Cowboys force Jets and Zach Wilson into costly turnovers | ET REALITY

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The Dallas Cowboys throttled the Jets, 30-10, on Sunday afternoon, reminding visitors from New York, as if any reminder were needed, what the rest of their season could look like without quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers lasted just three official snaps in the Jets’ season opener last week before rupturing his left Achilles tendon. The Jets (1-1) earned a 22-16 overtime victory against the Buffalo Bills thanks to their tremendous defense and potent running game.

The Jets’ defense also did its part on Sunday, stopping the Cowboys (2-0) several times in the red zone and forcing Dallas to settle for field goals on five drives. But Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott wore down the defense with short passes to neutralize the Jets’ talented defensive backs. He connected with receiver CeeDee Lamb 11 times for 143 yards. Running back Tony Pollard caught seven more passes for 37 yards and rushed for 72 yards on 25 carries.

In total, Prescott completed 31 of 38 attempts for 255 yards and two touchdowns, thrown to tight ends Jake Ferguson and Luke Schoonmaker.

The Cowboys had the ball for more than 42 minutes, running 83 plays and converting 9 of 18 third-down opportunities, leaving the Jets’ offense with little chance to get going.

“Defensively, we just couldn’t get off the field,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “You can’t do anything if you don’t have the ball much.”

Rodgers’ replacement, Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, picked up where he left off last season. Under pressure all game from Dallas’ fearsome front four, Wilson was sacked three times and threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter as the Jets attempted to close a scoring deficit. Wilson finished with 170 yards on 12-of-27 passing, leading the team with 36 rushing yards. He was pursued all night by Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who had four quarterback hits, including two sacks.

Wilson’s few bright moments came early and with the help of his teammates. Dallas took an early lead with a touchdown pass from Prescott to Ferguson in the first quarter and added 3 points on a 35-yard field goal by Brandon Aubrey. Midway through the second quarter, Wilson opened a drive from the Jets’ 32-yard line by finding Garrett Wilson, the 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year, on a play-action pass. The receiver broke free of a tackle and ran 68 yards to the end zone to cut the score to 10-7.

Dallas followed with a scoring drive of its own, punctuating a 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown to Schoonmaker.

With 12 seconds left before halftime and the Jets having driven to the Cowboys’ 16-yard line, Zach Wilson nearly threw a second touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson, who was wide open in the end zone, but the ball was deflected by a defender from Dallas. and he skated too far from his mark. The Jets settled for a field goal to make the score 18-10.

“It was very frustrating,” Zach Wilson said. “I was going to rip it into the front pylon.”

In the end, the Cowboys returned to the formula that helped them defeat the Giants, 40-0, last week in New Jersey. Prescott got rid of the ball quickly and Pollard, who became the team’s leading rusher last season, kept the Jets from focusing on the pass rush.

Parsons also stripped the ball from running back Dalvin Cook on the Jets’ second drive of the third quarter, short-circuiting his attempt to close a scoring gap that had ballooned to 21-10.

Playing from behind and under pressure, Zach Wilson threw interceptions on the Jets’ final three possessions. The first of them, early in the fourth quarter, was intercepted by Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse, who returned the ball 32 yards to the Jets’ 17-yard line. The Cowboys added a field goal to increase their lead to 30-10.

The final two interceptions were caught after the Jets closed in on midfield and Dallas’ secondary leaned on Wilson’s throws. The matchup, like much of the Jets’ schedule before Rodgers’ injury, had been an interesting measuring stick for a team with new playoff hopes.

Saleh said he didn’t believe Sunday’s loss was the start of a long slide for the Jets, who have home games against the division rival New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs in the coming weeks.

“It won’t be a snowball, it won’t be a snowball,” he said. “That’s a really good football team. “They played as well as I think they can.”

Unfortunately for Jets fans and television networks, the Jets, who were promoted by HBO’s “Hard Knocks” over the summer, may continue to struggle as they search for an offensive formula that works without Rodgers, the quarterback. Hall of Fame caliber they expected. lead them this season.

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