New York Giants head coach Joe Judge isn’t looking to add more narratives to an already important division matchup on Sunday. Despite having a chance to play it up as motivation for the team, Judge had a very Belichick-like response when asked about Troy Aikman’s radio comments about the Giants.
“I don’t think we really need any external motivation to show up and do our jobs and do them effectively, to be honest with you. I think you have to understand the magnitude of every game you play,” Judge told reporters on Friday. “These division games are obviously no different, so if we need somebody else to kind of get us in the mind frame to play, I think we have other issues at hand.”
Aikman made headlines recently for appearing on radio in Dallas and saying that the Giants aren’t in the same class as the Cowboys. While it seems like that statement was true through the first three weeks of the season, the matter is murkier after the Giants upset the Saints in week 4. Some have said that Aikman is providing the Giants with easy ‘bulletin board material.’
Judge acknowledged the players taking note of it, but had a different narrative on the issue.
“We don’t even have a bulletin board in there, to be honest with you. Everything’s screens and magnets and stuff now. We’re in the future now, so we don’t have bulletin boards anymore. Look, these guys are all active on Twitter and all that type of junk, so I’m sure they see stuff all the time.”
New York Giants enter week 5 as underdogs
Aside from his generally stern coaching style, it’s easy to see why Judge is downplaying Aikman’s comments – the Giants already have enough pressure on their shoulders without an added narrative about proving someone wrong.
While the Giants did make a big improvement in week 4, they come into the Dallas game affected by injuries on both sides of the ball. Wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton are out for this game, and the same goes for safety Jabrill Peppers and guard Ben Bredeson.
Andrew Thomas is dealing with a foot injury, one which may be related to the injury that he had surgery for last season. His status is questionable, and it’s debatable if he can play full speed even if he does make it onto the field.
In other words, this Giants vs Cowboys game isn’t quite an even matchup. The Giants are underdogs both due to their record and their missing players, and it seems wise to avoid adding more narratives and pressure to this game on top of what is already there.