But really, settling for field goals in two early red zone opportunities ultimately resulted in Big Blue leaving points on the board, which in turn wound up being huge in the loss.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride came under some heat for his play-calling within the 10-yard-line.
The first time around, the Giants actually tried to throw the ball, but the Cowboys had it covered. But the second time, Gilbride called a draw play to Andre Brown on a third-and-goal play from the 10-yard-line.
“Each time it’s different,” Gilbride said of his team’s trips into the red zone. “You wish it was one thing and then you could solve that problem, but the bottom line is we’ve had chances.”
It seems to be this team’s theme that it struggles in the “green zone,” as head coach Tom Coughlin calls it.
“It’s frustrating because they were great drives and they need to culminate in points and touchdowns and when you don’t do that, you’re disappointed that you didn’t finish it the way you’d like,” Gilbride said. “Probably even more disconcerting is you’d know the potential for it being a difference in the outcome of the game is usually pretty significant, especially in an evenly matched game like that.”
One bright spot offensively last week besides the running game was Kevin Boothe’s performance. Boothe shifted from right guard to center early in the game when Jim Cordle – normally a reserve player himself – went down with a knee injury.
“I just think the world of the guy (Boothe) because he can play any position,” Gilbride said. “He’s a phenomenal young man. He’s a tremendous person, and he kind of goes unnoticed. No one even pays attention to him, and he just plays solid for us, whether you put him at guard or put him at center.”
Again though, shifting along the offensive line has been this team’s other major theme this season. James Brewer filled in for Boothe at right guard.
Brandon Jacobs has been ruled out of action with a knee injury, so Peyton Hillis will get the bulk of the carries behind Andre Brown.
The Redskins come into Sunday’s contest giving up an average of 382.1 yards per game (fifth worst in the NFL) and 30.7 points per game (second worst in the NFL).
All signs would point to the Giants having a big day offensively, but we said that last week against Dallas; and we said that against Oakland; and Philadelphia; and Minnesota. So nothing is a guarantee with this unit.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.