2007_09_sgiantscowboys.jpgThis was the Eli Manning we have been waiting for. With Brandon Jacobs hurt and the Giants down 17-6, Eli took his team onto his shoulders and proved that he can play quarterback at an elite level. The only problem is that he couldn’t play defense.

The fact that the Giants lost is not shocking, it’s tough to win in Dallas. The fact that they lost by giving up 45 points is astounding. Yes, Osi Umenyiora got hurt in the first half and yes, Michael Strahan wasn’t in game shape, but that doesn’t excuse the secondary. Tony Romo averaged 23 yards per completion and that was without Terry Glenn to throw to. The Cowboys added 142 rushing yards as they sliced through the New York defense at will.

While the defensive woes are going to be a major problem, it looks like the injury bug that plagued the Giants last season is back again. Osi Umenyiora and Brandon Jacobs both have knee injuries. Kevin Dockery hurt his ankle and worst of all, Eli Manning has a bruised shoulder. Losing Umenyiora or Jacobs for a stretch would be very bad, losing Eli would be devastating. The “hefty lefty” is a great nickname, but Jared Lorenzen doesn’t appear to be much of a backup quarterback. The Giants will have to hope that Manning is a quick healer.

Photo of Eli Manning in the 4th quarter by AP/L.M. Otero