Jaguars Report Card- Everything Else
Defensive Line- A-
It was a big day for defensive tackles Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu as the pair plugged up the middle for Dallas, allowing just 50 yards rushing on 22 attempts (2.3 ypc). Knighton showed the hands that made him a high school receiver as he intercepted a pass that caromed off Cowboys running back Felix Jones and ran it back for negative yardage. Aaron Kampman drew the tough assignment of lining up across Doug Free and held his own despite not recording a sack. Rookie Austen Lane made his first career start and contributed nicely, leading some to wonder if former first-round pick Derrick Harvey will be able to regain his starting job.
The Jaguars linebacker missed few tackles on this day as they were solid, but unspectacular. Justin Durant led the team with 12 tackles, and Daryl Smith notched seven stops and did a nice job of plugging holes. Kirk Morrison helped out in run support and although Cowboys tight end Jason Witten had a solid statistical day as he caught 10 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, most of those were long after the outcome was already decided.
Everyone knows that the Jaguars secondary is the weakest link on the defense. Those weak links turned into playmakers on Sunday as Rashean Mathis and Derek Cox combined for three interceptions. Safety Courtney Greene also picked off a pass that was nullified by a penalty. Realistically, the Jaguars secondary didn't play as well as the turnovers would indicate as they were terrorized early and late, but they made just enough plays to win.
Special teams- B+
The expectations for the Jacksonville special teams units appear to be growing each week as excellence is expected and often achieved. Jacksonville was again perfect in kick coverage, and Josh Scobee was only called upon for extra points as he's the only kicker in the NFL that remains perfect in both field goal and extra point attempts.
In all honesty, it's not all that difficult to pencil-whip Wade Phillips and the Cowboys, but the Jaguars did it as well as any team has this season. Dirk Koetter called a masterful offensive game plan, and Mel Tucker took away the Cowboys running game and forced a backup quarterback to beat them. The Jaguars brain trust looked like just that and the 6.5 point underdogs left with a convincing 18 point victory in a game that wasn't as close as the final score would indicate.
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