Pat Shurmur Explains Why Daniel Jones Played in Giants Loss vs. Cowboys

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst ISeptember 9, 2019

New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur congratulates New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) after a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter of a preseaon NFL football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

After all of the preseason debate over who would start the season at quarterback for the New York Giants, both Eli Manning and Daniel Jones got playing time in the season-opener Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys routed the Giants 35-17, which allowed Jones to see his first regular-season action in the NFL. However, according to head coach Pat Shurmur, there's no reason to look into Jones' 17 yards on 3-of-4 passing.

"Today was an obvious situation in my mind to put him in the game and that's it," Shurmur told reporters. "I'm not going to play your hypothetical game."

Jones replaced Manning for the Giants' final drive of the game with just under two minutes remaining in regulation. The Duke product played five snaps, ending with a lost fumble forced by Leighton Vander Esch and recovered by Chidobe Awuzie.

Manning's outing concluded with 306 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions on 30-of-44 passing.

It is a prototypical garbage-time appearance, but more will be made of it because of Manning being 38 years old and Jones being taken with the sixth overall pick in this year's draft.

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Shurmur can choose to ignore it, but the quarterback controversy in New York—just like the season—is just getting started.

While Jones and Manning will receive plenty of attention over the course of the 2019 campaign, it would be unfair to focus squarely on them in the aftermath of Dallas' win:

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a field day against the Giants defense with 405 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions on 25-of-32 passing with both Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper recording at least 100 yards receiving.

If New York's defense can't figure out how to contain opponents, then more blowouts are likely given the scoring potential for the Giants almost solely rests on running back Saquon Barkley's shoulders, which means more reps for Jones could become a trend.

The Giants will host the Buffalo Bills next Sunday.