So, was Daniel Jones trying to deceive the Dallas Cowboys when he said at midweek that he was not healthy enough to run and had to play from the pocket in Sunday’s regular-season finale at MetLife Stadium?
Jones had not run with the ball in any meaningful way since injuring his right hamstring on Nov. 29 in Cincinnati and especially since spraining his left ankle two weeks later. Jones, though, took off and ran nine times in the New York Giants’ 23-19 victory over the Cowboys. He did not do much with the rushing attempts, gaining only 17 yards, but that he was able to take off made his pronouncement earlier in the week seem as if he were trying to convince everyone he was going to stay put in the pocket.
“Well, that was Wednesday when we talked last and through the week, I felt a lot better,’’ Jones said, smiling. “By the time we were here on Sunday, I felt good about running and we did it. They defended it well but felt a lot better and felt good here.’’
Jones was able to toss two touchdown passes for the first time in six games. If this is it for the Giants for the season, he played better on his way out than he did at any point in December.
“We certainly had our share of ups and downs this season and didn’t start as well as we could’ve and should’ve by any means, but I feel like through the season we’ve battled and won close games,’’ Jones said. “The record or how it looks or what’s typical in the NFL, I’m not sure we’re focused on that, but we’re certainly proud of what we have accomplished and certainly aware of what we need to improve and what we need to work to get better.’’
This was the first time since the NFL merger in 1970 that the Giants won a game without converting a single third down. They were 0-for-7. This was the first time the Giants failed to convert a third down in a game since Oct. 7, 2018, a loss to the Panthers.
Sterling Shepard played in the 56th game in his NFL career, and Sunday was the first time he had two touchdowns in the same game.
LB Kyler Fackrell returned after missing the past four games with a calf injury and had a sack of Andy Dalton on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Leonard Williams’ three sacks increased his career-best numbers to 11.5 this season. That is the most for a Giants player since Jason Pierre-Paul had 12.5 sacks in 2014.
Graham Gano’s 50-yard field goal in the fourth quarter gave him a franchise-record 30 consecutive made field goals. Josh Brown made 29 straight in 2015 and 2016.
DT Dalvin Tomlinson is the first defensive player to start off with the Giants and start the first 64 games of his career. Tomlinson has not missed game or a start in his four-year career. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent and there are no guarantees he will return.
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