cowboys on upset alert against jaguars

#Cowboys #upset #alert #Jaguars

Dallas survived Houston by the skin of its teeth on Sunday. In Week 15, the team will need a better performance to get past the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Count former Cowboys defensive lineman and current ESPN analyst Marcus Spears among those unimpressed with the team’s 27-23 win against the lowly Texans (1-11-1).

The Cowboys mounted their winning drive after the defense kept the Texans out of the end zone following a Dak Prescott interception.

As SB Nation’s R.J. Ochoa noted, Prescott redeemed himself on the next drive. He completed six of seven pass attempts and ran twice, gaining 94 of the 98 yards needed for the game-winning score.

Dallas (10-3) remains a threat for the top overall seed in the NFC and will keep things interesting by winning its remaining games.

The Cowboys host Philadelphia (12-1) on Christmas Eve in a game that will either settle or extend the division race.

Before that crucial NFC showdown, Dallas needs to get past Jacksonville (5-8), a 4.5-point underdog, per Oddschecker. The Cowboys can’t expect a repeat of their game against the Texans to produce the same result.

Trevor Lawrence is proving worthy of his status as the top overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. In Sunday’s impressive win over Tennessee (7-6), Lawrence surpassed 3,000 passing yards, becoming the first Jaguars QB to reach that mark in consecutive seasons to begin a career.  

He is 303-of-458 (66.2 percent) for 3,202 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions in a vast improvement over his rookie season. 

Jacksonville’s game against Tennessee flipped in the second quarter when Shaquille Quarterman forced a Derrick Henry fumble. The ball popped up in the air and landed in linebacker Josh Allen’s hands.

The Jaguars trailed 14-13 before that fumble recovery. By the time Lawrence threw his third touchdown, the game was out of reach. 

The Jaguars went on a 23-0 run following Allen’s recovery and won, 36-22. They look like a team on the rise and a win against Dallas would be a signature win as part of the organization’s rebuild.

Dallas fumbled several golden opportunities to end its playoff misery over the years. The team’s playoff chances nearly took a major blow against Houston. While the Cowboys are nearly a lock to make the postseason, securing the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs is a much easier path to the Super Bowl than qualifying as a wild card and potentially playing three games on the road.

Jacksonville could be up for the challenge that Houston couldn’t complete.

Plus, in a game that features the coach that orchestrated the “Philly Special” in Super Bowl LII and another that endorses a QB draw with 14 seconds and no timeouts in a playoff game, Dallas might already have one hand tied behind its back. 

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