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Giants’ OC Jason Garrett: “Foolish” not to use Daniel Jones’ ability as a runner

Garrett talks about the line between using Jones’ legs in the offense and protecting him

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In light of the concussion quarterback Daniel Jones suffered on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys when trying to run the ball into the end zone, New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was asked on Thursday about protecting Jones vs. using his running ability in the offense.

“I think there is a balance there. I think we’d be foolish if we didn’t use his ability as a runner. It’s been such an asset for us, both him making plays spontaneously by moving in the pocket, but also some design stuff. Those have been good plays for us,” Garrett said. “But at the same time, you have to be certainly aware of that. You don’t want to overdo that and put him in harms way. I think we’re understanding more and more, he’s understanding more and more the balance between those.”

Jones (197 yards) is third in the league among quarterbacks in rushing yards, behind Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens (341) and Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles (256). Jones’ average of 6.6 yards per carry is third among quarterbacks with double-digit rushing attempts.

Jones suffered his concussion in the second quarter on Sunday when he lowered his head and initiated what turned into helmet-to-helmet contact with Jabril Cox of Dallas while trying to score on a bootleg from inside the 1-yard line.

Garrett has been heavily criticized in social media circles for the play call. There is, however, some doubt over whether Garrett called the play, Jones audibled to it, or if the quarterback simply decided to run it on his own.

Giants’ radio analyst Carl Banks said on Twitter that watching the way the play was blocked it does appear players were expecting Jones to run the ball.

Head coach Joe Judge offered a murky answer earlier in the week when asked if the play call was for Jones to run in that situation.

“There’s a number of things that go into all of our schemes. There’s a number of times he goes in – sometimes pre-snap checks or some kind of read the quarterback may have, so in terms of how that one shook out, I’m not going into the specifics,” Judge said. “We had run a similar play a couple times in a row and there was a changeup off of it that obviously through the play development we saw.”

Garrett did not shed any light on the play, either.

“I don’t want to get into too many details, but we do give him some freedom on plays if he sees something to take advantage of it,” he said.

Garrett was also asked whether Jones should have done anything different, like slide, on the play in which he got hurt.

“I don’t know that I can get into detail on that. It’s pro football. Guys go out there, he’s trying to make a play, they’re trying to make a play and unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us,” Garrett said. “I think it’s important to understand that obviously sliding is important for quarterbacks. But when you’re in a situation like that when you’re right down by the goal line, you’re probably not going to slide and give yourself up unless you have no chance. He thought he had an opportunity to score. He’s proven that he can be a tough, competitive player and make some of those plays for us. Again, unfortunately that didn’t work out for us.”