Dave Klein was the Giants' beat
writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books
and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls
up until last year. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.
DE VITO PLUNGES INTO STARTING ROLE AGAINST THE COWBOYS
are probably worse places for an undrafted rookie quarterback to find himself
on a Sunday afternoon during the NFL season.
You know, like the Roman Coliseum, for instance. Or like on the deck of a submarine
preparing to dive. Maybe on top of the Empire State Building with a wind whipping
at 75 m.p.h.
Or, in the case of Giants'
quarterback Tommy DeVito, how about on the field at AT&T Stadium in Arlington,
Tex., with the Dallas Cowboys on the other side as he makes his first-ever start?
Yes, that's exactly what the kid from Livingston, N.J., who attended Don Bosco
Prep and then played collegiate football at the University of Illinois and Syracuse,
will face Sunday at 4:35.
is out for the season. His backup, veteran Tyrod Taylor, is on the Injured Reserve
list. The only other quarterback on the active roster (for now) is free agent
pickup, Matt Barkley.
It would appear,
although the Giants never wanted it, that their quarterback situation is down
to this. And the kid who has never started an NFL game, who has seen action in
the Giants' last two outings, will have to find a way to take his 2-7 team past
the 5-3 Cowboys, who are favored by 17½ points - the season's largest point spread.
This will be the Giants' second meeting with the Cowboys this season. They lost
the first one - the opening weekend in MetLife Stadium - by the somewhat embarrassing
score of 40-0.
Head coach Brian Daboll
was asked what he felt is the most important factor in starting an inexperienced
rookie against a powerhouse defense like the one he'll face Sunday.
"You talk about it with those guys early in the week," he said. "The biggest thing
is that he's done everything he can do to put himself in a good position in terms
of his preparation, reviewing the game plan, meeting extra with [quarterbacks
coach] Shea [Tierney] and [offensive coordinator Mike] Kafka, coming out and practicing
well and just controlling the things that he can do, and doing his job well."
In response to a reporter's question, DeVito said the number one rule he is following
is "don't panic," and Daboll agrees that the kid has performed well in that assignment.
"I think he's done a good job of doing everything he can to the point of preparing
the right way, both in the classroom, his extra time [with the coaches] and on
That's all well and good,
coach, but there is no way the original plan was to start DeVito and privately
the way the situation developed must have been nightmarish.
Daboll, one more time: "He has spent a lot of time with the coaches, trying to
make sure that he's on point to do his job well. Again, that's a challenging ask
for any quarterback. He has done everything he can throughout the week to prepare
It probably wouldn't do much
good to remind DeVito that this is the same game he's been playing since he was
a kid. "Well, it is," Daboll added, "but he's just playing against a dang good
Well, the kid wasn't part
of that 40-0 rout on opening day, so how much worse can he do?
EXTRA POINTS - In his two appearances this season, DeVito has completed 17 of
27 passes for 174 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He has also been
sacked eight times
. Three players have
been declared OUT for the game - CB Adoree Jackson, RB Deon Jackson and G-T Evan
Neal. … five more have earned the QUESTIONABLE designation - WR Parris Campbell,
RB Jashaun Corbin, G Mark Glowinski and LB Azeez Ojulari.
Talking about one-sided, the Cowboys have won 12 of the last 13 meetings against
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