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A win they had to have

Join Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Duane from Chicago, IL:
My eyes told me David Garrard had a great day, as did Jones-Drew. However, my eyes did not tell me the defense was great. I saw a defense take advantage of bad mistakes a good offense would not make. Is there anything in that defensive performance that says we can start to have some real optimism about the unit?

Vic: You're analyzing the game too deeply. It's a win they had to have. That's all that matters. I'm not going to get deep into analysis because, frankly, and I think everyone knows this, the Cowboys were awful and there is something very wrong with that football team. I also won't analyze it too deeply because the Cowboys got so far behind so quickly and play had deteriorated so badly that we left the template of an NFL-caliber game very early in the second half and a significant portion of the game had a preseason feel to it. In other words, I don't think it's worthy of deep analysis. My perspective is the Jaguars clearly came to play and that's what was most impressive about their performance. They let us know by their performance that they are still chasing the playoffs. They haven't quit.

Matt from Jacksonville:
It's so difficult to evaluate Garrard because when he's good he's really good. Unfortunately, when he's bad, the opposite is true. How do you evaluate a guy when you can get such extremes?

Vic: That's the evaluation. He plays at extremes. It's his identity. He needs to level it out.

Alex from Auburn, AL:
I think it's pretty evident the window has closed in Dallas. Would you agree?

Vic: It really wasn't open. We bought the star on the helmet and all the marketing glitz and we failed to see that there wasn't much behind it.

James from Charlottesville, VA:
I saw Larry Hart with a sack and Austen Lane had some pressure, as well. Is it about time these guys become regulars?

Vic: I think it's time they get more playing time. I liked what I saw from both guys. They have potential.

Scott from Woodbridge, VA:
Are the Jags that good or are the Cowboys that bad? I think we need to put this win into perspective.

Vic: Yesterday, it was both. Yes, I think the Cowboys are that bad and it could stay that way the remainder of the season. Playing for pride and respectability isn't going to turn anyone on in Dallas. As for the Jaguars, they got a snapshot of themselves they're going to want to have made into a portrait. You know what I mean? Somebody takes a picture of you with a crappy camera and it's your all-time favorite picture and you wanna look like that all the time. Now the Jaguars have a picture they can try to imitate. We'll see if they can do it.

Dave from Snellville, GA:
Please advise all the haters out there that our QB is currently the fourth-rated QB in the NFL.

Vic: If I do that all the haters will bombard my inbox with hate mail. No thanks.

Charles from Jacksonville:
I'm very happy we won yesterday but I have to ask, what's happened to the Cowboys? Is it poor drafting, poor leadership, coaching, an owner trying to play GM like Al Davis, or all of the above plus some?

Vic: It's wide receiver fever. They got it bad. It's a killer, man.

Jim from Medford, NJ:
Everyone who doubted Tyson Alualu needs to go back and watch the fourth-and-one goal line stand. The way he dominated that offensive lineman to allow the linebackers to fill that gap was all I needed to know. We made the right choice. What was your take on Alualu's performance?

Vic: First of all, that's why you run the Oklahoma drill. You run it for those kinds of plays. You run it to learn how to hold the point, defeat the block and make the tackle on the goal line. I can't imagine why any coach wouldn't want to use the Oklahoma drill in training camp. The play Alualu made in Sunday's game that jumped out at me was early in the game when he shot through a gap and tackled the back for a loss. That's the play for which the Jaguars drafted him. That's what a three-technique tackle is supposed to do; penetrate, disrupt and chase the ball. He's been fine at holding the point, but chasing the ball is the next level for him and we got a glimpse of that next level on Sunday.

Pete from Jacksonville:
Just saw an example of the "two-point spiral" in the Washington-Detroit game on Sunday.

Vic: The Georgia coach nearly got caught in the "two-point spiral" on Saturday. He went for two too early and unnecessarily and that forced him to go for two, again, when Georgia scored its next touchdown. He got the two points the second time, but that merely put him back to where he would've been had he kicked twice. Had he missed the second two-point try, too, there wouldn't even have been overtime. Coaching has gotten reckless, from the overuse of the two-point conversion to the ridiculous go-for-its. Just too costly, too liberal.

Colby from Denver, CO:
What do you believe Garrard was doing differently in Dallas?

Vic: His receivers were running wide open and he had time to throw. The one thing we've always known about Garrard is that when his receivers are open and he's given time to throw, he plays well. It's when things break down, especially the pass-protection, that his play declines.

Tom from Jacksonville:
Jags have the look of a contender? Really? They beat a lifeless 1-5 Dallas team that is missing its starting quarterback. Tell us if they still have the look of a contender after they lose to Cleveland at home in a couple of weeks. The spin doctor is at it again.

Vic: Why the hate? This is a Jaguars fan site. Do you honestly think that after one of the really proud wins in recent franchise history I would tell people to forget about that win in Dallas, the Jaguars proved nothing and aren't a playoff contender? You'd have to be stupid to expect that. I think I represented the situation accurately. They're 4-4 and still in the hunt. I also wrote this: "The answer will come quickly. The answer will come at home against Houston and Cleveland. The Jaguars have given themselves a chance, but perspective changes more decidedly in the second half of the season. The game will get bigger with each passing week." That's not a fair characterization? You know what I think? I think you've got a problem.

Josh from Mishawaka, IN:
I noticed during your pregame video you were wearing a clover sticker with the initials for Declan Sullivan, the Irish student who passed a few days ago. What is the story behind you representing this tragedy?

Vic: The stickers were made and distributed to NFL video directors in memory of Declan Sullivan. He was one of them, and it was their way of honoring him.

Kevin from Orange Park, FL:
Do you expect a bump in tickets sales after the impressive win over the Cowboys?

Vic: I hope it helps sell tickets. I'm not sure what to expect. I'll tell you this, and I shouldn't have to say this because I think everyone knows it: With a team in contention, there will be no excuses. The national media will be watching very, very closely.

John from Neptune Beach, FL:
Could any NFL city support a second team or, for that matter, could New York support a third team?

Vic: I think Chicago might be able to support a second team. There would be no reason for a third team in New York.

Keisha from Orange Park, FL:
Why were the Jags wearing their traditional home uniform in Dallas? What factors are considered in deciding which team will wear which uniform for a game?

Vic: It's the home team's choice and the Cowboys always wear white at home.

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