ARLINGTON, Tex. – It wasn’t all perfect, but it sure wasn’t bad overall.
It was 2023 Preseason Week 1 for the Jaguars – and as for the starters in the season’s first work against another team, they left with an eight-point lead in what became a 28-23 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in front of an announced 81,204 at AT&T Stadium Saturday evening.
“Some good and some bad, obviously,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Pederson said. “Overall, a lot of things to clean up, but there are some positives we’ll take a look at and build on.”
The Jaguars’ first-team offense left Saturday’s game with 3:46 remaining in the first quarter, leading 8-0 after a short touchdown drive on their third – and final – series.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, completed five of six passes for 36 yards in three series. He threw an interception deep down the left sideline on his first pass of the game and threw for scores on his last two attempts of the game.
“Whenever there’s points on the board you want to win these games,” Lawrence said. “Obviously it doesn’t count for your record for the regular season, but just from a morale standpoint for the team, it’s good.”
The Jaguars’ defense also left the game late in the first quarter, shutting out the Cowboys on two series and registering a sack.
The early eight-point lead came with help from a huge special teams play when wide receiver Tim Jones forced a fumble by Cowboys punt returner KaVontae Turpin that Jaguars cornerback Gregory Junior recovered at the Dallas 42.
Lawrence capped a six-play drive on the ensuing possession – the first-team offense’s last of the night – with a nine-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Kirk. The veteran receiver was crossing in the back of the end zone and open after Lawrence had good protection on the 4th-and-3 play.