Dallas Cowboys continue their tour of the AFC South after hosting both the Colts and Texans, they will now turn their attention to their third consecutive contest against an opponent of the division on the road against the Jaguars.
Jacksonville comes in at 5-8 and with some momentum following their 36-22 smacking of the Titans. Trevor Lawrence perhaps had the best game of his young and promising career, passing for over 350 yards and three touchdowns while running for another. Former Giants’ tight end Evan Engram was sensational as well with 11 catches for over 150 yards and two scores. Toss in the four force turnovers and for sacks, and the Jags’ defense had a day as well.
Cowboys Start By Adding An AFC South Wide Out
The Cowboys are getting the big-name, veteran wide receiver after all. It’s just not the one we initially thought. Dallas has signed 10-year veteran receiver T.Y. Hilton in a move that could bolster their receiving corps for the rest of the season and perhaps into the playoffs.
Of course, this move comes on the heels for a month-long speculation and/or recruitment of Odell Beckham Jr., who visited the team last Monday. It doesn’t appear as if Beckham Jr. can be ready to play for the regular season because of an ACL injury he suffered in the Super Bowl.
A four-time Pro Bowler (2014-17), Hilton has been a dynamic receiver when healthy. He’s had five 1,000-yard seasons including an NFL-best 1,148 yards in 2016 for the Colts. His 9,691 career receiving yards ranks third in Colts history behind Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.
T.Y. Hilton’s numbers have decreased in the last few years, including last season when he caught just 23 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns. However, with those scores, Hilton became one of 15 NFL players in the Super Bowl era to have at least 3 TD catches in the first 10 seasons of his career.
Hilton will join a Cowboys receiving group that includes CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, who have both played well in the last month despite the Beckham Jr. speculation. The Cowboys also have veteran James Washington and Noah Brown, who had two clutch catches to help the Cowboys beat the Texans on Sunday.
“I’m definitely fresh, I just got to be able to speak Cowboy.” T.Y. Hilton – Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Also Claim Former Second Round Corner
The loss of Anthony Brown to a season-ending Achilles injury only exacerbated the issue at cornerback, considering Jourdan Lewis (another starting cornerback) was lost to a season-ending Lisfranc injury in Week 7 against the Detroit Lions. To try and help solve the issue, the Dallas Cowboys have claimed Trayvon Mullen from waivers in preparation for Trevor Lawrence.
Mullen, who stands at 6-foot-2 and runs a 4.47-second 40-yard dash (per his 2019 NFL Combine sprint), is a rangy, lengthy cornerback that could fit well with what Quinn likes to do, schematically and personnel-wise. A two-time national champion from Clemson who also earned honors as CFP National Championship Game Defensive MVP (2019), the 25-year-old has both youth and ability on his side.
Mullen enters a CB room headlined by First-Team All-Pro Trevon Diggs, but also youth, with [another former second-round pick in] Kelvin Joseph joining rookie fifth-round pick DaRon Bland in trying to complement Diggs’ play; along with Nahshon Wright and possibly Israel Mukuamu (flex).
Mullen logged 26 starts in his first two seasons with the Raiders (3 INTs, 24 pass break ups in that time span) before ultimately landing with the Cardinals in 2022 via trade, but couldn’t crack the starting rotation in Arizona. Mullen now gets a shot at re-establishing himself in Dallas.
Game Preview Cowboys
It’s Week 15 in the Sunshine State for the Cowboys. Yes Dem Boyz got the win on Sunday, but it did cost them both right tackle Terence Steele out for the season with an ACL tear and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins for the remainder of the regular season with a strained shoulder/pec.
McCarthy said they will continue to look at the rotation this week between Josh Ball and Jason Peters, both of which stepped in at right tackle on Sunday with vastly different levels of success. On the opposite end of the offensive line at left tackle, owner/general manager Jerry Jones told 105.3 The Fan Tuesday that All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith will be playing Sunday against the Jaguars.
Dak Prescott is already approaching his career-high in interceptions in a season at 13 back in 2017 with nine this season. Prescott has been open about his willingness to be aggressive since his return, but also said Sunday after the game that the turnovers are something he needs to clean up. Of note, the Jaguars’ defense ranks near the top-10 in interceptions in 2022.
Dallas is making their first trip to Jacksonville since 2006 in search of their first win ever there. The Cowboys played the Jaguars in 2014 in London when they took care of them 31-17 behind a three-touchdown performance from Tony Romo, a six-reception, 158-yard, two-score performance from Dez Bryant, and a 100-yard rushing game from DeMarco Murray. These two last met back in 2018 in Dallas in a 40-7 thumping by the Cowboys.
Game Preview Jaguars
The Jaguars sit in second place in the lowly AFC South, but have seen considerable improvement in the first year under former Eagles’ coach Doug Pederson, who was brought in to aid Lawrence. The former No. 1 overall pick in 2021 has tapped into that potential this year. He ranked ninth in passing yards and is tied for 10th in touchdown passes.
Outside of the addition of a competent NFL head coach, Trevor Lawrence has had help this season too. The most notable one? Jacksonville has kept Lawrence upright this season with the offensive line allowing just 23 sacks this season, one of the lower totals for eligible passers in 2022.
While the running game of the Jaguars won’t initially jump out at you if just look at the stat-sheet, it should not be overlooked. Travis Entienne Jr. has racked up just over 800 yards on the ground this season while averaging right at five yards a carry. That capable running game has helped set up the Jacksonville pass-game which is top-10 in yards per game.
Defensively the Jaguars leave plenty to be desired in a multitude of categories, but especially in the sack department. They are near the very bottom in the category overall in the league, though defensive end Dawuane Smoot leads the team with five.
Finally on the injury front for the Jaguars, Lawrence missed practice last week on both Wednesday and Thursday with a toe injury despite his monster game against the Titans.
Doug Pederson was noncommittal on Monday on if Lawrence would practice this week. This season’s No. 1 overall pick in linebacker Travon Walker left Sunday’s game early with an ankle injury, and is listed as questionable after having an MRI.
The matchup Sunday will mark the eighth all-time meeting between the two teams. The Cowboys lead the series 4-3, including winning two consecutive against them. The last meeting occurred in 2018, and the Cowboys won 40-7. I fully expect the Cowboys to play much better on offense, while being more efficient from start to finish. And that’s…”The Lex Of It“