Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett, and Scott Linehan

Cowboys Dominate Jaguars – How it Happened

Football is the ultimate team sport and yesterday’s 40-7 beat down of the Jacksonville Jaguars was a team victory in every sense of the description.

The play calling was crisp, varied and creative yet simple in its breakdown. It was based on what the Cowboys do well, a strong running game, play action, read option and a rhythm passing game.

38:50 Time of Possession.

Ezekiel Elliott 24 attempts, 106 yards, 4.4 average and 1 TD on the ground. 1 target, 1 reception for 11 yards through the air.

Dak Prescott 11 attempts for 82 yards, 7.5 average and 1 TD on the ground. 17 of 27 attempts, 183 yards and 2 TD’s to 10 different targets through the air.

Cole Beasley 11 targets, 9 receptions, 101 yards, 11.2 average, 2 TD’s through the air and the clutch receptions were impressive.

Leighton Vander Esch 7 tackles, 3 assists, 10 total, 1 pass defensed.

Jaylon Smith 6 tackles, 3 assists, 9 total 1 forced fumble.

Randy Gregory, Tyrone Crawford, Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins all had their hands in on sacks.

The Jaguars had 65 net yards rushing for an average of 3.6 yards per play.

Turnovers – the Jags lost both an interception and a fumble to the opportunistic Cowboys defense.

Bret Maher was 4-4 on field goal attempts.

Jason Garrett went for it on 4th and short and the time spent on the measurement never put the decision in doubt.

A strength of Jason Garrett has been his ability to assess and adjust in the offseason. Through this effort, he and the other coaches were able to look at the reality of their passing game with Dez and realize they were better without him. They realized Dak Prescott is much better with receivers that run tight routes. They admitted the need for speed in the receiving corps. They embraced the need for solidifying the offensive line. They realized they needed a more aggressive approach in the back seven. They admitted Sean Lee was going to miss games and they needed to have an answer for when that happens. They went out and got the players they wanted with the characteristics they desired then hired the best, young coaches they could find to implement their vision.

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There have been bumps in the road. Gameday coaching failures returned. The offense had yet to gel until this past Sunday. They had flashed, yet had been unable to dictate to any defense let alone one as august as Jacksonville’s. Playcalling was stagnant. Prescott had been missing open receivers. Receivers had been dropping balls. Offensive linemen had been missing blocks.

Both field generals were/are hurt early as OC Travis Frederick and MLB Sean Lee are both on the sideline and the Cowboys didn’t miss a beat against the Jags. Looney maned the center of the line with aplomb and the team adjusted how they employed rookie OG Connor Williams letting him pull and trap using his superior agility and ability to engage on the move. LVE worked in tandem with Jaylon Smith and the linebackers in Dallas were NOT a weak point. Quite the opposite they applied the pressure and made plays for 60 minutes.

The back seven had injuries and showed off their depth as they continued their aggressive play style.

The Cowboys did their homework and adjusted their scheme to take advantage of the attack the Chiefs employed the previous week with such success against the Jags. In doing so the team got back to things it does well. They ran the ball, leveraged play action, and Dak trusted his receivers on the outside and made sharp throws in the middle of the field. Perhaps, more importantly, the coaches demonstrated they can make needed adjustments during the week then implement them on gameday.

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The defense played with speed, aggressiveness, and power. They shut down the run and gave us a taste of how good they can be when playing with a lead. As the game progressed they got stronger, able to tee off on the QB from a multitude of angles and the depth of rotation to keep themselves fresh.

It was a joy to watch. The team excelled in every facet of the game. The Jags had no answer for Prescot’s running. Rookie WR’s made catches. TE’s made blocks and catches. Free agent speedsters made plays. Players returning from injury and suspension made sacks. Veterans turned in clutch performances. The Cowboys matched up man for man, talent for talent against a Super Bowl Contender.

Now they need to do it again. To be frank, that’s on Garrett. He has the talent on this club to dominate. Now he needs to coach like that. Every week. At home AND on the road.

What say you Sports Nation?

Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over

Steven Van Over

Steven Van Over

Senior Analyst, Editor, Photographer, Podcaster at SportsTalkLine
Senior Analyst, Editor, Podcaster & Photographer for @SportsTalkLine Network. Started covering the Cowboys on CowboysNation.com. Moved to the same gig here and now head the NFL desk. Catch me on Twitter @StevenVanOver
Steven Van Over
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Steven Van Over