Joe Judge and Dave Gettleman may tell you Daniel Jones is their guy — the problem is, that’s what they’re supposed to say. The fact of the matter is, the former Duke Blue Devil has yet to cement himself as the long-term answer under center for the New York Giants.
The good news is, the highly turnover-prone signal-caller cut down on mishaps down the stretch last season. Over the final six weeks of 2020, Jones turned the football over just three times (one interception and two fumbles lost), leading his G-Men to a 4-2 record over that span. However, to most, that small sample size means little for a player who has amassed a league-high 39 turnovers since entering the NFL in 2019.
It seems like a substantial chunk of the football world has already written off Jones — although I’d argue that many of those people are more focused on chalking up their pre-draft assumptions of the quarterback as a win rather than giving the 24-year-old a fair shake. Some recent not-so-positive takes on Jones include ESPN’s Bill Barnwell labeling him the favorite to break an NFL fumble record that has stood for 19 years, while CBS’ Jason La Canfora just flat-out deemed him a “coach killer.”
Thankfully, one of the media’s most prominent faces is coming to Jones’ defense, and while Michael Strahan may be a bit biased, he’s putting his name behind the former first-rounder as the Giants’ quarterback.
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Strahan on Jones: ‘He Is the Guy’
In a recent interview, USA Today’s Chris Bubaca posed Strahan the question of whether Jones is “the guy” for his New York Football Giants. Here’s what the NFL Hall of Famer turned beloved on-screen personality had to say:
You know what? I love Daniel. As a person, absolutely. I think he has the perfect temperament, perfect everything for the position as a Giant. Physically? I’ll be honest with you, what an incredible athlete … I think he could be that guy. He is the guy. Now I think you’re giving him what he needs, and I think Jason Garrett is going to do the right job setting himself up in this system so he could be successful and lead the drive to a Super Bowl, which I’m hoping is very soon.
Is Jones Underrated?
Admittedly, that question may sound a bit asinine for a player coming off an 11 touchdown, 10 interception season, However, Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson believes the constant hounding of Jones has flipped the rhetoric for the young quarterback — so much so, that he believes Jones is “suddenly underrated.”
Jones played in 14 games and dropped back to pass over 500 times yet finished the season with just 11 passing touchdowns. Even if we credit him with his rushing score as well, he finished with the same number of total scores as Dak Prescott, who played in four and a half games before his season ended due to injury.
There’s no way to make that number look good, but it doesn’t necessarily paint an accurate picture of Jones’ play in his second season. Jones saw his overall PFF grade jump to 78.4 and added almost 500 yards on the ground, including an 80-yard run that is notable for two remarkable things: one, it ended with Jones falling face-first into the turf having tripped himself up rather than scoring; and two, he recorded a faster top speed than any single run by Lamar Jackson all year according to NextGen stats.
For Jones to put up those grades despite fumbling as often as he did (16 times between runs and pass plays) suggests he was playing some very good football — the team simply didn’t wind up in the end zone.
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