The NFC East-last place Giants are bracing themselves for the impact of hosting the first place Cowboys on Sunday. And it's their last shot to put a positive spin on an otherwise enigmatic season.
In varying degrees over the past few weeks, Pat Shurmur has doubled down on his confidence in Eli Manning. Before Week 15 the New York head coach said Manning has years left in him as the Giants' starting QB and Shurmur recited the same anthem on Wednesday.
"Eli's our starter. Eli gives us our best chance to win," Shurmur said. "He's going to play on Sunday. That's where we're at."
Manning has completed 356 of 535 passes (66.5 percent) to go along with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 games this season. When reporters asked Manning if he thinks he'll be the Giants' QB next year, the 37-year-old responded with a diplomatic "I don't know," chalking it up to normal inquiries during a player's 15th year in a professional sport.
If the Giants (5-10) had plans to replace Manning next season, the opportunities to do so dwindled when Oregon junior QB Justin Herbert announced Wednesday that he is returning for his senior season with the Ducks. That leaves New York to potentially pick top QB prospects Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), Drew Lock (Missouri), Daniel Jones (Duke) and Ryan Finley (N.C. State).
Manning said Wednesday he's not thinking about the possibility of being replaced next season. His sole focus, with blinders on, is finishing strong against Dallas.
"Go out there, execute, and just feel good about this last game," Manning said of what he hopes to accomplish on Sunday. "[I'm] just worried about doing my job and finishing this season."
It's still unclear if the Giants' offensive line will get help from Odell Beckham Jr. on Sunday. Shurmur said the wide receiver sat out in practice on Wednesday, no different from the weeks since his quad injury. But if he's healthy, Shurmur said "there's a chance" Beckham will play in the final game of the year.