The rumor has been out there since the New York Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese on Monday. That Eli Manning would reclaim his position as the starting quarterback. It appears the rumor is true.
Giants coaches and staffers had final game-planning discussions today and sources say the expected result is finalized: Eli Manning is the starting quarterback. On Sunday vs the Cowboys, he’ll extend his streak to one.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 5, 2017
The Cowboys, and their fans, would have been just fine facing Geno Smith with Ben McAdoo as the head coach. As much guff as Cowboys fans give Manning, he still is a better quarterback than Geno Smith and gives the 2-10 Giants a better chance to win on Sunday.
He also adds an emotional element into it for the franchise, as the home fans will be fired up to see their two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback back in action after most agreed that the Giants handled his benching very poorly. There is likely to be a sizable reaction to his return on Sunday and an increased energy in the stadium.
The players might respond to Manning getting his job back, but they also might respond to the new head coach, even though he is an interim coach and one well-known to the team. Sometimes a new leader, and some fresh air, can give a team a jolt. Just ask the Cowboys when they fired Wade Phillips and made Jason Garrett the interim coach, and they promptly went out and beat the Giants.
So the Cowboys will need to be careful. Yes, the Giants still have a multitude of problems, including a very poor offensive line, but this game will take on a slightly different flavor heading in. The Cowboys need to make sure to not let some kind of initial “Manning wave of emotion” tun into confidence and execution for the home team and a rough day of it for the good guys.