The New York Giants opened the regular season with two rookie cornerbacks in the starting lineup. Despite the team’s embarrassing 40–0 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys, New York did not surrender a single touchdown through the air. Rookie CBs Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins stood out as lone positives from the Week 1 loss, despite battling through inexperience to matchup with a dynamic Dallas offense.
Giants’ first-round rookie shuts out the Cowboys’ WRs
The Giants held Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to only 13 completions on 24 attempts (54%) and 143 yards with 0 touchdowns in Week 1. Typically, holding Prescott to such a stat line would result in victory; not this time. Instead, Big Blue was demolished on primetime with few positives to draw from the embarrassing defeat. But the performances of Banks and Hawkins are two of those few promising outcomes.
According to Pro Football Focus, Banks was targeted twice but didn’t allow a catch and forced an incompletion against the Cowboys. Banks was tight in coverage while defending the Cowboys’ receiving corps that features All-Pro CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Brandin Cooks.
Summer standout Tre Hawkins continues his excellent play
Hawkins also stood out against the formidable Cowboys offense. He one catch on one target for 19 yards and also commit a defensive pass interference penalty, however, his coverage was also a point of impression on Sunday night.
Additionally, Hawkins’ excellent tackling ability, which was apparent in the preseason, was on full display against the Cowboys. He finished the game with a 78.7 PFF tackling grade, making seven total tackles with 0 missed tackles in the contest.
Despite the embarrassing defeat in Week 1, the Giants can build on the performances of Banks and Hawkins. The two rookie corners have shown promise throughout the summer and seem to be carrying their solid play into the regular season. If these two young defensive backs can continue to develop, New York’s defense could take huge strides forward over the course of the season.