Like a frustrated casino gambler, the Giants are not getting much return on investments in the slots.
Darnay Holmes, a 2020 fourth-round draft pick, lost his job as the primary slot cornerback when his snaps were cut from 53 against Washington to four over the past two games combined. Aaron Robinson, a 2021 third-round pick, remains stuck on the physically unable to perform list awaiting his NFL debut.
So, the Giants are turning to outside cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who has taken 35 of his 91 snaps over the past two games in the slot or in the box, according to Pro Football Focus. Safety Julian Love’s snaps in the slot, especially in run-possible scenarios, also are on the rise.
“Adoree’ hasn’t really done it in his past a lot, so it’s a lot of new learning for him,” defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said. “I think he’s done an admirable job. The biggest thing for me is he’s been a team player about it. Before in my career, when you move a guy inside who has played his whole career outside, [he says], ‘Coach, why do I have to move in there? I’m uncomfortable and not liking it.’ ”
When Jackson moves, rookie Rodarius Williams fills his spot on the perimeter. When the dust settles, the Giants are showing more faith in Williams than Holmes.
“It’s a big spot for Rodarius,” Henderson said. “He’s continuing to grow and I’m excited for where he’s headed. Darnay is kind of the odd-man-out right now, but we’re one play away from Darnay being back in there.”
The Giants will face one of the NFL’s dangerous receiver duos Sunday in Amari Cooper and Ceedee Lamb. Michael Gallup is sidelined, but Lamb spends time in the slot.
“They’re similar from the aspect they can go short gain, medium or deep ball,” Jackson said. “They’re both go-to guys for their team.”
S Jabrill Peppers, WR Sterling Shepard and WR Darius Slaton did not practice Thursday because of hamstring injuries and are trending toward not playing Sunday against the Cowboys.
DB Nate Ebner (quad), LG Ben Bredeson (hand), TE Kaden Smith (knee), Andrew Thomas (foot) and Leonard Williams (knee) were limited. Thomas and Williams were listed as non-participants in Wednesday’s walk-through.
“It made sense to shut [Thomas] down in a lower-pace day, and he got all the mental work inside on the install,” coach Joe Judge said. “Same thing for Leo.”
RB Saquon Barkley (knee) and WR Kenny Golladay were full-go.
The Giants out-faked a master for a special teams touchdown in Dallas last season — until a penalty took the points off the board. It isn’t easy to do considering Cowboys special teams coordinator John “Bones” Fassel — son of the late Giants coach Jim Fassel — is one of the trickiest in the business.
“As special teams coaches, we’re so thorough in how far we go back [to watch film], and ‘Bones’ has like 90 years of fakes,” Giants coordinator Thomas McGaughey said. “It’s like 85,000 reps. You’ve got to be sound in what you do and how you do it. He’s done everything under the sun.”
Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was let go by the Cowboys after the 2019 season — his 10th as head coach — and still will not discuss his tenure or dismissal in any meaningful way
“I’m not really focused so much on that,” Garrett said. “It was a great opportunity to come here with the Giants. Excited about this opportunity … and we’re trying to rebuild this team.”