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On Deck: Jacksonville Jaguars



    On Deck: Jacksonville Jaguars
    NBC 5 News
    The Cowboys will play the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London, England, Sunday at noon.

    On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every Cowboys game during the 2014 season.

    The Opponent: The Jaguars have one win, but they seem to have had a resurgence lately, even if the win-loss column has seen the same result. The main reason for the uptick in play has been the Jags' defense, which has changed to a physical brand of defense in recent weeks that is helping keep the lowly Jaguars in just about every game in recent weeks. The offense has its moments behind rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, but the defense is where it's at for a deceptively upstart team.

    Past Meetings: The Jaguars lead the brief all-time series, 3-2, having won the last two meetings in 2006 and 2010.

    Key Matchup: DeMarco Murray vs. Jaguars Front Seven — Murray ran tough against the league's best rush defense on Sunday, but saw his eight-game streak to start the season of 100-yard rushing performances come to an end. You might think things get a lot easier this week against the Jags, and Bengals running back Jeremy Hill would agree after he ran for 154 yards on Sunday against Jacksonville. But, that was the first time all year the Jags had allowed a 100-yard rusher, and he benefitted from a 60-yard run. Throw that out, and his line would've been 23 carries for 94 yards.

    Who's Hot: Not a lot to speak of here for the Cowboys after two straight losses, including Sunday's when the offense was dormant against a really, really good Cardinals' defense. The Cowboys' defense was actually respectable but was put in horrible situations by the inept offense.

    The Jags have some young offensive weapons, highlighted by first-round pick Blake Bortles, who threw for 247 yards and two scores on Sunday. Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is now the Jaguars' starting running back and averaged 5.5 yards per carry last week, while young receiver Allen Hurns eclipsed 100 yards and found the end zone twice.

    Who's Not: Dez Bryant was basically taken out of the game on Sunday. Now granted, he was going up against one of the league's top cornerbacks, but he had two catches for 15 yards, one of which was a late, meaningless touchdown. Terrance Williams also was held to two catches as Brandon Weeden failed to get the ball to his outside receivers.

    Remember Toby Gerhart, the really solid backup to Adrian Peterson in Minnesota and the former standout runner at Stanford? He was supposed to be the Jags' starter this year and was given a big free agent deal, but he's fallen flat in a big, big way.