Be-Ware of D-Ware

The timing couldn't be better for the Jaguars. When the schedule came out, a Halloween game in Dallas seemed likely to mean the Jaguars were going to get the tricks, but not the treats.



Despite their slow start, the Cowboys have the kind of high powered offense that is likely to ravage the Jaguars' defense, which is ranked 30th in the league in yardage allowed.

But that all changed when Tony Romo was injured, which means the Cowboys will have to start Jon Kitna.

Suddenly, the Jaguars might have an edge at quarterback with David Garrard, who is returning from a concussion.

Now the question is whether they can protect him from the Cowboys' pass rush, which features DeMarcus Ware.

"He's a game-breaker," Garrard said of the Dallas linebacker who is tied for second in the NFL with eight sacks. "You don't want to let him disrupt the game."

Garrard returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since suffering a concussion against Tennessee.

Keeping Garrard from getting hit this week takes on added importance because a player who has just suffered a concussion is more susceptible to another one.

The player who will get the main assignment against Ware is left tackle Eugene Monroe, although he is likely to get help.

The tackle, drafted in the first round a year ago, has had some ups and downs this year. He struggled against the Eagles' Trent Cole but bounced back to neutralize the Colts' Dwight Freeney.

"Regardless of who you have assigned to Ware, it's going to be a challenge," coach Jack Del Rio said. "I think Eugene has been solid. He's capable of being better. ... He's a good young player. He's going to be a good player for a long time for us, and he's played OK."

Monroe said of Ware, "He's one of the premier pass rushers in the league. He has every move in the book. He's able to bring everything at a high level."

Of coming back from his struggling performance against the Eagles, Monroe said, "I started off slow, but I bounced back and put together more consistent play since then."

SERIES HISTORY: 5th regular-season meeting. Series tied, 2-2. The Jaguars won the last meeting in 2006 in Jacksonville by a 24-17 margin in the season opener. The Cowboys jumped to an early 10-0 lead but then seemed to wilt in the Jacksonville heat. The Jaguars won it with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.


Jags Illustrated Top Stories