Duke

Former Duke QB Daniel Jones gets nod from Giants, will replace Eli Manning as starter

The Daniel Jones era for the New York Giants has arrived.

Jones, the former Duke and Charlotte Latin quarterback the Giants selected No. 6 overall in last April’s NFL draft, was named the team’s starting quarterback on Tuesday morning.

Jones replaces Eli Manning, the 38-year-old veteran who has led the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl championships since becoming the team’s starter as a rookie in 2004. Duke coach David Cutcliffe was the head coach at Ole Miss when Manning played football there. He also coached Jones through four seasons at Duke.

The 22-year-old Jones’ first career start will be Sunday at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Eli and I spoke this morning,” Giants coach Pat Shurmur said in a statement released by the team. “I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter. I also talked to Daniel. Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games. Daniel understands the challenge at hand, and he will be ready to play on Sunday.”

The Giants (0-2) have started the season losing 35-17 to the Dallas Cowboys and 28-14 to the Buffalo Bills. Manning has completed 56 of 89 passes for 562 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both interceptions came in Sunday’s home loss to the Bills.

On Monday, Shurmer was noncommittal about his starting quarterback going forward. But the Giants made the news of the change to Jones public on Tuesday.

Jones redshirted one season, then started the last three seasons at Duke, leading the Blue Devils to bowl victories in each of the last two years. He declared for the NFL Draft on Dec. 31, foregoing his final season of college eligibility.

He impressed in the Giants’ preseason games, completing 85.3 percent (29 of 34) of his passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Though the Giants have averaged 420 yards of offense in their first two regular-season games, they’ve scored only four touchdowns.

“Ultimately, this is a move that I felt was best for this team at this time,” Shurmur said. “I have said it since I got here, I am very fond of Eli. His work ethic, his preparation, his football intelligence. All those attributes are as good as I have ever seen in a player. And Eli worked as hard as you could ask of anybody to get ready for this season. This move is more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli.”

This is a developing story and will be updated

An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.
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