FRISCO, Texas – Allen Hurns is looking forward to playing his former Jacksonville Jaguars teammates this Sunday.
And he wants to be part of the solution on his new offense in Dallas, which is searching for consistency after five games.
Hurns has said multiple times this season that the Cowboys’ offense can improve “across the board” – not one particular player or position. That could also include plays run in certain situations.
In a Wednesday report by ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Hurns stated that a particular play in the Cowboys’ Week 5 loss to the Texans – Dak Prescott’s second interception on a deep comeback route by Deonte Thompson – wasn’t an ideal call against the coverage Houston showed.
Asked about his comments, Hurns said, “I didn’t question it (the call). Everyone knows that’s not a good play call versus two-man (coverage). What’s so unfortunate for us is that was the only snap in two man. It was just an unfortunate situation, but I didn’t question the play call.”
Hurns went on to say that the play-calling has worked well at times throughout the first five games, but clearly, the offense needs better overall execution from everyone involved – including himself and the other wide receivers.
The Cowboys (2-3) are averaging 23.0 points in two home wins and only 12.3 points in those three defeats away from AT&T Stadium, where communication over crowd noise has been an issue at times.
Hurns, a former 1,000-yard receiver in Jacksonville, signed a two-year contract with the Cowboys in March. Through five games, he ranks fifth on the team in catches (8 for 84 yards), including a 3-yard score in the 19-16 overtime loss to Houston.
Hurns and Cole Beasley are tied for the most offensive snaps (191) in the Cowboys’ revamped receiver rotation.
“We’ve just got to get on the same page across the board and play to the standard that we’re capable of,” he said Tuesday.
Hurns knows exactly what type of challenge awaits them this Sunday at AT&T Stadium. The last four years he practiced against Jacksonville’s defense, which emerged last season as the NFL’s most dominant unit with six Pro Bowlers and seven touchdowns coming from that side of the ball.
The Jaguars did give up 424 yards and 24 points to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, but they still own the NFL’s top ranking in total defense.
Regarding matchups for the Cowboys’ passing game, Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey leads a deep Jaguars secondary that includes fellow Pro Bowler A.J. Bouye and ex-Cowboys safety Barry Church.
The Cowboys gave strong consideration to Ramsey with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft but ultimately drafted current NFL leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott. Ramsey went a pick later. The decisions have worked out well for both teams.
“He just was a great player (at Florida State),” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said before Wednesday’s practice when asked about the team’s pre-draft evaluation of Ramsey. “He was one of those guys who leaped off the tape at you. He’s big, he’s long, he’s quick, he’s fast, he’s athletic, he used great ball skills, he was physical. He was an outstanding football player. Not surprised one bit that he’s playing as well as he is.”
Hurns knows “all 11 guys” on offense will have to be consistently effective Sunday.
“They’re a very confident group across the board on defense. They play as one,” he said. “The main thing for us is we can’t get caught up in what they’re doing.
“They’re going to come out and press us. They’re going to try to stop Zeke. So we’re going to have to make plays on the outside.”