Scout's Notebook: Who Shined For The Defense?


FRISCO, Texas – As always, I'll have more when I've had a chance to watch the tape. For the time being, here are some quick impressions from the Cowboys' dominant 40-7 win against Jacksonville.

· What a gutsy throw by Dak Prescott to hit Michael Gallup on that route up the sideline to convert that early third down. Prescott had Allen Hurns coming across the field, which would have been an easier throw and likely netted him the conversion. Gallup did a nice job of timing his jump to not allow A.J. Bouye to defend him on the play.

· Heads up play by Jourdan Lewis to avoid the pick by Donte Moncrief to get to the flat in order to keep Dede Westbrook from a first down. Lewis read the route the entire way and just ran right around Moncrief, making the tackle with Byron Jones to get the defense off the field. Lewis hasn't been playing much, so that was important to get him going in the game.

· Tremendous blocks by Tyron Smith, Blake Jarwin and Geoff Swaim on the Dak Prescott touchdown run. One guy was going to be unblocked on the play and it was Barry Church. Jarwin drove Telvin Smith so far up the field that it forced Church to have to run around him -- and by that time, it was too late. Prescott was already around the corner, giving Church no chance at the tackle.

· Taco Charlton didn't have many stops, but he had a key one on Niles Paul that, if he hadn't read it correctly, had a chance to be a huge play. Charlton was able to stay at home, play his assignment and trap Paul for a loss on the tight end reverse. The Jaguars had captured the corner behind Charlton so give him a lot of credit for not chasing the fake inside and allowing that play to develop.

· Give Allen Hurns some credit for the clear out route he ran that held Tashaun Gipson in place, allowing Cole Beasley to run behind him on the deep out. Beasley broke his route off five yards beyond the sticks and Dak Prescott put the ball right there for the first down. Both Gipson and Jalen Ramsey were caught trying to scramble back in order to make the tackle, but the damage had already been done by Beasley.

· I'll be honest: I was not optimistic about what David Irving was going to be able to give the defense in this game -- but the Cowboys knew better than me. Irving had an early flush of Blake Bortles when he swatted down A.J. Cann's hand and quickly beat him to the corner, forcing Bortles to move quickly to his left. Irving was just a half-step away from capturing Bortles for a sack on his very first play in the game.

· Nice one-handed play fake by Dak Prescott on the toss sweep to Ezekiel Elliott out of "22" personnel. That fake got the entire Jaguars defense going in one direction, while Rico Gathers escaped out the back door. Prescott got his eyes back around quickly and was able to hit Gathers right along the line of scrimmage with only Barry Church in the area some 15 yards away.

· Give Jeff Heath an assist on the sack by Maliek Collins. It appeared that Blake Bortles wanted to go inside with the pass to Keelan Cole for the first down. Jourdan Lewis was in good position, but Heath came flying down inside playing as the robber in the middle of the field. Cole had nowhere to go on the route and tried to retreat but by that time it was too late. Collins had beaten Andrew Norwell on the spin move for the sack.

· It appeared that Cole Beasley took advantage of a deep drop by Myles Jack with Geoff Swaim that left him plenty of space for Dak Prescott to find him on the crossing route for the touchdown. Beasley was able to work right in the area that Jack vacated and Prescott saw him all the way, putting the ball right out front for him to make the reception.

· One of Leighton Vander Esch's best traits in college was his ability to cover. In Sean Lee fashion, he was able to keep his position on James O'Shaughnessy over the middle and deny the pass from Blake Bortles to get the defense off the field. Vander Esch never allowed O'Shaughnessy the opportunity to get away from him. Bortles tried to fit the ball to the inside, but there just wasn't any room for the catch.

· It's not often that you can beat Jalen Ramsey for a touchdown, but Tavon Austin and Dak Prescott could have done just that. Michael Gallup, running right along with Austin, broke to the inside which held Barry Church in place. With no help in the deep middle, Austin had a step on Ramsey and Prescott was going to try and get him the ball. What gave the play a chance was that Ramsey was never able to close the gap on Austin -- but the ball was overthrown by a good four yards.

· I had a feeling that the Jaguars might take a shot down the field with D.J. Chark in the game. He has been their best vertical player, but Anthony Brown was ready for it. Chark is a burner but he could never separate from Brown, who timed playing with his off-hand perfectly just as the ball arrived. Chark extended as far as he could but just couldn't come up with it. Give Brown a ton of credit for the way he played filling in for Chidobe Awuzie, who was out with an ankle injury.