The Cowboys began the season with high hopes of becoming the first team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. Only six games into their season, fans are wondering just how high the Cowboys will draft. Dallas’ season is over before it really began. Since the current 12-team playoff format was implemented in 1990, no team has come back from a 15 start to make the postseason. The Cowboys aren’t likely to the first with their starting quarterback, Tony Romo, out the next 6-8 weeks with a fractured left clavicle.
Keys for the Cowboys
• Jon Kitna, who has thrown for 27,480 career yards with 154 touchdowns and 151 interceptions, relieved Romo in the second quarter of Monday’s 41-35 loss to the Giants. He went 16-of-33 for 187 yards and two touchdowns in his first game action since Oct. 5, 2008. That also was his last start. Kitna’s last victory as a starter came Dec. 23, 2007, when he threw only 16 passes, completed only nine and had no touchdowns and an interception in the Lions’ 25-20 victory over Kansas City.
• Dez Bryant has become the x-factor for the Cowboys. He became the first Cowboys rookie since Emmitt Smith in 1990 to have a three-touchdown game. Bryant had a 93-yard punt return, the second-longest in franchise history, and added two 15-yard touchdown receptions. Bryant has five touchdowns in six games. He still is learning, but the Cowboys would like to figure out how to get him more involved in the offense.
Keys for the Jaguars
• Jacksonville’s quarterback merry-go-round is back around to David Garrard. Garrard will be back in the starting lineup after missing last week’s loss to the Chiefs with a concussion. The Jaguars have used four quarterbacks in seven games, the most for a season in team history. Garrard has completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 838 yards with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions.
• Kick returner Mike Thomas has lost fumbles twice in the past three games. Those are two of the 10 turnovers the Jaguars have had in the past three games. Jacksonville is minus-10 in turnover ratio for the season, ranking it last in the NFL. The Jaguars have 17 turnovers and seven takeaways.
The Cowboys don’t have their starting quarterback, but they still have plenty of talent. Players like DeMarcus Ware, Felix Jones, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Mike Jenkins are among the reasons the Cowboys were a preseason Super Bowl favorite. They are the reasons Dallas should beat Jacksonville. Cowboys 21-10.