There was 2 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half of the Redskins' game against the Dallas Cowboys when quarterback Dak Prescott took off down the left side of the field and gashed the defense for 42 yards.
The fourth-year signal caller from Mississippi State finished with five rushes for 69 yards in the Cowboys’ 31-21 victory on Sept.15, and while that kind of performance was unique in the first three games of the season, the Redskins have seen their share of mobile quarterbacks during that stretch.
After starting the year against Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins have seen Prescott and Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky -- all three of whom have a reputation for being mobile.
Now, as the team prepares to face the New York Giants and first-round rookie Daniel Jones -- making his second NFL start and first at MetLife Stadium -- it'll again have to prepare for a signal-caller that's a threat with his arms and his legs.
“His mobility helps him make plays,” cornerback Josh Norman said Wednesday. “He’s definitely improved in that area [over Eli Manning]. I think his mobility is able [to help him] extend the drives for wide receivers to get open. So it’s hard when you get a guy like that who can escape with his feet. So you got to be weary of that.”
Jones made his NFL debut in Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, replacing Manning, who had started all 16 games for 13 of the past 14 seasons, after an 0-2 start. The rookie completed 23 of 36 passes for 336 yards and a pair of touchdowns -- both of which were rushing -- in a 32-31 win over the Bucs. His four carries yielded 28 yards.
"Daniel Jones is the same [as Eli Manning], but he has mobility," Norman explained. "Eli’s not going to do too much running. He used to back in the day, but now … he’s in the pocket. Jones can do a little more than just being in the pocket.”
Fortunately for the Redskins, they’ve seen plenty of dual-threat quarterbacks so for this season, and that experience should prove valuable in preparing for Jones.
“All of them can move around, and I think that was the effect he had … on the offense last week against Tampa Bay,” Gruden said. “He had three or four plays outside of the pocket that were good, and then he stepped up in the pocket and made some people miss. So I think his mobility is something the Giants haven’t had. This guy is a little more mobile and can give you some issues outside of the pocket.”
Norman and the rest of the Redskins secondary will present a slightly tougher task for the Giants in Week 4, as the unit has allowed five fewer plays of at least 20 yards than the Bucs. It also features two Pro Bowl players in Norman and strong safety Landon Collins, who is returning to MetLife Stadium for the first time since joining the Redskins as a free agent acquisition earlier this year.
As for how Jones played in his first start, Norman didn’t sound surprised. If anything, he sounded confident in what he and the rest of the secondary would see out of the rookie quarterback and that they would respond accordingly.
“What you see is what you get,” Norman said. “He has been doing some good stuff. He’s been putting some good tape on the field. You see what that looks like and go into the game expecting what we’ve watched so far.”