Andrew Thomas injury only heightens problems with Giants’ offensive line

The worst might still be to come after a nightmare performance by the Giants offensive line.

All-Pro left tackle Andrew Thomas revealed Sunday after a 40-0 loss to the Cowboys that he is headed to get an MRI exam on his hamstring after gutting through the injury from the time he crumpled to the turf in the first quarter until he was removed in the fourth.

With Thomas on the field, the Giants’ offensive line was manhandled into allowing seven sacks and 12 quarterback hits.

Playing any games without him should send shivers down the spine of any fan.

The explosive offense that the Giants were supposed to unveil in Week 1 never had a chance because playmakers only matter if there is an opportunity to make plays — and the offensive line did not afford the time to do so.

At one point, Daniel Jones was pressured on an astounding 15 of 22 dropbacks — a continuation of the record 23 pressures the Cowboys managed when the teams met in East Rutherford last season.

Andrew Thomas and linebacker Bobby Okereke react as they walk off the field after suffering a 40-0 to the Dallas Cowboys.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Until that line-of-scrimmage domination changes, the results in a series dominated by the Cowboys — winners of 12 of the last 13 meetings — will stay the same.

“We definitely shoulder the responsibility,” right tackle Evan Neal said. “Just didn’t get it done, and the result was on the field.”

On three straight first-quarter snaps, Thomas committed a false start, rookie center John Michael Schmitz one-hopped a snap that ruined a third down, and guards Josh Ezeudu and Ben Bredeson (on special teams) allowed Juanyeh Thomas to split them and block a field goal attempt that was returned for a touchdown.

Thomas was hurt in pursuit on the play that launched a 16-point first-quarter avalanche.

Neal’s performance was most troubling of all as he showed none of the advertised improvements since his disappointing rookie season. In fact, instead of just getting beat by Pro Bowler DeMarcus Lawrence — as he was for three sacks and five pressures when the teams met last season — Neal had trouble staying in front of lesser-knowns Dorance Amstrong, Sam Williams and Dante Fowler.

“It was tough to get that spark back once they got the momentum going,” Neal said. “Don’t want to feel like this again. Definitely a horrible feeling.”

If the sack Neal allowed to all-world linebacker Micah Parsons is excusable, those other lost reps are not for the No. 7 pick in the 2022 draft.

His partner on the right side, guard Mark Glowinski, wasn’t any better.

Evan Neal reacts on the bench with his teammates during the third quarter.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The Giants allowed four sacks and seven quarterback hits … by halftime.

Daniel Jones is sacked by Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong during the third quarter.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

And, like the rainstorm, the disaster was just getting started.

With the Giants in a 33-0 hole, Glowinski and Neal allowed two sacks in a three-play span to make sure that head coach Brian Daboll’s previous decision to go for a fourth-and-3 from the Giants’ own 32-yard line was nothing more than a footnote.

The run-blocking was ugly if not a train wreck — clearing the way for 3.5 yards per carry over the first eight possessions, though most of the positive yardage was made by Jones fleeing a collapsed pocket.

For a line that boasts two first-round picks (Thomas and Neal), a second-round pick (rookie John Michael Schmitz), the highest-paid free-agent in the Giants’ 2022 class (Glowinski) and a player that former general manager Dave Gettleman once traded two draft picks to acquire (Ben Bredeson), the dominance was unacceptable.

But true to form against the Cowboys.

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NY Times

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