After starting out 2-3 in the first five games of their season, the Dallas Cowboys rolled over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon. This was an important contest in Arlington so the Cowboys can bounce back and build some momentum against a formidable opponent in Jacksonville. The battle between Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and stout Jaguars defense would be the matchup that would determine the game.
The Cowboys offense has been facing doubt all season long so far but they exploded in a big way for 40 points against a talented Jaguars defense. Prescott completed 17 of 27 passes for 183 yards and also threw for two touchdowns. He made plays through the air as well as causing trouble for Jacksonville with his legs, rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown. The former Mississippi State standout did not feel much pressure as the offensive play calling and execution kept the Jags defense off-balance.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott carried the ball 24 times for 106 yards along with rushing for a touchdown in the second half to ice the game for Dallas. He continued his dominant 2018 season by extending his rushing yard lead to 586 yards. Wide receiver Cole Beasley had nine receptions for 101 yards as he caught both of Prescott’s passing touchdowns. He gave the Jacksonville secondary problems all game long as they had no answer for Beasley, Elliott and even Dak.
The star of the game was certainly the Dallas defense who outperformed everyone’s expectations, causing three sacks and two takeaways. They held Blake Bortles and company to a scoreless half and only allowing a single touchdown the entire game. Former first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch continues to prove his worth by once again leading the Cowboys in tackles with seven while fellow veteran linebacker Sean Lee is still sidelined with a hamstring injury. Defensive lineman David Irving made an immediate impact by pressuring Blake Bortles in the first quarter and also in the remainder of the game as he returned to action for the first time this season.
Safety Jeff Heath picked off Bortles off a tipped throw from cornerback Byron Jones which was into triple coverage. Heath returned it almost the entire way and brought it into red zone territory. During the very next possession, linebacker Jaylon Smith forced a fumble on Jaguars receiver Dede Westbrook and cornerback Jourdan Lewis just recovered the fumble in bounds to secure another takeaway.
Coming into this game, Dallas was viewed as an underdog as their talented defense was overshadowed by the top-ranked defense in the league. However, the Cowboys answered the challenged with authority by scoring four touchdowns against the Jaguars after Jacksonville only allowed six touchdowns in the five previous weeks.
Dallas looks to go above .500 next week when they take on the Washington Redskins on October 21 as they look to win consecutive games for the first time this year.