Let me start by stating I am a die-hard, true blue Dallas Cowboy fan. It all started in 1983 when I saw my first Cowboys game. I was nine.
Since then I’ve been hooked. I haven’t missed a Sunday of football in 25 years and haven’t missed a Cowboys game since 1992.
I live in central New Jersey and hate the New York Giants. Always have, always will.
It was hell for me to watch my beloved No. 1 seed Dallas Cowboys lose to the New York Giants in the playoffs at Texas Stadium in 2007.
To add to my grief the hated Giants go on to win the Super Bowl.
2011 wasn’t any better. I still have nightmares of Miles Austin losing that ball in the lights at Dallas Cowboys Stadium dropping the pass that if caught, would have given the Cowboys the division title and sent the Giants packing.
Instead, that win propelled the Giants to the division title and once again the Cowboys missed the playoffs. That game still makes me physically ill when I think about it.
It got worse. The New York Giants went on to win the Super Bowl. Again….
I HATE the New York Giants. But I also respect them. They are a well-run organization. The owners are a class act and good for football. Tom Coughlin is a Hall of Fame coach and Eli Manning is a hell of a quarterback. In my opinion, if Manning retired today, in five years, he should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I have a nine TV setup in my basement which I watch all of the NFL games and many college games. This is a setup I’ve had since 1997. I’ve watched every game Eli played in his career. I find it absolutely amazing that no matter the situation or how much pressure he is under, Manning never panics. The ability to perform under pressure, I believe, is a God-given gift and Manning has it.
Since coming into the league in 2004 Manning has thrown 185 TDs and 129 INTs. Since taking over as a starter in 2005 he has passed for over 21 TDs every year as a starter. Manning has thrown for over 3,200 yards in each of his first four seasons and over 4,000 yards each of the last three.
Manning has more TDs today than Hall of Famers Joe Namath (173 TDs), Troy Aikman (165 TDs) and Roger Staubach (153 TDs). In two more years Manning will pass Hall of Famers Steve Young (232 TDs) and Terry Bradshaw (212 TDs) in total touchdowns. He is one of eleven starting QBs in the history of the NFL with two Super Bowl victories. Out of those 11, seven are in the Hall of Fame and three are still active.
Many people today judge a quarterback by how many games they win and not purely by statistics. In his seven seasons as a starter Manning has never had a losing season. His career regular season record is 69-50. At face value, this win-loss percentage isn’t impressive
but remember in 2007 the Giants finished 10-6, winning three road games culminating with a Super Bowl victory beating the previously undefeated New England Patriots. In 2011 the Giants finished just 9-7 but won three playoff games (2-0 on the road) and again beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
A regular season winning rate of 59 percent for 2007 and 2011 is average but what really counts is that Manning has won the games that matter the most: the playoffs and Super Bowl.
Manning is 8-3 in playoff games and 2-0 in Super Bowls winning the Super Bowl MVP both times. He also has arguably the two biggest pass completions in Super Bowl history.
Eli Manning has the statistics, Super Bowl rings, MVP awards and wins when it counts the most. These are all the key ingredients for a successful NFL quarterback. To date, Manning’s whole body of work is impressive. He is a winner and in my opinion, if he retired today, should be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.