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First-year New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll wanted to know if quarterback Daniel Jones, whose fifth-year contract option was declined in the offseason, had the mental fortitude to lead Big Blue in 2022 and beyond.
Now that the Giants punched their ticket to the postseason with a commanding 38-10 win over the Colts on Sunday, largely due to DJ’s four total touchdowns, Daboll knows he’s got his guy for the near-to-long term.
It’s been a season-long test for Jones to prove himself in a do-or-die season. But it turns out Daboll’s been testing Jones since before the year started.
According to a report by Go Long‘s Tyler Dunne, Daboll scripted plays in the offseason to intentionally let Jones struggle to see how the fourth-year player out of Duke handled adversity.
From scripting plays in tough third-and-long situations, alerting the defensive coordinator of their schematics to keep the defense ahead of Jones and scripting better plays for backup Tyrod Taylor to outshine Danny Dimes, Daboll put DJ through the gauntlet.
And by all accounts, the cool, calm and collected Jones passed the test.
Daniel Jones Passes ‘Giant’ Test
Here’s what Dunne said about the offseason shenanigans by Daboll, who’s primed for a deep Coach of the Year bid after leading the floundering franchise to a 9-6-1 record and trip to the playoffs.
“As one source close to the coach explained, Daboll purposely structured practice for Jones to fail and Taylor to succeed,” Dunne reported.
“[Daboll] wanted Daniel Jones to deal with the adversity,” this source explained. “He wanted to see how he dealt with it on a daily basis. And he passed it with flying colors. So, I know he loves Daniel Jones. …
“Practices are always scripted. Daboll would tell defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale which plays he’d be running when Jones was in the game, this source explains and had Martindale call defensive plays that’d intentionally work.
“And when Taylor entered? Exact opposite. Plays were scripted on both sides to set him up for success.”
Sporting career highs in wins, pass completions / percentage, passing yards and every stat on the ground, Jones has set himself up for a promising contract extension in what many saw as his final year to prove his worth as the sixth-overall draft selection for the Giants.
After Sunday’s win, reports surfaced that Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen are adamant about bringing DJ back on a long-term contract to remain as the Giants’ starter.
With much still left to prove, Jones looks to continue keeping his cool to lead a hot playoff run for the Giants.