The Cowboys will face what is most likely their toughest opponent of the season thus far on Sunday, as they’ll head back home to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. A 3-2 team that was one win away from going to the Super Bowl last year.
This team isn’t elite for their offense, just last weekend Blake Bortles accounted for five turnovers in a 14-30 loss to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. What makes Jacksonville a difficult matchup is their star-studded defense.
One of the team’s leaders on defense is their pro-bowl linebacker and team captain, Telvin Smith.
Smith is a veteran of the team and is one of the few players left from the bad Jaguars teams and was a rookie on the 2014 team that played the Cowboys in London.
The former fifth-round pick has come a long way since then, earning himself a four-year 44-million-dollar contract that he signed last season, leaving him behind only Jamie Collins and Lavonte David in terms of total money for 4-3 outside linebackers.
He has earned every dollar of that lucrative contract as well.
He is currently the team’s leading tackler in 2018 with 39 and was the leading tackler last season as well, totaling 102 of them in 2017. He also has an eye for the ball in the air, he had three interceptions in the regular season last season, returning one for a touchdown. In addition, he tallied a fumble return for a touchdown in the playoffs last year in Jacksonville’s defeat of the Steelers in the divisional round.
Needless to say, this guy is everywhere on the field.
Controlling Telvin Smith is an impossible task, the skill of he and the players around him make it very difficult for opposing offenses to avoid running or throwing to a particular side.
Be ready to hear his name called often on Sunday.
The Dallas offense is going to be in a lot of trouble on Sunday, they will need to rely heavily on their defense to have a chance to win. It’ll require their best performance of the season.
There are very few scenarios that I see the Cowboys winning the game, it’ll most likely require a defensive or special teams score along with some more so-called wrinkles from Scott Linehan. Nothing to this point of the season gives you any hope of that; Smith will lead the Jags defense in a slaughtering of the Dallas offense to the point that there may be some coaching changes (we hope). Jacksonville wins big on Sunday, 23-6.