Giants, Brian Daboll, New York Giants
Photo Credit: Jeff Auger

Honeymoon will eventually end for Daboll and Schoen

Giants general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll enjoyed a great first season. Under the first year of their leadership, the Giants made the playoffs and won a playoff game.

This extends their honeymoon for another season where there are no expectations. Big Blue could have a bad year, and they won’t receive the outrage that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone are currently receiving from the tri-state area sports fans.

Giants fans, John Mara and Steve Tisch love what this new administration has done in bringing hope, order and credibility that has been missing since the team last won the Super Bowl in 2012. For the first time we can actually say, the Giants are back.

Schoen and Daboll are not stupid, though. They know they will be under scrutiny sooner rather than later. It could start as early as next season. That’s just the way it goes in this sports market. Fans demand more. This management duo knows they were hired to bring a Super Bowl championship. They also know they can’t have the Giants keep losing to the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys every year.

The Giants' season opener might as well be important for those two. A win against the Cowboys could set a tone for what can be a great season. Management and players think this season can be even better with the improved play of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and continuity with the roster and coaches.

It’s about time the Giants stop being an easy win for America’s Team. They have lost four straight and 11 of 12 to their Opening Night opponent. Yes, they have not been good enough as in being outmatched over the years, but this team is good enough to at least win one game against them.

They open up at home against the Cowboys. This is a great opportunity to get a win here. The fans will be jacked up being that it’s the season opener, and their emotion should give Big Blue the edge in finally ending that losing streak to their hated opponent. Anything can happen in Week 1 where anyone can beat each other. Emotion can help a team get over the help as we saw when the Jets beat the New England Patriots in Rex Ryan’s Jets home coaching debut in 2009.

A win against the Cowboys would highlight this season. It would show this team is showing growth in being a NFC East contender, and it would continue the momentum of this franchise doing great things.

It may not be a must-win in the Giants’ mind, but it might as well be when you look at their history against the Cowboys.

There’s no doubt Mara and Giants fans are fed up with their team losing to a hated team, especially at home when Cowboys fans invade MetLife Stadium. That’s why Opening Night could set a tone for this season right there.

Then, there’s the NFC defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. Including last year’s 38-7 playoff loss to them, the Giants have lost to them four straight times, nine out of the last 11 and 17 out of the last 21. This trend has to change if the Giants want to achieve their objective of winning the NFC East eventually.

The Eagles don’t respect their northeast rival. Why should they when they own them? Sure they treat their games against them like it’s the Super Bowl, but that’s because they hate the Giants and their fans that much. When was the last time they actually complimented them? That’s all you need to know. To say it’s a rivalry is laughable. That’s like saying the Yankees have a rivalry with the Minnesota Twins.

The scores tell you the story. The Giants found ways to lose to them, and at times, they were barely competitive against Philadelphia.

It gets old seeing Eagles fans fill MetLife Stadium and treat it like their own personal playground while their team dominates the New York Football Giants.

This has to bother the Giants organization. Thankfully, Daboll wants to do something about it. He mentioned this offseason that his team’s playoff loss to the Eagles has weighed on his mind.

That’s a great thing because in recent years Big Blue has poo-pooed the Eagles' dominance over them, as in not being bothered about it. They need to match their neighborly turnpike team when it comes to wanting to win.

It’s hard to believe the Giants are equipped to beat them this year, but they have to be competitive in both meetings this year to show this team is really in a better place. Being competitive against them would mean the start of something good, which is a low bar, but an incremental goal this organization must achieve.

For Daboll and Schoen to continue to gain credibility, they eventually need to put their team in a position to beat the Cowboys and Eagles. This means a lot to the Giants fanbase along with winning a championship.

The legacy of Giants head coach and general manager will be known for how many championships they won and how many times they had their team beat the two NFC East teams that have given them fits for a long time. That’s the true barometer of whether they are a success.

This year and last year may be as good as it gets for those two.

The real work starts now.

You can read Leslie's Jersey Sporting News columns on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.