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Dexter Lawrence helping Daniel Jones “keep his mind straight”

Massive defensive tackle wanted to room with QB “to be there for him”

NFL: New York Giants-Rookie Minicamp Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Jones and Dexter Lawrence rooming together during training was initially something you figured was just sort of a cute side story. Two first-round picks, a quarterback and a defensive tackle — complete opposites — thrown together.

Turns out, there is more to it than that. This was an assignment, yes, an assignment, that Lawrence asked for during rookie mini-camp.

“I knew when I played him in college he was really good. In the first half, he was killing us on the field, up and down the field, but they just couldn’t score. I knew his talent when they drafted him. I said, ‘okay, he deserves to be there.’ I respect that. That’s why I wanted to be his roommate, just to keep his mind straight and not think about stuff like that,” Lawrence said on Tuesday. “I want to be that kind of guy to motivate him a bit more, and show him, since I don’t get into that stuff. I just do what I have to do and be where I have to be.”

Yes, this was the 342-pound Lawrence, who is paid to destroy offenses, protecting the franchise’s quarterback of the future. Because he wanted to. Because he knew Jones, taking a beating from the media and the fan base before playing a snap, was going to need support.

“I knew he was getting it hard and all of that stuff, so just to be there for him,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence said football isn’t generally their go-to topic of conversation.

“We try to not talk about football too much,” Lawrence said. “Obviously when we aren’t here, that’s our time to debrief and talk about life and things like that.”

When the Giants talk about building a culture, this is part of it. Teammates who care about each other and help each other, even if they are on opposite sides of the ball and vastly different people.