Pat Shurmur isn’t giving up hopeless challenge flag battle

Pat Shurmur continues to defy the odds and challenge pass interference calls, even though he is batting .000.

He threw the red flag with 11:58 remaining in Monday night’s 37-18 loss to the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium, arguing that Chidobe Awuzie hit Evan Engram too soon and thus should have been called for pass interference. Shurmur lost the challenge and is now 0-for-6 when trying to get pass interference calls reversed.

“I’m a hopeful guy when it comes to that,” Shurmur said. “At a time in the game when that could have given us a fresh set of downs, I thought it was worthy of the challenge. I guess there are just different views of what rises to the level of egregiousness, I guess.”

Engram in real time thought he was interfered with and was sure of it after seeing the replay.

“He definitely got there before the ball,” Engram said. “It was the right move by coach challenging it.”

Throughout the league, pass interference challenges have been successful only five times in 51 challenges.

There was a change in the deployment of the defensive personnel in the nickel package for the Giants. Rookie Corey Ballentine, who has not been used much at all on defense, was promoted and moved into the nickel back role, replacing Grant Haley, who had struggled the previous two games. In the second quarter, Ballentine ran step-for-step with Randall Cobb to force Dak Prescott into an incomplete pass. Early in the third quarter, Ballentine was sent in on a blitz and put a hit on Prescott, forcing him to unload the ball early on third down to force a Cowboys punt.

DT Leonard Williams made his Giants debut. He did not start and rotated in on the defensive line. He finished with three tackles and one quarterback hit and one penalty for roughing the passer that was canceled out by an offsetting penalty on the Cowboys.

Prescott came in with a streak of 183 consecutive passes against the Giants without throwing an interception, but his first pass was picked off by safety Antoine Bethea, putting the Giants on the Dallas 8-yard line. The Giants could not punch it into the end zone, though, the start of a trend.

Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin qualifies as a Giants killer. He scored on a 42-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter. Jarwin has six touchdowns in his career and five have come against the Giants. … Former Giants safety Darian Thompson has a role with the Cowboys. He played extensively on defense and in the third quarter recovered a fumble by Daniel Jones. … The Cowboys played without starting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who was injured and inactive.

CB Sam Beal was not activated for this game, meaning the Giants have until Wednesday to activate him or else Beal does not play at all this season — after spending is entire rookie year on injured reserve. The expectation is Beal is activated this week.

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