Eli Manning to Start for Giants vs. Cowboys After Ben McAdoo's Firing

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants and head coach Ben McAdoo wait for the review on a touchdown scored in the second quarter by the New York Giants  on September 24, 2017  at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The touchdown was called back and the New York Giants did not score on the possession against the Philadelphia Eagles.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Eli Manning will be reinstated as the New York Giants starting quarterback after head coach Ben McAdoo was fired Monday, interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo announced Wednesday.

Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com initially reported the news Monday (via Adam Schefter of ESPN).

"I told Spags that I want to play and be the starting quarterback," Manning told reporters Wednesday. "... I wanted him to know that. ... I'm happy that he went with that decision and that he has faith in me."

Manning added: "This is all I know, playing for the New York Giants. I never want to change that."

McAdoo benched Manning, 36, this past week in favor of Geno Smith, which ended his streak of 210 consecutive regular-season games started.

That decision, which was widely panned around the NFL—especially by Manning's former teammates—almost assuredly contributed to McAdoo's demise. According to Conor Orr of The MMQB, "His inability to tap-dance around the Eli Manning benching—a decision that was agreed upon at the highest levels of the organization—ended up being a tipping point of sorts, according to a person with knowledge of the team's turmoil."

That wasn't the only factor to lead to McAdoo's firing, as Orr noted. He waited too long to give up play-calling duties, ran a fairly predictable offense, was inconsistent in how he doled out player discipline and waited too long to begin addressing players individually when they had concerns.

"Some believe McAdoo was relationally challenged," Chris Mortensen reported on ESPN (via Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report).

It's likely no coincidence the Giants axed McAdoo—along with general manager Jerry Reese, per Raanan—following a tumultuous week headlined by Manning's benching. The veteran quarterback has been the face of the franchise for over a decade. He won two Super Bowls and led the team to six postseason appearances.

Manning hasn't been great this year, throwing for 2,411 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 62.5 percent of his passes. And if the Giants wanted to see whether Smith could be a long-term solution at quarterback, they had the right to give him playing time down the stretch of a lost season.

But the Manning situation was handled poorly, which put the Giants in the crosshairs of the public's backlash. Though Manning will resume his starting duties, the damage has already been done.

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