ARLINGTON, Texas – Going on the road was cruel to the Jaguars yet again.
One-sidedly cruel, actually.
Blake Bortles and the Jaguars' offense struggled throughout, and the Jaguars' No. 1-ranked defense struggled in a big way, too – with the end result being that the very-struggling, very-injured Jaguars lost to the Dallas Cowboys by a score of 40-7 at AT&T Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Jaguars fell behind 24-0 at halftime in their second one-sided road loss in as many weeks. They trailed 20-0 at halftime in a 30-14 loss at Kansas City last Sunday.
The Jaguars (3-3) with the loss missed a chance to take sole possession of first place in the AFC South. The Tennessee Titans (3-3) lost to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday. The Jaguars and Titans are now tied for first in the AFC South along with the Houston Texans (3-3).
The Jaguars play host to the Texans at TIAA Bank Field next Sunday.
Bortles, the Jaguars' fifth-year quarterback, completed 15 of 26 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown with a third-quarter interception that came with the Jaguars trailing, 27-7 late in the quarter. He completed 6 of 8 passes for 35 yards and no touchdowns during a first half in which the Jaguars managed just 64 yards of offense.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed 17 of 27 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He completed 13 of 18 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, the NFL's leading rusher entering the game, rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Prescott rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
The Cowboys had 251 yards and 17 first downs in the first half. The Cowboys entered the game averaging 16.6 points a game offensively.
The Jaguars registered three sacks Sunday, including one by defensive end Calais Campbell (first quarter) and two by end Yannick Ngakoue (two in the third quarter).
Step by step:
*The Cowboys took an early lead, with kicker Brett Maher converting a 50-yard field goal with 8:36 remaining in the first quarter to make it 3-0; that capped a 51-yard drive that followed a three-and-out by the Jaguars on the game's first possession. The Jaguars went three-and-out on their ensuing possession, giving the Cowboys possession on their 50 to start their second possession. The Cowboys drove immediately for a 10-0 lead with a 17-yard run by Prescott.
*The Cowboys continued to move easily through the Jaguars' defense early in the second quarter, with Cole Beasley catching a 17-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to give the Cowboys a 17-0 lead 9:28 before halftime. The Cowboys had a 183-46 total-yardage advantage at that point; the Cowboys continued their dominance late in the second quarter with a 16-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Prescott to Beasley for a 24-0 halftime lead. The Cowboys led in first downs by 17-3 at halftime and held a 251-64 total-yardage advantage.
*A 34-yard touchdown pass from Bortles to wide receiver Dede Westrook with 7:31 remaining in the third quarter pulled the Jaguars to within 17, 24-7. Maher's 46-yard field goal on the ensuing possession pushed the Dallas lead to 27-7 with 3:06 remaining. Cowboys safety Jeff Heath then returned Bortles' first interception of the game to set up a 32-yard field goal by Maher that gave the Cowboys a 30-7 lead with 1:17 remaining in third quarter.
*Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot scored on a 15-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 37-7, Dallas. Maher's 55-yard field goal with 7:06 remaining made it 40-7.
Notable:Left tackle Ereck Flowers and starting running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) were among the Jaguars' seven pre-game inactives Sunday. Others: cornerback D.J. Hayden (toe), cornerback Tre Herndon (hamstring), nose tackle Eli Ankou, defensive end Dawuane Smoot and offensive guard Chris Reed. … Four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles and running back Dave Williams played and backed up T.J. Yeldon; the duo signed Tuesday after third-team running back Corey Grant sustained a season-ending foot injury last Sunday against Kansas City. Charles rushed for five yards on five carries. … Fourth-year veteran Josh Walker made his first NFL start at left tackle; he became the third player after Cam Robinson (Weeks 1-2) and Josh Wells (Weeks 3-5) to start at left tackle for the Jaguars this season. Flowers signed with the Jaguars Friday in the wake of Wells' injury. …
Injury report: Jaguars reserve tight end Niles Paul sustained a first-quarter knee injury and did not return. … Defensive tackle Malik Jackson sustained a first-quarter hamstring injury and returned early in the second quarter. … Campbell left with a rib injury late in the second quarter and returned in the third quarter. … Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens left with a third-quarter ankle injury and did not return. … Wide receiver D.J. Chark was evaluated for a concussion in the third quarter and returned.
What's next:The Jaguars are scheduled to play the Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field in downtown Jacksonville Sunday, October 21 at 1 p.m.