How Mac Jones Has Impressed Patriots’ Next Opponent As Rookie QB

'I think he's off to an excellent start'

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Mike McCarthy liked what he saw from Mac Jones when the New England Patriots rookie was at Alabama, and he’s noticed many of those same positive attributes from the young quarterback this season.

McCarthy, whose Dallas Cowboys will visit Jones and the Patriots this Sunday, spoke highly of the first-round draft pick Thursday during a conference call with New England reporters.

“Mac Jones, I think he looks very, very comfortable, confident, (in) command of the offense,” McCarthy said. “I think it doesn’t look like they’re holding anything back. (He) can make all the throws, so I think he’s off to an excellent start.”

McCarthy used the word “command” multiple times to describe Jones, who’s earned praise for his poise and intelligence this season. The 23-year-old completed more than 73% of his passes in four of his first five starts — while operating a conservative passing attack heavy on shorter, easier throws — and his 71.1% overall completion rate ranks fifth in the NFL.

“A lot of my opinion has been consistent (with) watching him at Alabama and watching him in the (national championship),” McCarthy 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 he’s particularly — for as young as he is in the process, he has excellent command of the offense.”

Though Jones has shown promise, McCarthy is glad to face a Patriots team not led by Tom Brady. The Cowboys had a tough time against Brady in Week 1, allowing 379 passing yards and four passing touchdowns in a two-point loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Not seeing Tom there is definitely different,” said McCarthy, whose team has reeled off four straight wins since that season-opening defeat. “But we had our fill of Tom in Week 1, so I’m actually comfortable with that.”

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