The Giants, who finished 5-11 this season after Sunday’s season-ending 36-35 loss to the Cowboys, will own the No. 6-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
After picking Saquon Barkley at No. 2 overall this year — following the Browns at No. 1 — in 2019 they will follow the Cardinals, 49ers, Jets, Raiders and Buccaneers.
The Giants’ 2019 opponents also are set.
In addition to home and away series with their NFC East rivals — the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins — the Giants will play home games against the Bills, Dolphins, Vikings, Packers and Cardinals.
The Giants will play road games against the Jets, Patriots, Lions, Bears and Buccaneers.
Pat Shurmur closed out his first season as head coach and said he told his players in the locker room he sees good things ahead.
Shurmur took over a team that went 3-13 in 2017. After revamping the roster, the Giants showed slight improvement in the standings, finishing 5-11.
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“What we’re going through, trying to grow away from 3-13, this is really not about football,’’ Shurmur said. “This is about leadership, people in control, people in the locker room. This is about team-building. It just so happens we play football. When we tip those first couple of things over, we’ll start to see the results we’re looking for.’’
Following a 1-7 first half of the season, the Giants went 4-4 in the second half, losing their final three games, the last two by a total of two points.
“A lot of people get tired of hearing about the process of things,’’ Shurmur said, “but we’ve got to flip the table on what wasn’t good around here and make it happen. I think at least we’re on the right path.’’
On the second play of the game, rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta was on the field, lined up as a receiver, on a handoff to Saquon Barkley that sprang for 26 yards.
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“They kinda told me the plan before the game and just kind of put me in there,’’ Lauletta said. “Start the game off and put a guy out there, might get them thinking, and based on some of the stuff they had done on tape, we thought it might put ’em in base personnel if they had a blitz on, if they saw another quarterback out there, they might check out of it. That was the reasoning behind it.’’
Lauletta nearly attempted a block as Barkley reached the second level of the Cowboys defense.
“Coach just told me, ‘Hey, protect yourself, they might try to take a shot at you,’’’ Lauletta said. “But I didn’t care, I was gonna try to stick my nose in there if I could. Try to get a piece of him. Had I blocked a little bit better, he probably would have scored.’’
For the first time this season, the Giants had three quarterbacks active, as Lauletta and
Alex Tanney were both in uniform.
With his 24-yard completion on his first pass of the day, Eli Manning surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the seventh time in his 15 seasons.
Rookie B.J. Hill led the team in sacks most of the season and was trying to become the first defensive tackle to do so for the Giants since Keith Hamilton in 2000. Hill was credited with half a sack to finish with 5.5 but was overtaken in the final game by Olivier Vernon, who took advantage of LT Tyron Smith sitting out to come came away with 2.5 sacks to finish the season with seven.
K Aldrick Rosas celebrated his 24th birthday by nailing field goals of 48 and 38 yards to finish his second NFL season hitting 32 of his 33 field-goal attempts to earn his first Pro Bowl selection.