Phil Simms came away from the preseason so impressed by Daniel Jones that he thinks the rookie quarterback has to play in 2019. Whether the Giants feel that way remains unclear to him, however.
When it was suggested to him by co-host Christopher Russo during Simms’ weekly appearance on the “Simms and the Mad Dog” show on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio channel on Thursday that Jones earned the right to see the field off his strong preseason performances – “The kid has to play,” Russo said, “he’s got to play half a season” – the former Giants quarterback-turned-broadcaster replied by saying: “You’re right.”
“We’re all going to know when the time is there for him to play,” Simms said. “And it’s going to be Eli Manning is maybe struggling, not doing something that we like, causes them to lose a game or two, the team’s not winning enough. Everybody’s going to come to the conclusion: ‘This could be the week, it’s coming soon.’ We’re going to know.”
But what if Manning doesn’t falter?
“You know, there is a chance he [Jones] might not get to play the whole year,” Simms said. “If the Giants think they can make the playoffs they’ll sacrifice the year to let Eli Manning be the quarterback.”
Manning will be the Giants’ starting quarterback Sunday against the Cowboys. Jones, the sixth overall pick in the draft, is expected to be the backup.
As for Jones’ play in the preseason, Simms said he was impressed by the rookie’s accuracy (29-for-34). He also said he wants to see Jones on the move; Jones did not do much in the way of running with the ball in the four preseason games to showcase his speed.
Most important, despite not facing many starting-caliber defensive players, Simms said Jones’ achievements were not phantom successes.
“I like what I see,” Simms said, “and what I see is real.”
Simms, like the rest of us, must now wait to see it in a real game.