N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

The last-place Giants (4-9) and first-place Cowboys (9-4) own symmetrically disparate records, occupy opposite ends of the NFC spectrum and head into the final quarter of this season with far different goals. The Cowboys at present are the No. 4 seed in the NFC and can gain ground in the division playoff race if they finish strong. The Giants are in December, which for most of the past five years means it is a spoiler role and nothing more.

“If you want to label yourself in that category,’’ coach Joe Judge said, clearly not wanting to label the Giants in the “spoiler’’ category. “Our focus is just to go out there and win a game. That’s it.

“If you need motivation, you need a pep talk, you need a song, you need some kind of a speech, you’re probably in the wrong locker room.’’

Inflicting the Cowboys with a loss is not the main goal.

“I think the whole enjoyment is just winning that game,’’ tight end Evan Engram said. “I don’t think we’re going to take into thought anything outside of that. It’s us versus them, in New York, at MetLife. We got one here last year when they came, and we’ll try to do it again. That’s the staple rivalry probably in the NFL, Giants vs. Cowboys. There’s a lot that goes into it and we’re excited for it.’’

There is a great deal that goes into getting a team on the field nowadays, with the global pandemic back in full force. The recent and alarming upsurge in COVID-19 positive tests has turned depth charts inside and out and turned this week — and possibly the next several weeks — into an episode of “Survivor,’’ as far as last-man standing availability.

The Giants at last count have eight new positive tests — most notably, as far as key players, cornerbacks Adoree’ Jackson (who probably was not yet ready to return from a quad injury), rookie Aaron Robinson, and receivers Kadarius Toney (who was probably not ready to return from an oblique strain) and John Ross. The most important player on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, safety Xavier McKinney, was deemed a high-risk close contact but he cleared protocols, was activated on Saturday and will play.

Jones, dealing with a strained neck and still not given medical clearance for contact, will miss his third consecutive game, meaning Mike Glennon gets a third start at quarterback, with Jake Fromm possibly getting some snaps if things are not going well for Glennon. Not much has gone well for the Giants, especially when it comes to getting the ball to the players who are supposed to be able to do something with it.

“To be honest, we’ve got four more games left, I still feel like there’s a lot of stuff that I can do to cap off this year for myself and for the team,’’ Golladay said. “I’m not really jumping ahead to next year yet.’’
Not yet, but soon.

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