It's fair to start wondering if this organization has any chance to meet owner John Mara's preseason mandate. Mara said this summer that he wanted the Giants to "win some games" and "feel at the end of the season we're moving in the right direction."
That seems improbable, given the current state of the Giants, who at 2-7 haven't won since late September. They have the most losses (31) of any team since the start of the 2017 season -- more than the Cleveland Browns, who have an 0-16 campaign during that span.
It has been such an awful stretch that the Giants are somehow 0-6 in games where star running back Saquon Barkley has played from start to finish.
"It's crazy to say that but, hey, the way I look at it and the way I have an outlook on life is there are going to be better days," Barkley said. "We are struggling right now and things aren't going out way, but I'm not going to lose my focus. I'm not going to lose belief in this team, this coaching staff. I'm just going to continue to come to work every single day and I know, I know for 100 percent sure it will turn around," Barkley said.
The struggles set up perhaps the strangest of key games for coach Pat Shurmur and the Giants when they meet the rival New York Jets on Sunday. A loss would send the Giants into their bye week with six straight losses and questions about the state of the franchise. It's hard to imagine how ownership would handle such an embarrassment.
Shurmur and the Giants need a win.
"In the worst way," captain Mike Thomas said. "For everybody in this organization. Facility, players, coaches, front office. For everybody. We need it and we're going to find a way to get it."
Nothing seems to be going right for Shurmur & Co. these days. They were on the short end of some crucial penalties and no-calls late in Monday's game. Maybe more concerning, the turnovers by rookie quarterback Daniel Jones keep coming. He had three against the Cowboys and has eight interceptions and eight fumbles this season.
Progress from the rookie quarterback was the only thing that could mask the stench from this much Giants losing. Instead, they keep stacking losses, and the Giants are simultaneously missing extra points, failing to score in the red zone (one touchdown in five tries) and allowing too many explosive plays, including the clincher courtesy of an Amari Cooper 45-yard touchdown on third-and-12 midway through the fourth quarter.
Put it all together, and it has the Giants and Shurmur seemingly on the brink of something, whether it be a massive meltdown or a serious overhaul.
QB breakdown: It was another game filled with ups and down for Jones. He finished 26-of-41 passing for 210 yards with a touchdown, interception and two lost fumbles. Jones is now tied for the league lead with 16 turnovers.
The turnovers were costly. Jones threw an interception in the final minute of the first half and fumbled on a third-down run in the third quarter. This is becoming a disturbing trend. The rookie has at least two turnovers in five of his seven starts.
Jones has 16 turnovers this season. That ties him with Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston, and Jones has started only seven of the Giants' games.
"Anytime you turn the ball over, it's costly to the team," Jones said. "I have to work on that and making sure I'm securing the ball."
Pivotal play: The Giants trailed by five with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. It was third-and-6 for Dallas from their own 15-yard line. Quarterback Dak Prescott took a deep shot down the left sideline to Cooper.
There was some normal hand-fighting from Cooper and rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker. A flag was thrown. Shurmur and defensive coordinator James Bettcher by their reactions were visibly furious on the sideline. It was a questionable call, at best. The fans, the broadcast and most everybody in the stadium (aside from the Cowboys) seemed to think it should have been a no-call.
It wasn't. Instead, Dallas got a first down near midfield and five plays later put the game away with Cooper's demoralizing touchdown.
"It just seems like they don't go our way," Giants safety Jabrill Peppers said. "If you guys remember mine from Tampa Bay, it was really ticky tack, I thought that was going to be the tone for the whole year but there is no real consistency. At the end of the day, you can't even give them the chance to the throw the flag. You have to stay clean, play with good eyes and technique and make a play on the ball."
Shurmur added: "I wasn't [looking at that as a penalty]. But it is what it is."