It seems like the New York Giants find a new way to lose every Sunday. This week, it was by allowing backup quarterback Andy Dalton, who replaced an injured Dak Prescott, to lead the Dallas Cowboys down the field in the final seconds of a 37-34 loss at AT&T Stadium.
It was the Giants' seventh straight loss to the Cowboys and the fifth straight loss to start the Joe Judge era.
Just when it seemed that the Giants (0-5) might win a game, that dream was crushed. So was any hope of being in the midst of the NFC East race, which, quite frankly, is a mess at the moment.
The Cowboys (2-3) lead the division but will now be without Prescott. The Eagles (1-3-1) are decimated, and quarterback Carson Wentz has become a turnover machine. Forget about the Washington Football Team, which doesn't seem to know who will play quarterback.
The Giants could've conjured some optimism with a win in Dallas. They seem to at least be trending in the right direction -- except in the win column.
Right now, they are a team that is competing under Judge. They seem to be making improvements. Judge said prior to this week that he viewed his team as 0-0 after four weeks. The Giants were trying to be 1-0 after playing the Cowboys.
But they can't find a way to win. The worst team since the start of the 2017 season (12-41) must find its formula soon.
This Sunday was a wild game. The Cowboys lost Prescott to a gruesome leg injury not long after he caught a touchdown pass. The Giants had a defensive touchdown, an early 14-point lead and two touchdowns negated.
Still, they managed to lose on a 24-yard field goal as time expired. That came moments after cornerback Ryan Lewis allowed a deep pass to be completed down the right sideline to Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup.
Pivotal plays: The two negated touchdowns. The Giants settled for field goals on both occasions, so instead of 14 points, they got six from those possessions.
The first of the two crucial plays was a fake field goal late in the first half, when Giants holder/punter Riley Dixon threw what looked like a rather easy, 27-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Evan Engram.
But the officials called an illegal shift on lineman Nick Gates on the play. Gates was looking toward the long-snapper when the play began. It was deemed that he wasn't set. That was the beginning of the end for the Giants. They also had a touchdown negated early in the third quarter, after wide receiver Damion Ratley was called for pass interference on a 31-yard touchdown throw from Daniel Jones to Darius Slayton.
Slayton was wide-open because the official deemed that Ratley picked Dallas cornerback Jourdan Lewis.
Troubling trend: Jones' turnovers: We might as well make this a standing category. It's a weekly problem for Jones, who on Sunday lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter.
That makes 14 lost fumbles and 17 interceptions in 17 starts. That's 31 total turnovers in those contests to begin his career.
Jones worked relentlessly to curb the fumbles this offseason. Even so, that's his third lost fumble this season, after he led the league in fumbles as a rookie. Sure, the pressure off the edge by Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence came quickly, but Jones knew it was coming and started to move off his spot. The protection wasn't there, but it was another example of Jones' lack of feel and instincts in the pocket.
Bold prediction for next week: The Giants finally win a game. Washington, with whoever is at quarterback these days, is on deck. Washington (1-4) played Kyle Allen and Alex Smith behind center on Sunday. The Giants with Jones are the better team.