Giants head coach Pat Shurmur knew he had a relatively inexperienced group on defense coming into the season, and they undoubtedly struggled against the Cowboys in Week 1, allowing 494 yards of offense, including 405 yards through the air.
Shurmur knows that a young corps on defense is bound to take its lumps and believes that the issues that plagued them in the opener are fixable.
"I think we've got to coach the players constantly," Shurmur said. "Certainly, we didn't do anything well enough to win the game yesterday, so you coach them on the details of it, but also on the mindset of getting back to work. You show them where they should be better, you show them how to be better, and then you go out and practice it, so that's the process."
Big Blue's defense actually performed well against the run, limiting Ezekiel Elliot to just 53 yards rushing and allowing just 89 yards on the ground overall. But they struggled in pass defense, allowing six throws of 20-plus yards, three of which went for touchdowns.
"I felt like from a defensive perspective in terms of the run game, other than one run that split out for a score inside the red zone, I thought we did a better job against Dallas this year of setting up the run game," Shurmur said. "Unfortunately, we had those long passes. A couple of them were breakdowns individually, a couple of them were, within the scheme, a guy not doing what he should be doing. Unfortunately, it was just a combination of things."
"But again, all things that can be corrected. I think some of the youth of our players on the outside, this is the first time going through it and we know there are some areas where they can be better."
Linebacker Alec Ogletree was outspoken during training camp about the confidence he has in his teammates on the defensive side of the ball. Despite their struggles in Week 1, his outlook hasn't changed.
"It's a long season and this is one game," Ogletree said. "We have the right people, we have the right scheme and everything. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it. You can't talk about it, you have to go out and do it, and we definitely are going to do that. My confidence hasn't been shaken in our defense."
"I know we have a great defense here, and it's just a matter of us doing it, and doing it on Sunday."