DALLAS (10-3) at JACKSONVILLE (5-8)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, FOX
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Cowboys 4½.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Dallas 8-5; Jacksonville 5-8.
LAST MEETING: Cowboys beat Jaguars 40-7 on Oct. 14, 2018, in Dallas.
LAST WEEK: Cowboys beat Texans 27-23; Jaguars beat Titans 36-22.
COWBOYS OFFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (7), PASS (20), SCORING (3).
COWBOYS DEFENSE: OVERALL (5), RUSH (23), PASS (2), SCORING (3).
JAGUARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (15), PASS (10), SCORING (15).
JAGUARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (27), RUSH (14), PASS (28), SCORING (15).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Cowboys plus-8; Jaguars plus-5.
COWBOYS PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Micah Parsons has gone the past two games without a sack. The reigning AP Defensive Rookie of the Year hasn’t had a three-game drought this season. He has six two-sack games to account for all 12 this season. Parsons enters the week tied for third with Cleveland’s Myles Garrett, 2½ behind co-leaders Matthew Judon and Nick Bosa.
JAGUARS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Trevor Lawrence has thrown 181 consecutive passes without an interception, the longest streak of his career. He’s 28 completions shy of the franchise record (209) set by David Garrard in 2007. Lawrence was the AFC Offensive Player of the Week following his four-touchdown performance at Tennessee. He has 10 TDs and no INTs in his past five games.
KEY MATCHUP: Jacksonville’s run defense vs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Tennessee’s Derrick Henry gashed the Jaguars for 96 yards in the first quarter last week, but coordinator Mike Caldwell made adjustments that slowed him down the rest of the way. They could use that kind of effort against Elliott and Pollard, who have combined to run for 1,610 yards and 18 TDs this season.
KEY INJURIES: Cowboys LT Tyron Smith appears set for his season debut after tearing a hamstring in training camp. The expected return of the eight-time Pro Bowler comes a week after Dallas lost RT Terence Steele to a season-ending knee injury. Rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith, who has started all 13 games in Tyron Smith’s place, might be on the move to left guard. … CB Trevon Diggs has a left thumb injury that had to be treated during the Houston game. Dallas is already without CBs Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown, sidelined for the season with injuries. … DT Johnathan Hankins will be out at least until the playoffs with a strained pectoral muscle. … Jaguars LB and No. 1 pick Travon Walker has a high ankle sprain that could sideline him. Jaguars QB Trevon Lawrence is expected to play despite a lingering sprained big toe on his left foot. Jaguars S Andre Cisco is expected back after missing two games with a shoulder injury.
SERIES NOTES: The Cowboys have played in Jacksonville just once, losing 24-17 in 2006. The other designated road game for Dallas was in London, a 31-17 victory for the Cowboys eight years ago.
STATS AND STUFF: Both teams have postseason implications. Dallas can clinch an NFC wild-card spot with a victory. Jacksonville needs a win to potentially close the gap on AFC South-leading Tennessee. … The Cowboys are finishing a three-game stretch against the AFC South. They won the first two and are on their second four-game winning streak of the season. Dallas has 10 wins in consecutive years for the first time since the end of a six-year run in 1995-96. … The Cowboys are 9-1 in December under coach Mike McCarthy, who was hired in 2020. The nine wins are tied with Kansas City for the most in the NFL that stretch. … QB Dak Prescott had a season-high 284 yards passing last week, but needed 79 of those on a 98-yard drive in the final three minutes to beat the hapless Houston Texans. … RB Ezekiel Elliott has at least one rushing touchdown in a career-best six consecutive games. He can join career NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith as the only Dallas backs with TDs in at least seven straight games. Smith set the franchise record with at least one in each of the final 14 games of the 1995 season, playoffs included. … RB Tony Pollard has 12 total TDs after coming into the season with 11 combined for his career. … LB Leighton Vander Esch had his best game of the season against Houston, getting a season-high 14 tackles by the NFL’s count. … The Jaguars haven’t allowed a sack in six games this season, which leads the NFL. … Jacksonville is averaging 67 yards rushing a game the past four weeks, a number coach Doug Pederson insists needs to improve. … TE Evan Engram caught 11 passes for a career-high 162 yards and two TDs last week. … The Jaguars are the only team in the AFC and one of two teams in the NFL with three players with 50 or more receptions. Zay Jones leads the way with 68 catches, followed by Christian Kirk (67) and Engram (53).
FANTASY TIP: This should be a high-scoring matchup filled with fantasy stars. Prescott, Pollard, Elliott and WR CeeDee Lamb are no-brainers for Dallas. Lawrence, Kirk and Engram should be considered slam dunks as well.
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