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Big Picture: Other Than Records, Jets & Cowboys Differ Greatly With Turnovers


Like most weeks this year, the big news once again centers on the quarterback position. Either Tony Romo has been playing, injured, out of the lineup, close to returning, actually returning, hurt again – or of course, one of the backups is out there and not playing up to the level this team is used to.

That's where they stand once again, and this week, the topic centers around sticking with Matt Cassel or switching to Kellen Moore, who has never played a snap in a regular-season game.

The Cowboys are planning to start Cassel, but Moore is apparently getting a few more first-team snaps.

Look for some rotation in the running game after Robert Turbin complemented Darren McFadden last week, getting his first rushing touchdown of his career.

On defense, the injuries are taking its toll once again. Cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring), linebacker Rolando McClain (concussion) and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (ribs, chest) are limited in practice this week. Lawrence has five sacks in his last five games, including three in the last two weeks.

Claiborne's injury is even more intriguing this week considering the Cowboys decided to waive Tyler Patmon. The club is expected to sign Terrance Mitchell from the practice squad but the move hasn't been made as of Wednesday.

In the big picture approach, the Cowboys are two games behind the other three teams in the NFC East, all tied for first place. They're not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but could be if they lose to the Jets, and the Redskins and Eagles both win this week.


The Jets have had some up-and-down moments this year but with three games to play, they're 8-5 and right in the hunt for an AFC wild card spot.

The passing game, led by Ryan Fitzpatrick, and big receivers – Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker – have sparked the Jets here of late. Statistically, Decker and Marshall have formed one of the best receiving duos in the NFL this year, especially in terms of TD catches. Marshall ranks tied for fourth in the NFL with 11 touchdown grabs, while Decker is eighth with nine scoring receptions. The last Jets receiver with double-digit touchdowns in a season was Santana Moss in 2003 and they could have two this year is Decker can find the end zone once more.

Fitzpatrick doesn't have great stats – ranked 20th with his 89.8 passer rating, but he does lead the Jets in the red zone, where they rank first overall in scoring percentage, getting points 95.5 percent of the time and rank third in touchdown percentage at 68.2 percent.

Defensively, the Jets have the NFL's best run defense, allowing just 78.9 yards per game. Unlike the Cowboys, the Jets have no problems taking the ball away. They're tied for fifth in the league with 24 takeaways and have a +5 turnover ratio, compared to the Cowboys, who sit dead last with a -15 ratio thanks to just eight takeaways from the defense. The next-closest team has 11 takeaways.

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