Riding high off of an upset victory over the New Orleans Saints, the New York Giants travel to Arlington this Sunday for a pivotal Week 5 bout with the Dallas Cowboys. Should the G-Men emerge victorious, they’d pull within one game of the division lead — more than enough motivation for a team that looked dead in the water just a few weeks back. However, thanks to Cowboys legend Troy Aikman, the Giants have a bit more bulletin board material ahead of their NFC East showdown.
The Hall of Fame quarterback turned FOX NFL’s lead game analyst joined “The Musers” on 96.7 FM The Ticket in Dallas to discuss the upcoming Giants-Cowboys game, in which he offered up an opinion sure to rally up Giants faithful. Aikman had this to say about the blatant discrepancy he perceives between the two division foes:
The amount of pressure that this [Cowboys] offense puts on an opponent — because they are so explosive that there’s a lot of pressure for an opposing offense to feel that they’ve got to go do something every time they have the ball. And if they don’t, they’re going to be down two scores.
That’s going to be the challenge for the Giants. They’re coming off a big win, but they’re in my opinion — and I understand in the NFL anybody can beat anybody and all that — they’re [the Giants] not in Dallas’ class, in my opinion.
Giants Locker Room ‘Has Taken Notice,’ Joe Judge Responds
According to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, Aikman’s comments have struck a chord in the Giants locker room. Per the Giants beat writer, players have “taken notice” of the three-time Super Bowl Champion’s critique, noting that Aikman’s quote that the Giants “aren’t in Dallas’ class” could perhaps serve as “21st central virtual bulletin board material.”
There’s no surprise that Aikman’s take has registered within the Giants locker. As head coach Joe Judge told reports on Friday, October 8th “We don’t even have a bulletin board in there, to be honest with you. It’s screens & magnets. We’re in the future now… These guys are all active on Twitter & all types of junk so I’m sure they see stuff,” via New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard.
Even less surprising than Aikman’s comments seeping into the G-Men’s locker room was the response that Judge gave on the matter. The readily grounded second-year coach took the high road and downplayed Aikman’s comments.
“I don’t think we need any external motivation to help us do our jobs,” Judge proclaimed.
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Is Aikman Wrong?
As for if Aikman’s take actually holds any weight, sure — to a certain degree. The Cowboys are 3-1, with their lone loss coming to the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As for the Giants, they are 1-3 and an organization that hasn’t sniffed a winning record since 2016. However, the gap between the two division rivals may be a lot closer than Aikman is willing to give them credit for.
Yes, a win is a win and a loss is a loss. Yet, the fact of the matter is the Giants are just two plays away from being 3-1 and heading into Week 5 for a chance to claim the division lead, outright. Had it not been for a questionable offsides penalty on Dexter Lawrence against Washington and a dropped interception by Adoree’ Jackson against Atlanta, Big Blue’s outlook would be looking a whole lot different a quarter of the way into the regular season.
When it comes down to it, time will tell. Last Sunday’s victory was a high point for a Giants team in desperate need of some good. It pumped some energy back into the fan base and within the locker room. A victory over Dallas would vastly expand upon that, but it’s also just the start of what is quite possibly the toughest upcoming stretch of games in all of football.
In the next seven weeks (Week 10 bye) we’ll get a true grip on just how good or how mediocre this Giants team is. Yet, for now, it’s all about this Sunday for Big Blue in hopes that they can make Aikman eat his words — at least for the short-term.