The Jacksonville Jaguars capitalized on the Cowboys’ mistakes to steal a 40-34 overtime win Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida.
The loss ended a four-game Cowboys win streak.
Dallas (10-4) clinched a playoff berth, however, after the Seattle Seahawks lost to the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday and the Washington Commanders fell to the New York Giants on Sunday. The Cowboys have made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2006-2007.
The Jaguars have now beaten two playoff-bound teams in a row and are fighting to stay alive in their division. The Cowboys led by two scores several times in the game and held a 17-point lead minutes into the fourth quarter.
WHAT TO KNOW
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott threw two interceptions in the game. The first led to a Jaguars touchdown that sparked a rally late in the game. The second was returned 52 yards for a touchdown after the Cowboys’ defense forced a three-and-out to start the overtime period. This was the third game in a row against AFC South teams in which the Cowboys have struggled against statistically inferior teams.
Injuries along the Cowboys’ defensive front contributed to the loss as the unit surrendered nearly 200 yards rushing and more than 300 yards through the air. A typically ferocious pass rush was held in check with only one sack recorded by the Dallas defense. Linebacker Micah Parsons recorded his twelfth sack and also had one of only two tackles for loss the Cowboys recorded.
This latest breakdown shows a disturbing trend by the Cowboys of opening up comfortable leads against opponents and then resting on their laurels until crunch time comes. The Jaguars proved too big of an obstacle for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
BY THE NUMBERS
Prescott recorded 23 completions on 30 attempts, passing for 256 yards and three touchdowns, but it was the two interceptions that spelled trouble. Prescott has thrown seven interceptions in just the last five games.
Despite the buzz that Prescott may have a new target with the recent pick-up of T.Y. Hilton, the Cowboys elected to hold Hilton one more week. CeeDee Lamb had another excellent performance and demonstrated that he deserves the trust of the team. Lamb had seven catches on seven targets and racked up 126 yards but could not find the end zone.
Noah Brown had more targets than usual with six and found pay dirt on two Prescott passes. Tight end Peyton Hendershot caught the Cowboys’ third passing touchdown. On the ground, the Cowboys flexed Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard as they have in past weeks. Elliott had 16 touches for 58 yards—primarily in short-yardage runs—including the lone rushing touchdown for the Cowboys. Pollard added 75 yards on the ground.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is living up to the hype he brought into the league when he was drafted out of Clemson in 2021. Lawrence threw for 311 yards and four touchdowns. He threw an interception in the third quarter that was intercepted by DaRon Bland which led to a Cowboys field goal and the largest lead of the game.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said in postgame interviews: “I take every loss on the chin. That’s my job as the quarterback; to put us in a position to win and eliminate the mistakes and prevent the chances for them to score after a turnover. At the end of the day, they all suck, and that’s where it is.”
The Cowboys face perhaps their biggest home game of the season in a Saturday face-off against the Philadelphia Eagles (13-1). The Eagles can clinch the NFL East title with a victory.