Giants teammates admit they let Daniel Jones down

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is a lightning rod for criticism and that will continue to flow following a 23-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. However, to any truly objective observer, the defeat falls nowhere near his feet.

Jones faced a career-high 24 pressures, was hit 12 times and sacked five. Compounding matters, Giants receivers dropped three passes, were called for an offensive pass interference bringing back a key first down, while the O-line were also called for both a false start and holding penalty.

It was a disastrous game for everyone around Jones, who still managed to complete 20 passes for 196 yards and run for an additional 79 yards.

“I thought he did a good job. I thought made a lot of loose plays. He had about 80 yards rushing. I thought he did a good job keeping his eyes downfield when he couldn’t get out. He made a couple of good plays there at the end that we couldn’t quite convert on. Had some dropped passes,” head coach Brian Daboll said after the game. “He fought and battled. He made some really good plays out there under some duress.

“There’s no question we got to do a better job of protecting him.”

Jones’ teammates refused to let him shoulder the blame after the loss, owning up to their faults and accepting full responsibility.

“All of us, we’ve got to be better,” running back Saquon Barkley said. “We’ve got to make plays for him. Daniel, he’s a hell of a competitor, a heck of player. I know a lot of people say a lot of negative things about him, but like I say, he comes to work every single today and he made some great plays today — one of the best throws I’ve seen I think — that throw to Richie (James) on the sideline. It was a heck of a play, especially when we needed it most.”

“We just got to come out and get in a better rhythm and have 8’s back, like I said. I don’t think particularly we played very well up front and other places that are not my job. And they know,” center Jon Feliciano said. “Everyone knows we got to help 8, especially when he’s out there doing what he’s doing: just never giving up on the play, taking big hits, making plays with his legs. I mean, he did everything he could out there. . . He played his balls off.”

“And this loss is on us up front, not on 8. 100 percent. . . I mean, the game’s in reach despite our performance up front this week. And that’s all on him. He kept us in this game, and we have to be better for him.”

Even on the defensive side of the ball, they felt like they continued to put Jones in tough situations with poor field position early on.

“We didn’t put them in the best situation,” safety Xavier McKinney said.

For those in the locker room, what they saw from Jones on Monday night is what they see every day in practice: cool, calm and collected. He never griped, he never complained and he just kept grinding.

“DJ is a competitor; I don’t expect anything less. Man, he was making plays with his arm and his legs. I don’t expect anything less,” wide receiver Kenny Golladay said.

Fittingly, the game ended with Jones trying to connect with wide receiver David Sills, who slipped coming out of his break, leading to a game-ending interception.

“The last play that (Cowboys cornerback Trevon) Diggs picked off, Sills fell down. It was a timing throw,” Daboll said.

The fierce and unrelenting Jones detractors will undoubtedly be dishonest in their assessment of his play this week, but back in reality, Week 3 may have been one of DJ’s most defining performances yet. Whether you believe he’s the future or not is irrelevant — Jones played some of the best football of his career on Monday night.

In the end, his teammates very much let him down.

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Story originally appeared on Giants Wire