EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Different year. Different coach. Different general manager. Different players.
The problem for the New York Giants is the start is the same. They are losing and the concern is mounting two games into the season.
Coach Pat Shurmur tried to downplay it Monday, less than 24 hours after the Giants put in a dismal performance in a 20-13 debacle against the Cowboys (1-1) in Dallas.
The game was so bad, it brought up memories of last year's 0-5 start and 3-13 record, something Giants fans never thought would happen this soon with all the changes general manager Dave Gettleman and Shurmur made.
Shurmur refused to take solace in the Giants' very competitive performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the season-opening 20-15 loss.
"Absolutely not," Shurmur said. "We didn't win the first game. We didn't win the second game. I don't know. That goes back into that, you know, thinking you did good when you didn't win. We've got to do what we have to do, to do the things necessary to win the game, period. So we really don't worry about all of that stuff."
The Giants didn't do much right Sunday night in a nationally televised game.
While the score was close, the result was never in doubt. The Cowboys led by a touchdown after less than two minutes, were up 10 at the half and 20-3 before the Giants scored twice in the final 1:27.
Eli Manning was sacked six times and knocked to the ground even more. Center Jon Halapio had his right lower leg and ankle broken in the second half. The offensive line was terrible and the defense had trouble dealing with Dak Prescott's passing and running.
Fans are wondering if this is going to be a repeat of last season.
Manning believes the team is fighting hard, learning and improving. With some 30 new faces on the team, the two-time Super Bowl MVP says there will be a learning curve.
"We just have to keep grinding and keep preparing," Manning said. "Don't get down. You have to have the desire to get better. We all want that. We all have that. We just have to make the improvements that the coaches are giving us and that will give us a better opportunity to win the game."
Manning isn't worried about the locker room meltdown that occurred last year under then-coach Ben McAdoo, saying this roster is much different.
"We just have to come to work and have a great attitude that we are going to get better," Manning said.
Shurmur and Manning insisted the Giants were ready for everything the Cowboys threw at them. They didn't execute what they had practiced. Part of the problem was the offense put itself in far too many bad down-and-distance situations. It allowed the Cowboys to tee off defensively.
That was evident in the first half when New York threw on roughly 75 percent of its plays because the yardage needed was too much.
Shurmur plans to re-access the team heading into this weekend's game at the Texans (0-2).
"We look at everything all the time," he said. "I think what's important is we stay the course, get the players that we have playing better, and try to make more plays to do what's necessary to win the game."
NOTES: John Greco stepped in and finished the game at center after Halapio was hurt. Shurmur said Greco and Spencer Pulley, the former Chargers starting center who was signed after the final cut, would both be prepared this week. … The coach had no update on the condition of starting CB Eli Apple, who left the game with a groin injury.
Source: The Associated Press