Cowboys vs Jaguars Week 15: history, key players, projection

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 04: Tyron Smith #77 of the Dallas Cowboys between plays during an NFL game against the Cleveland Browns on October 4, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 04: Tyron Smith #77 of the Dallas Cowboys between plays during an NFL game against the Cleveland Browns on October 4, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /
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Cowboys vs Jaguars: “Under the Radar” Players

Cowboys
Jayron Kearse, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Dallas Cowboys: Jayron Kearse, Safety

After avoiding a pregame scare last week, Jayron Kearse was able to stay healthy and be a contributor for the Cowboys against the Texans. On the year, he has tallied 57 tackles, tied for third on the team. To go with that, Kearse has two sacks, six tackles for loss, and three pass deflections.

This matchups offers a unique challenge for Kearse, as the Jags’ running back, Travis Etienne Jr., is very much a dual-threat running back. He has amassed 814 rushing yards and 214 yards on 25 receptions. Kearse’s ability to play in coverage and also roll down to the line of scrimmage to support the run game makes him extremely valuable on Sunday.

Dallas will have to slow down Etienne Jr. in order win this one, as they look to improve their run defense. They allowed 114 yards on the ground to the Texans, but did drastically improve, as they only allowed 3.1 yards per rushing attempt. The Texans simply … run a ton. You’re going to bank yards that way.

This game feels like a chance for Kearse to rack up some important solo tackles in space and be involved in a turnover.

Be it via fumble recovery or interception, Kearse could be a defensive factory on Sunday.

Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)
Zay Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images) /

Jacksonville Jaguars: Zay Jones, WR

The Jaguars receiver room isn’t overly loaded with big names, yet they are producing decently enough this season. They are led by Christian Kirk, who signed with them before this season. Behind him is a group of receivers contributing and helping second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

While fourth on the team in touchdowns, second in yards, and second in targets, Zay Jones is first on the team with 68 receptions. He has 655 receiving yards as well. He is averaging 9.6 yards per catch, proving to be quite the underneath target for Lawrence this year.

Trevon Diggs will be following Christian Kirk around, and recent fantasy stud/tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. will be other targets to keep an eye on.

If Diggs can do his thing and lock up Kirk, the Cowboys will see second-year DB Kelvin Joseph tasked with handling the next man up for the Jags.