Five games into his NFL career Mac Jones has had the ups and the downs one would expect from a rookie quarterback. That being said, he repeatedly showed why the New England Patriots decided to invest the 15th overall selection this year in the 23-year-old: Jones has come as advertised, something Mike McCarthy also seems to agree with.
Speaking with reporters on a media conference call on Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys’ head coach spoke highly about the QB his team will face this week.
“Mac Jones, I think he looks very, very comfortable. Confident. In command of the offense. I think it doesn’t look like they’re holding anything back. Can make all the throws, so I think he’s off to an excellent start,” McCarthy said.
Through five games, Jones has posted some solid if unspectacular numbers. Completing 71.1 percent of his pass attempts, he has gained 1,243 yards through the air and contributed 5 touchdowns while also throwing 5 picks.
While those statistics do not stand out, his performance as a whole has left a positive impression on McCarthy.
“A lot of my opinion has been consistent with watching him at Alabama and watching him in the Rose Bowl,” the Cowboys’ second-year head coach said. “He’s definitely a young quarterback that’s high in instinct and awareness, and I think that definitely has transferred to the NFL. I like the way he anticipates, and I think ... for as young as he is in the process, he has excellent command of the offense.”
McCarthy and his team will get a first-hand look at Jones on Sunday. The test certainly will not be an easy one for New England’s quarterback: Dallas’ defense is leading the NFL with 10 interceptions, including six by cornerback and fellow Alabama product Trevon Diggs.
Nonetheless, McCarthy knows his team cannot take Jones and the Patriots offense lightly either — despite New England ranking among the least productive scoring teams in the league this season.
“You can see the coordination of how they game plan each week,” he said. “If you take their offense over a five week period you see a tremendous amount of volume schematically. But then as you watch them week to week, conceptually they do a very good job of targeting the matchups and it’ll definitely be a challenge to our defensive scheme.”