As expected, the third-string QB will be QB1 this week.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Tommy DeVito has injected some New Jersey self-confidence into the Giants’ offensive huddle, and his teammates love it.
DeVito, the team’s rookie quarterback, will be the team’s starter when the Giants face the Dallas Cowboys Sunday in AT&T Stadium. He will be the first undrafted rookie in franchise history to start at the game’s most important position in a non-strike game, and the 10th rookie quarterback to start this season, the highest total since at least 1950 (excluding the 1987 season, which included numerous rookie strike-replacement quarterbacks).
Asked how DeVito made that unlikely leap from the practice squad to the starting lineup, coach Brian Daboll said, “Well, injuries. Start with that. The two guys that were ahead of him got injured and he was the third guy.”
Yes, DeVito’s promotion resulted from injuries that sidelined Daniel Jones (torn ACL) and Tyrod Taylor (rib cage). The circumstances of DeVito’s ascension to the first team were unexpected, but that doesn’t mean he must be quiet and deferential. The 25-year-old from nearby Cedar Grove and Don Bosco High School strongly believes he can do the job and that buoyancy has lifted his teammates.
“He’s got that Jersey mentality to him,” running back Saquon Barkley said. “He’s got an edge to him. He plays with confidence. You could see that in his play, you could feel that in the huddle, and I’m excited for him.
Xavier McKinney, a defensive captain, expressed frustration after the loss to the Raiders.
McKinney said after the game the team’s leaders were “not really being heard.” The fourth-year safety is one of the defensive captains.
The Giants’ defense had been playing good football heading into that Raiders loss. It had allowed just 33 points in the three previous games.
This particular complaint was one that Martindale, known for his player-friendly approach, had never heard in his 36-year coaching career.
“Yeah, it surprised me because it’s the first time it’s ever happened in my career that a player would make a statement like that,” he said. “I think it was a case of the kid is just frustrated from losing. We spoke. We cleared it up. The example that he gave me of what he was talking about was an in-game adjustment.
“It really took a while for him to point out exactly what it was. But I think you grow from that, and I just told him that is something that it hurts the locker room. It hurts the defensive room when you say something like that.”
Coach Brian Daboll said that McKinney would be in his usual role Sunday as a starting safety against the Cowboys. There wouldn’t be any on-field discipline for expressing his opinions.
Avoiding must-pass situations is a key for New York’s success.
Giants’ game plan
The Giants will play ball control offense and try to avoid DeVito into obvious passing situations. This may force Dan Quinn to go heavier than he’s accustom, but the Giants lack of tight end depth behind Daniel Bellinger could lead Quinn to just rely on his defense’s speed until it proves to be a liability.
Like Martindale, Quinn uses a lot of multiple safety looks and DIME packages to maximize speed. The Cowboys have a deep and physical safety room that consists of Hooker, Kearse, and Donovan Wilson. Both Isreal Mukuamu and Juanyeh Thomas will work into lighter packages when dressed, but Hook and Kearse have played more than 400 snaps this season; Wilson has missed a few games with injury, but is healthy now.
Over the last two games, Saquon Barkley has 57% of Giants’ overall touches; this includes quarterback rushes. I don’t expect much to change against Dallas. Moving the football against Dallas’ defense is a tall task with this personnel.
Barkley averaged 4.3 yards per carry on 18 carries in Week 1. Establish the run to set up the play action is a tried and true method for the Giants, but not necessarily against Dallas, who does an excellent job keeping the Giants’ bootleg attempts in check.
Controlling the Dallas defense and getting takeaways will help the underdog Giants.
The Giants face a daunting task this week as they head to Dallas to face a team that already blew them out once this season.
Can New York force any turnovers?
The Cowboys have only had one game all season where they turned the ball over more than once, in their blowout loss to the 49ers last month. This doesn’t bode well for a Giants team that has failed to force any turnovers in five of their nine games so far this year.
No Giants player has more than one interception this season, but linebacker Bobby Okereke may be their best bet to come up with a turnover. He’s intercepted one pass, tipped another pass that was intercepted, and has also forced two fumbles in 2023.
How can Big Blue slow down Micah Parsons?
Only two teams all season have managed to prevent all-pro edge rusher Micah Parsons from recording a sack. And even though he only had one in the season opener, Parsons was in the backfield consistently and a big factor in New York’s offensive struggles.
Andrew Thomas finally made his return last Sunday, but showed some signs of rust as he allowed two sacks. With Evan Neal leaving the game due to an ankle injury, it looks likely that Tyre Phillips will be back in the lineup on the right side. Parsons will rush from both edges but also likes to stunt inside, so he can exploit any confusion on the interior as well.
Here are the final injury reports for both the Cowboys and Giants in Week 10.