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Out Of The Chute: Jaguars at Cowboys

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The Opponent: The Jacksonville Jaguars, aka the Jiggywires, aka 3-2 seemed so very, very long ago.

    Record: 3-4

    The Line: Cowboys by 6.5. With Jon Kitna at QB! Oh, American betting public. You’re a sucker for the blue star.

    Last Game: A 42-20 woodshed beating courtesy of the Chiefs (Chieves?). Yes, Todd Bouman started this game for Jacksonville. But Todd Bouman isn’t the reason the Chiefs were able to rip apart the Jaguars for 200 yards on the ground. The Jags have lost their last two games by a combined score of 72-23. That’s… bad.

    The Coach: Jack Del Rio. Say Jack, how’d you like to be the Double J’s defensive coordinator come 2011? Because he’s sure gonna need one!

    The Offense: David Garrard is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday, and that’s not good for Dallas, because Garrard was red hot before getting knocked out by the titans two weeks ago. Garrard threw for 5 TD’s and one pick in the two games before his concussion. He completed over 78 percent of his passes in those games, had a passer rating over 120, and led Jacksonville to a shocking win over the Colts. Garrard has also managed to make Marcedes Lewis into a credible receiving threat. So there’s no guarantee the Cowboys are getting a break this week. This won’t be the rudderless Jags offense you’ve seen of late, and that’s bad news for a Dallas defense that is suddenly quite shaky against the pass.

    The Defense: Thirtieth overall in defense. The Chiefs showed you can run all over Jacksonville if it suits you. This means Jason Garrett will pass four million times. The Jags also rank 27th overall in pass defense, but possess a good edge rusher in Aaron Kampman. Expect Jon Kitna to look for old buddy Roy Williams a lot, in between Kampman sacks.

    Key Matchup: Mike Sims-Walker vs. Mike Jenkins. I dunno what happened to the Mike Jenkins of a year ago, but this year’s model is sporting some rather unsightly dents. If the Cowboys hope to get out of their current death spiral, they’ll have to shut down the passing game and force MJD to beat them all by himself. If Jenkins is getting beaten and flagged all over the place, 1-6 is all too likely.

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