Moeller: Besides Manning, There Is Little Left to Watch

Over the past few days, the biggest news from the Giants has been the retirement of Rashad Jennings, who had spent his last three seasons with the team before he was cut this fall.

It’s not a typical news cycle before a Giants-Cowboys matchup.

But this one at Met Life Sunday afternoon doesn’t have a number of headliners. In fact, the game was changed to a 1 p.m. kickoff from its initial 4:25 beginning as an America’s Game of the Week.

When you have a 2-10 team hosting a 6-6 one that is hanging on by a thread to playoff hopes, it doesn’t become that appealing.

Giants’ nation will be focused on the return of Eli Manning to the lineup and may keep an eye on the performance of interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo.

Manning, though, is the spotlight. The Giants likely will turn this into his final four-game farewell tour.

They have promised to show us some of Davis Webb, likely in a relief role unless Manning looks more like Geno Smith against the Eagles, Cardinals, and Redskins in the coming weeks.

Aside from Manning, there really much else to watch. Ben McAdoo is gone as the team’s whipping boy.

There could be the resurgence of rookie tight end Evan Engram, whose performance has been stymied by his drops and inconsistent play. Engram is a key to the upcoming restructuring.

Don’t expect much from the offensive line and running game. Wayne Gallman could be another future piece of the puzzle if the front line can find him some spaces.

On the other sideline, the Cowboys are also playing out the string. Dallas revived itself last week with a 38-14 victory over the Redskins to even their mark at 6-6. But their playoff hopes with a crowded field and the surging Atlanta Falcons are as likely as winning a large lottery at this stage.

Linebacker Sean Lee will be back in a defensive unit that will start three rookies in the secondary. The latter should be a smile to Manning’s face.

Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for the first time in practice Thursday due to a bruised hand against Washington, and he claims to be fine.

Giants’ fans can rest easier now that Manning is back. It will be interesting to see how he responds to a week off. And to see if Spagnuolo can restart the team’s battery over the final month.

In all likelihood, though, the next few Sunday afternoons might be spent more wisely doing holiday shopping as well as a Manning jersey for nostalgia.


About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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