Giants can’t afford for Daniel Jones to fumble this moment

It is pass-fail now for Daniel Jones. When a franchise moves heaven and earth for the express purpose of giving its franchise quarterback everything he needs to succeed, then it is on that...

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It is pass-fail now for Daniel Jones.

When a franchise moves heaven and earth for the express purpose of giving its franchise quarterback everything he needs to succeed, then it is on that franchise quarterback to stand up and deliver.

Jones, blessed as he is with the Eli Manning temperament, offered no excuses during his sophomore slump: not for the Week 2 loss of Saquon Barkley, or the overall absence of quality protestors and playmakers, or the new offense coordinated by Jason Garrett that was not as friendly as advertised, or the hamstring injury that kept him from being a dual threat.

He won’t be offering any excuses now, and there are none.

Because as training camp arrives for the 2021 New York Football Giants, the future is now for Daniel Jones.

Jones was drafted with the sixth-overall pick to one day lift the Giants out of the muck, whether the head coach was Pat Shurmur or Joe Judge, and one day has arrived.

John Mara’s “Just win already, Baby,” proclamation falls more at Jones’ feet, and on his right arm, than on anyone else.

Sam Darnold could not overcome his coaching or the men in his huddle in his third season with the Jets, and general manager Joe Douglas unloaded him to Carolina.

The Giants have done everything in their power to make sure the specter of Darnold’s third season need not serve as a cautionary tale for Jones as he enters his third season.

His mandate: Stamp himself without a shred of doubt as Judge’s quarterback or run the risk of losing his dream job as desperately as the franchise wants to sign him to a second contract.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Force the Giants to make a long-term commitment, from Danny Dimes to Danny Dollars.

Former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi gifted Manning, who had started seven games as a rookie, the big target he craved in Plaxico Burress in 2005. From 2005-07, before he accidentally shot himself in the leg, Burress was targeted 423 times and caught 209 passes for 3,227 yards with 29 touchdowns. And one Super Bowl-winning catch.

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has gifted Jones with Kenny Golladay, a 6-foot-4 target who was 135-2,253-16 with the Lions in 2019-20. He signed veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph. He drafted receiver Kadarius Toney in the first round.

If Gettleman miscalculated on his young offensive linemen (83 sacks across the QB’s 26 starts), if Barkley isn’t close to being Barkley, it will nevertheless be on Jones to mature into enough of a battlefield commander to weather the storm and keep hope alive in his huddle and find a way to win in the fourth quarter.

The franchise quarterback can be the great deodorant. Jones was not the great deodorant in 2020 (11 TDs, 10 INTs).

Jones will have the benefit of a defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, who more often than not will keep the game close.

Now it is time for Daniel Jones — no longer Diaper Danny — to go win the damn game.

This is a huge year for Daniel Jones.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

His owners, his front office and his teammates, to a man all believe wholeheartedly in him. They believe he will be the shining light who leads them out of the darkness that has kept them from the postseason for four consecutive seasons.

Following in the steps of a franchise icon has not been too big for Jones. He is bigger and stronger and more athletic than Manning, throws a deadly deep ball when asked, and is better suited for today’s game because his legs can escape trouble and be a weapon.

None of it guarantees he will deliver a fifth Lombardi Trophy for the display case in the lobby at 1925 Giants Drive.

Gettleman passed on Darnold and Josh Allen and Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson in 2018 because he was smitten with Barkley. Then he fell in love with Daniel Jones and handpicked him a year later to be the new Mann.

Manning will have his No. 10 retired at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 26 — the perfect day for his successor to try to convince everyone that the New York Football Giants are in good hands.

“It’s on all of us,” Jones said in May. “It’s on all 11 guys to do their job every play. That’s how we’re going to make big plays, is everyone doing their job. It’s not on any one person more than the other.”

It is never 1-on-11, of course.

But he knows full well (as does everyone else) that it is on the franchise quarterback more than the others, and he is the 1.

It is by no means overdramatic to state that he is the one who holds his fate, as well as that of the man who bet on him, in his 24-year-old hands.

They called him Danny Dimes when he was a precocious rookie (24 TDs, 12 INTs).

He has worked tirelessly on cutting down his disturbing fumbling problem (18 as a rookie, 11 lost; 11 last season, six lost).

Now it is time to get his team in the end zone and win.

The Giants can win the NFC Least. They somehow would have a year ago if then-Eagles coach Doug Pederson hadn’t handed the division to Washington.

They can’t afford for Jones to fumble this moment. And neither can he.

He wanted this stage, this market, this team. He wants to be a Giant for life.

It’s time for him to be Danny Dollars.

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Steve Serby

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