It is no secret the Giants need help along the offensive line. Last Sunday’s performance against the 49ers marked just how far the Giants have fallen from the days of a strong, balanced offensive line that was one of the hallmarks of the team’s Super Bowl runs. The Giants found that San Francisco controlled the line in the run game with ease and Eli Manning’s five interceptions can largely be attributed to the intense amount of pressure the 49ers pass rush was able to put him under. Luckily help is on the way, as Geoff Schwartz, who signed a four-year deal in March, looks ready to finally make his first start.
Schwartz, who turned heads as a guard with Kansas City last year but also has experience as a tackle, said he has been preparing in several spots.
“I rotated in a little bit just trying to get used to playing with the guys again,” Schwartz said of his practice role this week. “… It felt good being back out there and doing our offense and re-entering that group.”
The Giants would love to have Schwartz bolster their interior presence in the run game, but the immediate status of Justin Pugh who has been dealing with a strained quad could mean Schwartz could kick out to right tackle on Sunday night. Schwartz said he is prepared for anything, including hitting the ground running after missing the regular season to this point.
“I’ll be fine. I have done this before,” Schwartz said of starting with minimal game experience. “I have played sometimes sparingly and then had to play right away, like I did last year. You find ways to do it, and I’ll be fine.”
Schwartz, who grew up a 49ers fan, said liking the Cowboys was “never something I did.” Nonetheless he showed the Dallas defense a ton of respect in his analysis of their performance so far, including their intensity.
“They are a defense that plays extremely hard. They bought into their system, and they are getting the most out of their guys,” Schwartz said. “Their defensive line, especially, they move a lot. They have linebackers that can run and make plays in the passing game. Just like we saw the first time around, we are going to get a lot of movement from them. They are going to bring it, and we are going to have to be ready for it.”
The Cowboys were able to pull off a rare sweep of the Giants last season. To prevent the Cowboys from repeating, the Giants will need all the help up front they can get.