ROAD THUD: 5 observations from the Cowboys’ OT loss in Jacksonville

Dec 18, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs with the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

ROAD THUD: 5 observations from the Cowboys’ OT loss in Jacksonville

Quarterback Dak Prescott threw two interceptions, including one in overtime that was returned for a touchdown, as the Cowboys (10-4) fall on the road to the Jaguars (6-8) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.

QB errors finally cost Cowboys

The Cowboys needed a clean game from their franchise quarterback, but Dak Prescott could not put two good halves of football together.

After a solid first half, Prescott came out and threw an interception in the second half and another one in overtime that sent the Cowboys home with a loss.

It is the fourth straight game that Prescott has thrown an interception, including two in three of those games.

Prescott, who finished with 256 yards passing on 23 completions, was on target early in the game. He went 15-for-16 for 137 yards, including 13-straight completions to end the first half. His touchdown throws to Peyton Hendershot and Noah Brown helped the Cowboys to a 21-7 halftime lead.

But the second half was another story. He completed just 8-of-14 throws for 119 yards and the two crucial interceptions that ultimately cost Dallas the game.

Defense comes up lame

The Cowboys’ defense had been able to come up with big plays and big stops when needed most all season but couldn’t find that magic on Sunday afternoon.

After appearing to shut down Jacksonville with a late turnover and leading by three, the offense went three-and-out and Trevor Lawrence went to work in the final minute of play.

Lawrence, who threw four touchdown passes in the game, led Jacksonville into field goal territory, and Riley Patterson knocked threw a 48-yard kick to push the game to overtime.

It probably should have never come to that, but the Cowboys’ pass defense was torched by Lawrence throughout the second half. The Cowboys gave up three touchdown passes in a nine-minute span, bringing the Jaguars from 27-10 down to up 31-27 with just over 10 minutes to play.

The Cowboys allowed 503 total yards of offense, including 318 passing yards. The Jaguars added 192 yards on the ground, which includes 103 yards by Travis Etienne Jr.

Cowboys out-sacked

After being held without for the first time this season in last week’s win over Houston, the Cowboys’ defense wasted little time getting the first one on Sunday.

Micah Parsons cut inside a double-team and sacked Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence for a 7-yard loss on the Jaguars’ first play of their second drive. It was Parson’s 13th sack of the season and the 49th for the team this season.

But while the Cowboys got to Lawrence just once, the Jaguars’ defense got to Dak Prescott three times. Arden Key had a pair of sacks, blowing over Tyler Smith multiple times in the Jaguars’ win.

LVE, Armstrong Injured

The Cowboys’ defense continues to lose important pieces to injury after seeing linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and defensive end Dorrance Armstrong go down in Sunday’s win over Jacksonville.

Vander Esch came into the game as the team’s leading tackler but left with a neck injury before recording a single stop on Sunday.

Vander Esch, who has 90 tackles this season, came out of the game on the Jaguars second drive of the game and did not return.

Armstrong, who is second on the Cowboys in sacks this season with eight, left the game on the Jaguars’ second drive of the second half with an injured knee.

Poor game management

The Cowboys were out-coached in the final minutes of regulation on Sunday.

After getting a gifted fumble with just over 90 seconds to play in the game, the Cowboys’ offense went backward. But instead of making the Jaguars use a timeout to stop the clock by running the ball on third down, the Cowboys took a deep shot that wasn’t close to being completed.

That timeout the Jaguars saved allowed them to stop the clock with five seconds to play in the fourth quarter and get the field goal team on the field for the tying kick.

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