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Cowboys vs. Jaguars: Four candidates to be the X-Factor player

of the game for Dallas The Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars have faced off six times since the Jags joined the league in 1995. Each team as won three games in the series Xavier Woods Color Rush Jersey , with the last one being a 31-17 Cowboys win in London back in 2014. The Cowboys went to the playoffs that year whereas the struggling Jaguars only won three games all season. The Cowboys had over 400 yards of offense in that game, including a 100-yard rushing performance by DeMarco Murray and a 158-yard, two-touchdown stat line by Dez Bryant. Tony Romo had three touchdown passes and no picks as the offense had their way with the Jags defense.Well, times have changed.The Jaguars have the top-ranked pass defense, which is not good news for a Cowboys passing attack that is ranked 30th. Jacksonville?s offense isn?t all that great themselves and they?ll be going up against a Cowboys defense that is not too shabby. It is expected to be a low scoring affair, where one play could make all the difference. So, which player makes that play? Some of us front page writers came up with our choice for the X-Factor player of the game. Let?s check it out...David Halprin: David IrvingThe Cowboys have been looking for a pass rush partner to DeMarcus Lawrence. Neither Randy Gregory nor Taco Charlton have filled the vacancy. Jaylon Smith seems to be the guy behind Lawrence in creating havoc in the opposing backfield on pass plays, but you can?t blitz Smith on every down. This week, we should see the return of David Irving. He probably will be on a pitch count, maybe 20 plays and most of those will probably be in passing situations. Irving will use his natural ability to make a handful of plays, either through pressures or sacks, finally giving the Cowboys a true complement to Lawrence.Irving was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after coming away with one sack, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovering against the Green Bay Packers back in 2016. And he did all of this on just 19 snaps. Don?t let the pitch-count fool you as he can be a major disruption when he?s on his game.?Show me the money!? - Louis Bing, David Irving?s agent as he hopes he can show out these last 11 games in order to earn some cash in the offseason.Michael Sisemore: Cole BeasleyIf I?m the Cowboys, I know two things: Jalen Ramsey is a bad dude Cole Beasley is my best separatorSo I bring in Tavon Austin, try to take a shot and connect early with him much like the Giants game. This time, I take another page from the Houston game plan that worked https://www.dallascowboysfanshop.com/Larry-Allen-Jersey , moving Tavon around to preoccupy a corner. Now, Jacksonville is going to have to put Ramsey on Austin because of the speed matchup and they love to move him around. This is where Cole Beasley will be a mismatch on AJ Bouye or whoever covers him. This can give you chances in finding balance. This Jaguars secondary is good but you can?t win if you go into this game intimidated. They have to go for it against this group.?These aren?t spirit fingers! THESE are spirit fingers!? - Sparky Polaski on what he thought of this touchdown celebration from Cole Beasley.Tom Ryle: Rico GathersLet?s get crazy and go with Rico Gathers. He had his first catch last week and was wide open on other plays. And that is still with very limited snaps. Given Dak?s accuracy issues, that big catch radius plus his rebounding instincts may be just what the passing game needs. Not only could he move the ball, but if he starts drawing some extra attention, it could help the other receivers. He is seen as a detriment in the passing game, but could even help there by taking a defender or two out of the box on play action.?Please sir, I want some more.? - Oliver Twist regarding the Cowboys usage of Rico in the passing game.Danny Phantom: Brett MaherI was really hoping the Cowboys offense would be in better shape when this matchup rolled around because I thought it would be fun to watch. That?s not the case though. I?m scared of this Jags defense in a big way. It?s not impossible for the Cowboys offense to have success, but based on what we?ve seen so far - it?s becoming more unimaginable.The Cowboys have to put together an all-around great team effort to have a shot in this one. That means everyone has a part in getting some first downs here and there on offense and disrupting Bortles on defense. Barring some sloppy quarterback play, this game should be a tight one and could come down to some crucial special teams play. Will it be a big return? A fake of some sort? Or some costly strip fumble that sets up a score? I?m not even going to try to abracadabra you with guessing which player comes up with that big play, but I will say this - most of the Cowboys points on Sunday will come from their kicker. The only question is - will it two field goals? three? four? It?s not going to be five, is it?This could be one of those days we are thankful the Cowboys have a good kicker. It?s just shocking that kicker isn?t Dan Bailey.?Would you say I have a plethora of field goals?? - El Guapo asking how many kicks Maher needs to make to beat Jacksonville on Sunday. The Cowboys made big headlines by trading for Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper in hopes of boosting the offensive side of the ball following yet another road loss in which it took some time for the offense to get things going. There?s a lot of hope that the former top-5 pick will give this offense what it needs to take advantage of a very winnable NFC East.Elsewhere, the defense once again did enough to win the game. Kris Richard?s and Rod Marinelli?s unit has played as one of the better defenses across the National Football League through seven games ? and one of the more impressive players on the unit is in his first year.Let?s take a look into how the rookies performed in the divisional battle with Washington.Leighton Vander EschLVE has been the best rookie on this team, filling in nicely when Sean Lee went down with a hamstring injury against the Seahawks. The former Boise State Broncos linebacker has been among the team?s leaders at getting tackles in each of his games, posting 54 total stops thus far in his career ? and only 13 of which were assisted.Vander Esch had a quiet game, for his standards, against Washington on Sunday, only making four stops in the divisional loss, which shows how far along he has come in just a few short weeks. Just take a look at how Pro Football Focus grades the rookie:Whatever your thoughts are on PFF Bob Lilly Jersey , there is no denying that Vander Esch has been a big time player on a big time unit so far in his young career. That has to be exciting for Cowboys fans.Connor WilliamsThe hope was that Connor Williams would be a plug-and-play rookie guard along the Cowboys talented offensive line; however, things haven?t gone perfect with the second-round pick. For as many positive plays that Williams shows, he is still clearly adjusting to the professional level. Some of that is to be expected, as he is a rookie, and some of that may be contributed to the fact that the line hasn?t played up to its standards without Travis Frederick at center.Williams had the challenge of going up against a front-seven of Washington that is loaded with talent, featuring the likes of Da?Ron Payne and Jonathan Allen. As expected, the rookie struggled against two of the best interior defensive linemen within the division.To add to things, before the infamous fumble-touchdown, Dak Prescott threw a beautiful dime to Cole Beasley for a huge first down on third-and-long to keep the drive alive. Unfortunately, Williams negated the big gain with a holding call.Williams will need to rebound in a big way his next time out. Fortunately, he has a bye week to prepare himself for the Titans.Michael GallupWhen the Cowboys opted to shift its wide receivers room in favor of going with a ?receivers-by-committee? approach, many were curious which wideout would be able to step up for Dak Prescott. Once the Cowboys spent their third-round pick on Gallup, fans were hopeful that the Colorado State Rams product would be the one to grow into a WR1 sooner than later.Gallup showed a little bit of what he could do during training camp and the preseason, such as when the rookie burned the San Francisco 49ers with a 30-yard touchdown from Dak Prescott in August. Unfortunately, it?s taken some time for the rookie to make an impact with the Cowboys ? although that can be said with the majority of wide receivers in their first season out of college.Over the last few weeks, though, Gallup has shown steady signs of progress with both his route-running and playmaking ability. Against the Lions, he hauled in a 37-yard catch on a perfectly placed throw by Dak Prescott. Two weeks later Jay Novacek Color Rush Jersey , Gallup made a 27-yard grab against the Jaguars and nearly made an impressive touchdown reception. Washington was Gallup?s best game of the season. Gallup played more snaps than any other wide receiver on the Cowboys with 54, and he displayed some impressive route-running in the process. The big one, of course, was the double-move that got the Cowboys on the scoreboard:The rookie sold the double-move perfectly, leaving cornerback Greg Storman in the dust. This was obviously a huge play at the time, and it shows Gallup?s confidence level rising as his snaps rise on the professional level. Here is another example:The addition of Amari Cooper was obviously a huge move, but don?t forget about Michael Gallup. How does the trio of Cooper-Beasley-Gallup sound?Dorance ArmstrongPerhaps the least talked about rookie who has been getting playing time is fourth-round defensive end Dorance Armstrong. The rookie is obscured by a deep defensive line, but the former Kansas Jayhawks star has played very nicely in his limited snaps.Armstrong did not make a tackle in the loss, but his development behind DeMarcus Lawrence is something to watch. He has a promising future and it?s just a matter time before he begins making splash plays of his own.Dalton SchultzThe Cowboys needed to draft a tight end last April, and they did just that in the fourth-round by selecting Dalton Schultz out of Stanford.Schultz has had an up-and-down beginning to his NFL career, struggling to get on the field for the Cowboys; however Dallas made the decision to make him active for the recent NFC East clash. There, Schultz made a 12-yard grab, his first career catch for the Cowboys.With Geoff Swaim down with an injury, Schultz has an opportunity to get on the field more and more in the upcoming weeks.

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