EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – Daniel Jones’ future with the New York Giants was murky heading into this season, with many critics questioning whether he would ever become a franchise quarterback.

Too many revolutions. Too controversial. Too few wins.

Jones heard it all, and some were justified. That the Giants didn’t exercise the fifth-year option on the rookie deal last offseason also spoke volumes. But he silenced most of the naysayers with a successful season and a historic postseason debut, leading the Giants to their first playoff win in 11 years.

“Yeah, I don’t think I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it,” Jones said Tuesday as he and the Giants prepare for Saturday night’s divisional round playoff matchup with the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles. .

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned,” Jones added, “it’s about what you do next week, so I’m focused on that and continuing to try to improve and play the best I can on Saturday.”

Jones, the No. 6 pick in the 2019 draft out of Duke, threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 78 yards in New York’s 31-24 win over Minnesota last Sunday. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to have 300 passing yards, two TD passes and at least 70 yards rushing in a playoff game.

“DJ was awesome, he did everything we asked him to do,” left tackle Andrew Thomas said. “When nothing was open, (he) battled and made plays on us, didn’t turn the ball over.

“If he plays like that, we have a good chance to beat anybody.”

It was the last standout performance for Jones in a season full of them.

The 25-year-old defenseman’s combination of shooting and running has turned him into an exciting playmaker – one of the most dynamic in the league at his position. And he has come a long way from the game manager label he was saddled with, especially earlier this season when his passing numbers were unimpressive.

But then the plays and the yards and the wins started to come.

And the turnovers remained very low, with 15 touchdown passes and five interceptions during the regular season. Jones also lost just three fumbles, far fewer than his 11 lost fumbles as a rookie.

“I’m just focused on helping him be the best he can be,” coach Brian Daboll said. “He’s done everything he can since I’ve been here. Great guy to work with. He works really hard and I think that’s what we’re focused on.”

Even as others outside the Giants’ facility are showing Jones in a new light — on and off the field — as a quarterback who can lead a team and possibly an entire franchise.

“Yeah, you definitely hear some of it and notice some of it,” Jones said. “That’s part of it. I can’t control how people react, positively or negatively. I control how I play and that’s my focus.”

The Giants will face the Eagles for the third time this season, and Philadelphia has won the first two meetings. Jones was 18 of 27 for 169 yards and a touchdown and a score in New York’s 48-22 home loss on Dec. 11. Jones and most of the Giants’ starters were kept out of the regular season finale, a 22-16 loss in Philly.

Still, Jones’ improvement this season is clear to Eagles coach Nick Siriani.

“Daniel Jones is dangerous in the pocket, and when he gets out of the pocket, he plays really good football,” Siriani said. “He continues to improve.”

When the Giants declined Jones’ fifth-year option, it was a clear message that the new regime — Dabol and general manager Joe Schoen — needed to see evidence that the quarterback could improve his game and be a difference maker.

Jones did that and then some.

He has nine touchdowns — six passing and three rushing — and just one loss in his last five games. He should be a free agent in the offseason and could certainly be attractive to many quarterback-needy teams.

Many predicted that the Giants would likely be one of those teams looking for a new QB in the offseason. But apparently they have the guy they’ve been hoping will be Jones all along.

“I know we have an elite quarterback,” Saquon Barkley said after the win over the Vikings. “He showed it several times.”

NOTES: The Giants held a walk-through practice on Tuesday. … Jason Pinnock, who was evaluated in the hospital after the Minnesota game with an abdominal injury, has been evaluated by the team as a full participant. “The kick turned the corner pretty quick here,” Dabol said. … LB Azeez Ojulari (quadriceps), DB Landon Collins (ankle), WR Isaiah Hodgins (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (back), S Julian Love (hamstring) and CB Fabian Moreau (thigh) were listed as list of restricted .


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