While the initial reactions among NFL draft enthusiasts over the Giants' decision to pick quarterback Daniel Jones sixth overall was mixed with disappointment and, in some cases rage, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, whose team will face Jones on Monday night, wasn’t surprised that the Giants thought so highly of the former Duke signal-caller.
“Yeah, just a really impressive college player. It’s not surprising to us that he was drafted as high as he was,” Garrett said of Jones during a conference call with the media Thursday.
“He’s big, he’s athletic, he can throw the ball, he can make plays in the pocket, (and) he can make plays out in space with his feet. He keeps his eyes up, makes a lot of plays when he’s on the move throwing the ball down the field, plays with a competitive spirit.”
In six starts, the rookie quarterback has thrown for 1,466 yards and ten touchdowns, recording a passer rating of 124.2 for the season in completing 62.5% of his pass attempts (135 out of 216). He's also rushed for 134 yards on 23 carries and two scores.
Jones is coming off his best game as a pro last week, a game against the Detroit Lions in which went 28-of-41 for 322 yards and four touchdowns after starting 1-of-4.
“He’s someone who seems calm and poised and is handling it all well and is getting better and better every week. We are very impressed by him,” Garret said.
Garrett’s Cowboys will get another, more extended look at Jones Monday night when they visit the Giants at MetLife Stadium.
Back in their Week 1 meeting, Jones received five snaps in relief of Eli Manning in a 35-17 loss. He completed three of four passes for 17 yards but lost a fumble.
Still, for Jones, that snippet of experience is just one of the many building blocks he’s using as he prepares for his seventh NFL start and first on Monday Night Football.
“I think just being able to watch that game, the second time we’ll run our offense against what they do, it’s helpful to be able to see that and learn from it,” Jones said.
“Just seeing our stuff, our offense against them and kind of how we match up and what certain looks look like against them. I think all that stuff helps in being able to prepare the second time against a team.”
For Jones and the Giants, the experience he’s gained since that first meeting against the Cowboys will hopefully yield better results for a Giants team that’s looking to snap a four-game losing streak.