EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) After watching Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. in the first year of the West Coast offense, it was easy to say the New York Giants were on the verge of having one of the NFL's top offenses this season.
Add in Victor Cruz coming off knee surgery, have the offensive line play a little better, get the running game going, and the Giants would put up points with ease.
A game into the season, the question is where's the offense?
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Sure the Giants scored 26 points in a one-point loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, but 17 of those were courtesy of the defense. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie returned a fumble for a touchdown. An interception return by Trumaine McBride to the 1 set up a touchdown run and an interception by linebacker Uani Unga set up a field goal.
The offense contributed three field goals. That's it. No touchdowns.
It's exactly what the offense did in the preseason.
''We moved the ball,'' McAdoo said when asked about his unit's problems. ''We were 9 for 10 in the series with a first down and it seems each time we feel like we're going to take off, something holds us back. We just need to eliminate that and we need to execute at a higher level and avoid the mistakes.''
McAdoo said the mistakes were both physical and mental.
He said there were seven contested passes that his receivers should have caught the ball and did not. Manning also missed a couple of passes and the running game did not get in gear until late.
''We don't have to warmup in a game,'' McAdoo said. ''We need to start with our hair on fire and be productive from the beginning. Dallas controlled the ball too much for my liking. We want the football, we want to control the ball, we want to be balanced.''
Having Dallas hold the ball for the opening 11 minutes wasn't the best thing for the offense, but the unit by scoring a field goal on its opening possession.
The Giants' only other drives were at the start of the second half and at the end of the game, when they settled for a field goal after getting a first-and-goal at the 4-yard line.
That was the drive that Manning told halfback Rashad Jennings not to score on the first two downs because he wanted to milk the clock, not knowing Dallas had two time out instead of one.
McAdoo took responsibility for the call on third down, a pass from the 1-yard line to the tight end. It wasn't open and Manning threw the ball away stopping the clock.
''The thing I failed to do was mention to Eli that if it wasn't open to eat the football and that's something I take responsibility with and I take ownership of,'' McAdoo said. ''At the same point and time, you know we need to move on. We need to flush this last game. It's best for the players, it's best for the organization.''
The Giants will head into this game with Cruz still sidelined with a calf injury. Preston Parker, who replaced him, dropped two passes and that hurt. He'll get another chance but Dwayne Harris has been getting more time in practice.
Jennings said that his expectations for the offense have not changed despite the slow start.
''That's never going to change. We expect a little more out of ourselves,'' he said.
NOTES: Middle linebacker Jon Beason practice on a limited basis and may play Sunday. Uani `Unga, who started in place of Beason and made 12 tackles against Dallas, returned to practice Thursday after sitting out a day with a knee injury. ...Offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (ankle) practiced Thursday despite injuring an ankle on Sunday. ...Defensive tackle Markus Kush (knee), tight end Daniel Fells (foot) and defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (foot) did not practice. ...Rodgers-Cromartie has been told by the coaches that the league admitted the pass interference call against him that set up a third-quarter Dallas touchdown was incorrect. The call on a third-and-4 play from the Giants 18 gave Dallas at least an extra four points.