Inculcating advice from coach Urban Meyer, Jacksonville's rookie No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence starred with 11 of 12 completed passes for 139 yards and two scores in three possessions against the Dallas side, as the Jaguars beat the Cowboys 34-14 in an NFL preseason finale on Sunday.
In his first two exhibition games, the former Clemson star had only one field goal to show for eight possessions. Four days after Meyer declared Lawrence the starter and a day after the Jaguars traded likely backup and fan favourite Gardner Minshew, Lawrence immediately changed his mind.
“I think we just executed a lot better than we have the past two games,” Lawrence said, according to Associated Press inputs. “Builds a lot of confidence going into the season. It’s nice to finish the preseason with a game like that.”
On Jacksonville's first play, Pharoh Cooper caught Lawrence's first touchdown pass, an 18-yarder along the sideline in the end zone that was set up by a 38-yard toe-dragging grab from Phillip Dorsett II.
After Carlos Hyde's short touchdown run was called back due to a holding penalty, Lawrence connected with Laviska Shenault Jr. on a 4-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.
The Cowboys (0-4) needed the last preseason game to decide whether Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert, or someone from outside the club would be Dak Prescott's backup quarterback.
While Gilbert recovered from a poor performance to lead an 80-yard drive that culminated in a 19-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Parker, Rush did little to erode the advantage he appeared to have gained by outplaying Gilbert a week earlier.
In three scoreless possessions, Rush was 4 of 8 for 16 yards, while Gilbert was 9 of 16 for 87 yards and the touchdown. Instead of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, quarterback coach Doug Nussmeier handled the offence, a tactic Dallas coach Mike McCarthy likes to utilise late in the preseason to give other coaches play-calling experience.
Except for Ron'Dell Carter's roughing call when he seemed to make contact with Lawrence's facemask on a hit just as the QB launched a ball, the Jaguars kept their prized QB out of harm's way ahead of the new season by mixing primarily short drops and rollouts.
With inputs from the Associated Press