The Cowboys were supposed to get healthy against the Jets today. Instead, Sam Darnold has Dallas in serious jeopardy of losing three games in a row.
Sam Darnold’s bout with mononucleosis had the entire Jets offense looking sick in his absence. Now that he’s back on the field, Adam Gase’s attack suddenly is putting the Cowboys under a ton of pressure.
This was supposed to be the week where Jason Garrett’s troops got healthy. Dallas started the year quickly with a 3-0 start, but consecutive losses to the Saints and Packers have spurned legitimate questions about whether the Cowboys are legitimate contenders or simply pretenders.
The Jets entered Week 6 with a dismal record of 0-4. Gase was supposed to install a new and exciting offense in New York, but playing without Darnold for an extended period of time really limited what the number of plays he felt calling. The team was happy to get Darnold back onto the field against the Cowboys, but no one truly knew what to expect from the second-year quarterback.
The Jets have jumped out to a shocking 21-6 lead at halftime. Darnold’s return to the playing field has transformed every aspect of Gase’s offense. Not only has Gase opened up the playbook with his starter back in the mix, but it’s also given the New York offense the ability to produce some badly needed explosive plays. Darnold’s perfect throw over the top to Robby Anderson in the second quarter torched the Dallas secondary for a long touchdown. The throw also successfully put the Cowboys’ defense on their heels.
The key for the Jets in the second half will be to continue their aggressive playcalling on both sides of the ball. Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense are missing a lot of key players, but they still have Ezekiel Elliott at their disposal. Look for Garrett and his coaching staff to lean heavily on their franchise running back to try to get back into this game.
New York can extend their lead if they continue to put the ball into Darnold’s hands. Going 13-of-18 for 218 yards and two touchdowns show he’s ready to handle even more responsibility in the second half. If the Jets play not to lose it will allow the Cowboys back into the game. If they keep their foot on the gas they’ve got a terrific chance to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the season.
It’s probably too late for Darnold to save the Jets’ season, but he’s got another half of football before he can put the Cowboys season in danger. Fans in New York are glad to have their franchise quarterback back in the mix.