The 2017 Dallas Cowboys have been a very dramatic football team, on and off the field. Among suspensions, injuries and devastating losses, things have been way more tense than expected. But the Cowboys are not the only ones with their fair share of drama in the NFC East.
This Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys will head to New York to face a Giants team that’s coming from a week of housecleaning. After a 2-10 start, not only was HC Ben McAdoo fired from the organization, but the Giants decided to part ways with their general manager, Jerry Reese.
Throughout all of this drama, Eli Manning’s 210 consecutive starts streak was snapped thanks to McAdoo’s decision to bench the veteran QB. Naturally, players, fans and the media didn’t take this too well, and understandably so.
Even as a die-hard Cowboys fan, it’s inevitable to feel bad for Manning. The Giants benched him for Geno Smith. Maybe, if they had benched Eli to give Davis Webb a bit of playing time, the reaction wouldn’t have been as bad.
But Geno? Well, that kind of move gets you fired, and it did. It’s been a dramatic situation, no doubt. A situation that brought a question to my mind.
Is this the last time the Manning-led Giants face the Dallas Cowboys?
It may sound extreme, but both the Giants and Eli could be interested in parting ways. Even with McAdoo out of the picture, the team will likely be looking at the QB position in the first round of the Draft, and Manning might just be looking for a chance with a team like the Jaguars or even the Broncos.
It’d be a very interesting scenario and it would only add more uncertainty to the QB market this offseason, but perhaps it’s possible.
Although this is a Dallas Cowboys blog, I thought of writing about this. You see, the thing about players like Manning is that they’re always there. As a very young fan, I don’t remember watching football without him in the picture.
We’ve witnessed amazing duels between these two teams. We’ve seen Romo come back from behind in 2015, defeating the Giants… but we’ve seen Manning do similar things. More than once, Eli Manning ripped our hearts out.
I still remember the childish excitement I felt when the Cowboys played the first ever regular season game at the AT&T Stadium, then called Cowboys Stadium. I was only ten years old. Dallas was up 31-30, and with three and a half minutes to go, the Giants were holed up inside their own 15-yard line.
Manning drove the Giants offense down the field and and put his team in position to kick a game-winning 37-yard field goal as the clock went down to zero. After throwing for 330 yards and two touchdowns, Manning had ruined the Cowboys debut at Jerry World.
Not to mention when he threw for almost 350 yards and three touchdowns to win the division in the final game of the 2011 season. Or the time the Giants defeated the Cowboys in the divisional round of the 2007 playoffs.
As a life-long Cowboys fan, I’ve always “hated” Eli and the Giants. I’m sure most of Cowboys Nation does, too. The two-times Super Bowl MVP is often regarded as an elite QB and some would argue he isn’t. Between Cowboys and Giants fans, the Tony Romo VS Eli Manning debate always existed.
But even if we hate Eli, we can’t deny that in a way, we kind of enjoy the fact that he’s around.
At the end of it all, we’re football fans. And for a long time, Manning has made the Cowboys-Giants rivalry a even more special one. Every time our Cowboys are playing the Giants, I wake up a bit more excited than I usually do. It’s not your usual game day… it’s Cowboys vs Giants game day.
Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, Eli is a big reason why these games are better. I’d dare say that without Manning, the rivalry wouldn’t be as epic as it is today.
Who knows where Eli Manning will be playing in the future, but for know, we do know he’ll be the starting QB versus the Cowboys next Sunday. Hopefully, he loses.