Whether it was the Cowboys’ game planning, the players stepping up and making plays, or the pregame speech and sideline presence of UFC fighter Conor McGregor, that made Dallas play well, one thing is definite: the Dallas Cowboys got their swagger back. The Cowboys and Jaguars geared up for what was anticipated to be a low scoring affair in Arlington, Texas Sunday afternoon. Both Jacksonville and Dallas have offenses and quarterbacks who are struggling to play well. It seemed that it would be a miracle if either team surpassed 20 points in this game, especially because of how respectable each teams’ defensive units are.
Instead, the Cowboys had firm control of the game from the start, scoring 24 unanswered on their first four possessions of the game, copying McGregor’s pompous strut after each big play the team made. Jacksonville stood no chance, being forced to punt on five of their first six possessions (the one non-punt possession ended due to halftime). The Cowboys kept the pressure up all game, outscoring the Jaguars 16-7 in the second half, ending the game with a stunning 40-7 victory over what was regarded as the NFL’s best defense.
Several Cowboys stepped up big in this game, but none stepped up more than Cole Beasley. Since Dez Bryant and Jason Witten’s departures this offseason, the Cowboys have been searching for a receiver to step up as their go-to guy. Beasley has been the Cowboys’ slot receiver for the past few years and now is his time to step up. He recorded nine receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns. No other Cowboys receiver even reached 30 yards receiving in this game. Beasley was uncoverable in this game, as he has been for most of his career, and the Cowboys will need him to continue his role as Mr. Reliable to keep moving the ball down the field.
Dak Prescott also had a much needed big game against Jacksonville. Although Prescott did not throw for many yards in this game, he looked in his pro bowl form once again. As an offense, the Cowboys were converting on third downs all game, and this is due to Prescott’s improved accuracy and efficiency running the ball this game. He finished the game with 11 rushes for over 80 yards and scored the first touchdown of the game, in addition to two passing touchdowns he threw for later. Dallas’ offense has been running the same scheme for the past three years and has been criticized for being too predictable. Moving forward, Dallas should use Prescott’s greatest strength, his mobility, to keep defenses honest and lower the number of defenders “in the box” trying to stop Ezekiel Elliott
This dominating win against the Jaguars could be a pivotal rallying point in the season for the Cowboys. The Cowboys eclipsed 40 points scored for the first time since week seven of the 2017 season and appear to have the offense and defense clicking at an important point of the season. The Cowboys, now with a 3-3 record, hopes to carry the momentum from the Jaguars game into next week’s matchup, a divisional clash with the Washington Redskins with first place in the NFC East on the line.