EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- On Monday night, Damontre Moore's roughing-the-passer penalty extended an Eagles touchdown drive. On Tuesday, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin answered a question about whether he could trust Moore by saying he didn't know. On Sunday, Moore was among the Giants' seven inactive players for their key divisional game against the Cowboys.
Moore was not on the injury report at any time last week, so this clearly is a benching. With Robert Ayers back from his hamstring injury for the first time in four weeks, the Giants had to leave a defensive end inactive, and they chose Moore, their talented-but-unreliable 2013 third-round pick, over 2015 third-rounder Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
It's no small move for a Giants team desperately in need of a pass rush. Entering this week, the only teams in the league with fewer quarterback sacks than the Giants (eight) were Miami and Atlanta. Ayers' return helps somewhat, as does the return from a hamstring injury of pass-rushing linebacker Devon Kennard. But while Moore has shown a propensity for foolish plays and penalties, he's also the most athletic and disruptive pass-rusher the Giants have on their roster at the moment.
We'll find out after the game whether this is a one-week benching as a message to Moore to get his act together or whether he's actually slid down the depth chart behind Odighizuwa, who's a run-stopping defensive end with underdeveloped pass-rush skills.