By Zach Walker
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Dallas Cowboys
Sunday – October 14 – 3:25 p.m.
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX
Records Before the Game
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2, 1-1 Away)
Dallas Cowboys (2-3, 2-0 Home)
Holy smokes, if there’s ever been a long week between games for the Dallas Cowboys, this week certainly qualifies. It’s felt like everything has moved at half speed. SO much second-guessing. SO much speculation. So much hot air surrounding the NFL’s largest blimp. Every possible dissection of the way the Cowboys have done anything through this point in the season has been explored and commented on. The Cowboys have an offense problem. It’s a serious identity problem for this team, and it’s making skeptics question everything. Why invest in the offensive line in the way that this team has; draft a running back with a top-five pick, despite the obvious talent; and even though it WAS a “long yard” why not rush the ball? Going down swinging beats going down reeling, every time.
After a week of turmoil, it’s possible to put all the noise behind the team with a win against a quality opponent. Everyone knows that these Jacksonville Jaguars are serious defense, one that’s capable of holding Tom Brady to make a final drive to punch them out of the playoffs. That defense kept Brady down this season, but it was a really the way that the Jags were conducting themselves on offense that had them sinking the Patriots this season. Blake Bortles was empowered by being given the ability to pick up first downs on ground and the offense scheming to keep the Patriots on their heels. Even though the Jaguars have a few very strong deep threats in Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark, but it was the use of the shallow crossing routes that were able to continuously move the chains and shrink the field. The Jaguars get very solid production through their offensive depth chart, as any disgruntled fantasy football player will remind you, Leonard Fournette is down, but the way the Jaguars have brought TJ Yeldon back to life, and it’s his truly lethal sneaking out of the backfield and getting loose along the sidelines that’s making the offense click. Those two big time points of exploitation, the shallow cross and the back in the flat can be soaked up a lot by being disciplined in their zone defense.
On the offense… the Cowboys just really need to be better. It wasn’t that they couldn’t have won against the Texans, it’s that they decided to not attempt to win it. The wide receivers, again aren’t going to even amuse the Jaguars secondary. But, even though the threats aren’t there, it’s about taking bites out of the field, keep the downs and distances in the Cowboys’ favor. The Jaguars’ Myles Jack will at some point in the game, need to be pried off of Ezekiel Elliott, I’m actually assuming there will be paint transfer from each other’s helmets through constant collisions.
Super dirty game, not in penalty or temperament, just an oatmeal of a slow game.
Dallas Cowboys – 13
Jacksonville Jaguars – 10