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Jaguars at Cowboys
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By Tom Wilkinson

NFL Preview – Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Dallas Cowboys

The anemic offense of the Dallas Cowboys doesn’t figure to have much success on Sunday, as the Cowboys host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday on CBS. The Cowboys are averaging just 16.6 points per game, which is 30th in the NFL, while the Jacksonville defense is giving up just 17.2 points per game, 3rd in the league.

That number for the Jaguars should actually improve, as the Jaguars have already faced two of the top offensive teams in the league in Kansas City and New England. Let’s look at Sunday’s game and NFL picks.

Date and Time: Sunday, October 14, 2018, 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
NFL Odds at BetDSI: Jaguars -3, O/U 40.5
Jaguars vs. Cowboys TV Coverage: CBS

The Jaguars come into this game at 3-2 which is actually not that bad considering they have a minus-7 turnover ratio. Jacksonville has lost five fumbles and Blake Bortles has thrown seven interceptions. If the Jaguars could simply avoid turning the ball over they would win almost every time. "We're 3-2 but minus-7, which is really tough to do, be 3-2 and be minus-7 in the turnover ratio," head coach Doug Marrone said to the media, "It's a trend that I talked about with the team today. If we don't change that, we're going to be in trouble. We have to change that." Jacksonville is averaging just over 20 points per game and giving up just over 17 per contest.

The Jaguars have had a good rushing attack which has taken the pressure of Bortles, but this season they have struggled to run the ball without top running back Leonard Fournette who is still out due to injury. It is so bad the Jaguars signed free agent Jamaal Charles this week. Charles will serve as the backup to T.J. Yeldon on Sunday.

The Cowboys come into this game at 2-3 and the pressure is building on head coach Jason Garrett. It is almost inconceivable that Garrett still has a job considering the Cowboys have won nothing with Garrett as head coach, but owner Jerry Jones hasn’t seen the light. Dallas has a good running back in Ezekiel Elliott and a serviceable defense, but the Cowboys simply can’t throw the ball effectively and in today’s NFL it is hard to win without a good passing attack.

Matchup to Watch

The key matchup in this game is Elliott against the Jacksonville run defense. If the Cowboys can’t run the ball they are not going to win. Elliott is still one of the top running backs in the league and if he has a big game the Cowboys can win this contest. The Jaguars are just 14th in the league against the run, so perhaps Elliott can find some running room. Elliott is the NFL’s leading rusher and he is averaging 5.2 yards per carry against defenses that are stacked up to stop the run.

Key Stats

The Jaguars are 2-5 against the spread in their last 7 games in October. The Cowboys are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games in October. The Under is 4-1 in the Jaguars last 5 road games. The Under is 12-2 in the Cowboys last 14 games overall. The Under is 5-2 in the Cowboys last 7 home games. The Over is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in this series.

Jaguars vs. Cowboys Picks

The Cowboys are simply an average team going nowhere with Garrett as head coach. Dallas plays well enough defensively to stay in games, but they simply don’t have the passing attack to beat good teams. The Jaguars should be able to find a way to win and cover this game as long as Bortles doesn’t give the game away. I also think it should be one of the few defensive struggles we see in the NFL this week. This total is low at 40.5, but I just can’t see either team doing much offensive. I will also play the game to go under the total.

Jaguars vs. Cowboys Pick: Jaguars -3 and Under 40.5 at BetDSI
Jaguars vs. Cowboys Score Prediction: Jaguars 23, Cowboys 10

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