BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
(Photo credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
The Giants roughed up Dallas Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush by shadowing him all night long. He struggled to connect with his receivers, and he didn’t have much time to hand the ball to his running backs.
No matter. Rush took a beating and kept on ticking. He engineered three straight scoring drives in the second half. It was good enough for the Cowboys to score 17 unanswered points, and they would go on to celebrate a 23-16 victory over the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.
All the Giants can do is admire what Rush did by being cool and composed under pressure. They could only wish Daniel Jones did the same under center for them.
Jones took as much of a beating as Rush did. The Cowboys sacked him five times, and they pressured him 23 times. In the end, he wore down and got KOed. This is what happens when he holds on to the ball too long while running for his life at every possession.
After Saquon Barkley ran for a 36-yard touchdown to give the Giants a 13-6 lead in the third quarter, Rush got to work and got into a groove.
He orchestrated a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to have the Cowboys tie the game at 13 on Ezekiel Elliott running the ball to the end zone.
He did it again from the Cowboys’ 11 in engineering an 11-play, 89-yard touchdown drive, including executing a fourth down play (fourth-and-4), giving the Cowboys a 20-13 lead after CeeDee Lamb made a one-hand grab over Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson in the end zone.
After the Giants punted, he had the Cowboys in field goal position that had Brett Maher kicked the field goal, extending the Cowboys’ lead to 23-13.
Meanwhile, Jones never answered to any of Rush’s plays. He continued to get hit like a rag doll. It was obvious he had no trust in his wide receivers for him to hold on to the ball. He looked worn down for most of the second half.
It’s hilarious for Giants fans to say Jones played with moxie and heart. It’s hard to say that when he never made plays when it mattered. Sure he tried to make something out of nothing in the first half, but once again, Graham Gano had to kick a couple of field goals since the Giants quarterback had a hard time executing in the red zone. This is the story of the Giants quarterback’s career. He tantalized the Giants with some good drives just to come up short.
Is it any wonder why the fourth-year Giants quarterback is 14-26? Is it any wonder why the Giants declined to pick up his fifth-year option? There has to be a reason he is 0-9 in primetime games.
He isn’t any good, and he never will be. This is who he is. He does not do enough to win games.
We can talk about the Giants failing him by not providing enough playmakers, but they have decent playmakers right now for him to do better than he has shown this year.
Unlike Jones, Rush played like a maestro on offense by knowing what to do. He improvised when he had to. He knew how to stop the clock. It was like watching a professional quarterback out there. There’s a reason he is 3-0 as the Cowboys quarterback. In his three wins, he orchestrated three game-winning drives. This is a mark of a good quarterback.
It certainly gives Cowboys owner Jerry Jones something to think about when it comes to who to start at quarterback. Dak Prescott could be back soon, but with the way Rush played the last two games, is there any rush to bring the Cowboys starting quarterback back? Jones even said he would welcome a quarterback controversy with the idea that Rush and Prescott could push each other to be better.
Rush has a shot to be the starter the rest of the way. He certainly showed he has the chops to get the job done under center. When a quarterback is taking so many hits yet survives under pressure and makes plays, there’s something to be said for that. If only Jones could do the same.
The Cowboys won this game because their quarterback was better than the Giants quarterback when it mattered the most.
All the Giants can do is envy what the Cowboys have in Rush. They can support Jones publicly all they want, but they are not fooling anyone. The new administration knows the Giants need a new quarterback if they are going to get out of this wilderness. They know deep down their current quarterback isn’t the answer.
While Rush made a case to continue to be the Cowboys starting quarterback, Jones made a case that he needs to be benched for Tyrod Taylor.
This writer can be reached on Twitter at: @LeslieMonteiro6