Shortly after comparing the Giants’ defense to a pitcher without command of his stuff, coordinator Wink Martindale balked at the idea that the struggles have created visible friction in his relationship with head coach Brian Daboll.
Martindale claimed Thursday that the much-scrutinized conversations between him and Daboll going into and coming out of halftime of Sunday’s 49-17 loss the Cowboys — as highlighted by sideline reporter Tom Rinaldi during the Fox broadcast — were much ado about nothing.
It was consistent with Daboll downplaying the incident after the game.
“He and I talk all the time,” Martindale said. “But, in those two situations, I talked to him about what happened [in the game].”
Martindale and Daboll are a study in contrasts.
The defensive coordinator — whose unit needs a get-well game Sunday against the Commanders — is composed on the sidelines and an open book when discussing controversies like the criticism over a lack of adjustments that he received from safety Xavier McKinney two games ago.
The offensive-minded head coach is an in-game fireball who stays tight-lipped on all team business.
“One thing about our defense is we don’t give up a whole lot of big passing plays … and we gave up some big plays in the passing game, which you all saw. So I told him what happened on the coverages. That was it right before half,” Martindale said.
“Coming back out, he had just got done talking to the trainers, and we were talking about who wasn’t coming back for the third quarter. That turned into whatever it turned into, but there was nothing to it.”
Martindale literally shivered when he was reminded that the Giants allowed 640 offensive yards — second-most in franchise history — to the Cowboys.
“It doesn’t happen very often, or you wouldn’t have this job very long,” Martindale said. “It was really a tough game, but give Dallas credit. It was one of those games that you make a call and you feel real good about it until the ball is snapped and then you are like, ‘Oh, no!’ ”
Martindale “tried to” break from his system’s traditional man-to-man coverage to use more zone in the second half, but the Cowboys still rang up nine pass plays of 25 yards or more.
Adoree’ Jackson did not play and fellow starting cornerback Deonte Banks missed the second half.
“Quite honestly, it’s like we didn’t have our fastball, our curveball or our changeup,” Martindale said. “They just hit out of the park whatever we threw at them. It was just one of those games.”
The Giants had their best defensive performance of the season (six sacks, one takeaway and 14 of 15 on third-down stops) in a 14-7 win against the Commanders on Oct. 22.
“We’ve hit the reset button,” Martindale said, “and we are getting ready to go play a better Washington team than we played 25 days ago.”