ReFo: Cowboys @ Jaguars, Week 10
The Dallas Cowboys traveled across the pond this week to take on Jacksonville for the Jaguars’ now-annual ‘home’ game in London.
The biggest question heading into Sunday’s game was the health of Tony Romo and whether or not he would be able to suit up for the contest. While he looked beat up at times and missed a couple throws he normally would not, he played well enough and having him on behind center was important to the Cowboys’ success in the game.
After jumping out to a 24-7 halftime lead, Dallas held on to secure their seventh win of the season.
Let’s take a look at a few performances that stood out on each team.
Dallas Cowboys — Performances of Note
Dez Bryant, WR: +4.0
Breakdown: We have seen some impressive plays from Bryant this season, but Sunday’s performance was among the best of his career. Most came at the expense of Dwayne Gratz, who allowed three catches for 95 yards, each going for either a first down or a touchdown. Bryant also forced two missed tackles against Gratz and caused a defensive holding penalty that was declined due to still picking up the first down.
Signature Stat: Bryant forced four missed tackles after the catch on his way to a 6.08 Yard Per Route Run, tied for the highest in Week 10.
Travis Frederick, C: +3.7 and Zach Martin, RG: +3.7
Breakdown: Frederick had a few solid reach blocks in the run game and did not allow a pressure in pass protection in arguably his best performance of the season. With 7:44 left in the third quarter, Frederick reached MLB J.T. Thomas and sealed the lane to help spring Joseph Randle for a 40-yard touchdown run.
As good as the Cowboys’ offensive line is, the rookie Martin continues to impress may be the best lineman of the bunch. He, too, did not allow a pressure for the third time in four games. Martin has surrendered just total pressures (1 hit, five hurries) on 354 pass blocking snaps this season.
Signature Stat: Martin’s +19.9 overall grade since Week 4 is second to only Marshal Yanda among guards.
Anthony Hitchens, MLB: +0.3
Breakdown: Hitchens, who typically plays outside linebacker, was thrust into the starting role at middle linebacker while the Cowboys rested starter Rolando McClain. Hitchens played well against the run, picking up five run stops, including back to back tackles for no gain on third and fourth down in the third quarter. He was a bit more suspect in coverage and over-pursued a couple plays, but it was a solid performance from the rookie who had played just 181 snaps over the first nine weeks.
Signature Stat: Hitchens’ five run stops were tied for the most among inside linebackers in Week 10, and only Brandon Marshall did so in fewer plays than Hitchens’ 20 run snaps.
Jacksonville Jaguars — Performances of Note
Luke Joeckel, LT: -5.0
Breakdown: Joeckel’s negative grade comes almost entirely in pass protection as he was beat on five of 48 drop-backs (1 sack, two hurries), with one hit negated by penalty and one not resulting in a pressure due to another blocker picking up the defender. While the number of times beat is concerning, how quickly he was beat is even the bigger issue.
Signature Plays: Jeremy Mincey beats Joeckel with speed to the outside for a sack early on (Q2 10:45), and then comes back later in the game (Q3 3:30) with an inside spin move for a hit.
Red Bryant, DE: +2.1
Breakdown: Bryant played just 22 of 62 snaps, but he had an impact when on the field. He picked up a season-high three run stops on just 14 snaps in run defense for a 23.1 Run Stop Percentage.
Signature Play: On the fourth offensive play of the game, Bryant sheds a Tyron Smith block to meet DeMarco Murray at the line of scrimmage and take him down for a short gain.
Chris Clemons, DE: -1.9
Breakdown: The signing of fellow former Seahawk Chris Clemons has not panned out as the Jaguars had hoped. Clemons managed just two unblocked hurries (one negated by penalty) on a team-high 28 pass rushes as he failed to get much going against Doug Free and Tyron Smith. Clemons has now graded at -1.0 or worse in eight of 10 games and is our lowest-graded 4-3 defensive end on the season.
Signature Stat: While Clemons has five sacks on the season, his 4.4 Pass Rushing Productivity is last among 4-3 defensive ends who have played at least half of their team’s passing plays.
PFF Game Ball
The Cowboys jumped out to a big lead due in large part to a couple outstanding plays by Dez Bryant, who earns our game ball this week.