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Sunday Preview: Dallas Cowboys hope to sustain undefeated home streak

The Dallas Cowboys enter week six 2-3 for the sixth time in Jason Garrett’s eight seasons as head coach. Followed by that dawning statistic is the harsh reality that it conclusively results in this team cleaning out their lockers after week 17. However, this team has an opportunity to dispel that reality, Sunday afternoon, against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jacksonville comes into AT&T Stadium as the leagues best overall defense. Led by All-Pro Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and partner in crime A.J. Bouye, they are the only defense in the NFL who have held opponents to less than 200 yards passing per game. A bright spot for this struggling Cowboys offense is the Jags are only 14th in the league against the run. Though New York Giants Rookie Saquon Barkley was the only rusher this season to eclipse 100 yards against them, Jacksonville has not faced a top-10 rushing offense since then.

The unit that earned the name “Sacksonville” last season send out All-Pro Calais Cambell, Maliek Jackson, Marcell Darius and Yannick Nggakoue. Though they haven’t been as dominant in terms of sacks this season, with only 11, the front four still present a problem for a Dallas line who has not looked as stellar as years past. Linebackers Myles Jack and Telvin Smith are athletic specimens who quickly eat up runs to the outside.

Each week Quarterback Dak Prescott feels his offense is closer to resembling the 2016 unit that led them to the playoffs. This matchup is sure to put that noble optimism to the test. The Cowboys have the NFL’s 30th ranked passing offense and has failed to complement a rushing attack that is fifth in the league. Running Back Ezekiel Elliot leads the league with 480 rushing yards but has only reached the end zone twice on the ground. It doesn’t bold well against a defense that has given up three rushing scores all season with two coming last week against Kansas City.

Positivity for Cowboys fans resides behind center for the Jaguars. Quarterback Blake Bortles is coming off of arguably his worst performance this season in which he threw four interceptions against a Kansas City team who boast the league’s second-worst pass defense. Though this Bortles-led offense sits 12th in passing and ninth in total offense, they are only 25th in scoring at 20.6 points per game. It’s just a point better than what the Cowboys defense has given up (19.2).

Second-year pro Leanard Fournette will not be suiting up for this game, which means Bortles will rely on the tandem of T.J. Yeldon and recently-signed veteran Jamaal Charles. The trio of Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole will try to create passing lanes against a Dallas secondary who have forced only one interception this season. Moncrief has crept to the front of the line in targets, but he still has yet to become a reliable threat this season. Bortles has a subpar 48% completion percentage when targeting Moncrief, which attributes to him sporting the second-worst quarterback rating and an overall completion percentage of quarterbacks with at least 150 attempts.

The Cowboys are 2-0 at home this season and will be looking to protect that against a defense whose anxious to avenge last weeks loss against the Chiefs. As much chaos that has surrounded this team through five games they are still one win away from being tied for first place in the division. Kickoff is set for Sunday at 3:25 pm on CBS.

Staff Writer covering the Dallas Cowboys | Madden Legend | SFA Alum | Fascinated by Success

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