THIS WEEK: The Jacksonville Jaguars will play their final game of the 1998 preseason when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday. Kickoff for the nationally televised game will be at 8:00 p.m. at ALLTEL Stadium.
The Cowboys will be making their first trip ever to Jacksonville, the only NFL city they have never visited. The two teams did meet last season in Dallas, with the Cowboys coming away with the victory.
The Jaguars are coming off a 22-21 defeat at Kansas City in which they lost a 21-9 lead in the second half when backups were playing. The Jaguars' starters led the Chiefs' starters 14-6 before both teams went with their backups. The Cowboys lost at St. Louis 22-14 and are 0-4 in the 1998 preseason.
Last season the Jaguars finished 11-5 and became the NFL's only expansion team to make the playoffs twice in their first three seasons. They qualified for the playoffs as a Wild-Card team (losing the AFC Central Division championship to Pittsburgh on the fifth tiebreaker), but lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos in a Wild-Card playoff game. The Cowboys went 6-10 and finished in fourth place in the NFC Eastern Division, their worst record since 1989.
TELEVISION BROADCAST: The game will be televised nationally by CBS and locally by WJXT Channel 4. Greg Gumbel will call the play-by-play and Phil Simms will add analysis. It will be the Jaguars' first game on CBS, which will broadcast the AFC for the next eight years.
RADIO BROADCAST: All of the Jaguars' games are broadcast on WOKV (690 AM), WBWL (600 AM) and WKQL (96.9 FM) and the Jaguars Radio Network. Brian Sexton will call the play-by-play and former NFL quarterback Matt Robinson will add analysis. Sexton and Robinson are in their fourth season together. Robinson, Jennifer Kumik, Vic Ketchman, and Cole Pepper handle the pre-game show, and Pepper and ex-Oakland Raider Pete Banaszak do the post-game show. A total of 21 affiliates in four states on the Jaguars Radio Network will also broadcast the game.
TICKET INFORMATION: A limited number of tickets are available.
THE OPPONENT: The Cowboys have won five Super Bowls during their 38-year history. They won five straight NFC Eastern Division championships and three Super Bowls in the 1990s before slipping to a 6-10 record last season. Dallas was awarded the NFL's first-ever expansion franchise, and the Cowboys began play in 1960, going 0-11-1. They advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 1966 and lost to Green Bay in the league title game two straight seasons. The Cowboys lost their first Super Bowl in 1970 to Baltimore, then defeated Miami the following season for their first NFL championship. Dallas has appeared in the playoffs 17 times in the last 20 years, including a victory in Super Bowl XII under head coach Tom Landry. Jerry Jones purchased the club in 1989 and hired Jimmy Johnson as head coach, and Dallas won Super Bowls in 1992 and '93 and again in 1995 under Barry Switzer. Chan Gailey was named the team's fourth head coach on February 12, 1998.
THE SERIES: The Jaguars and Cowboys have played only once, with Dallas winning 26-22 on October 19, 1997 at Texas Stadium. This is the first meeting in the preseason. The two teams will not play during the 1998 regular season.
THE LAST TIME: The Jaguars lost 26-22 to the Cowboys in Texas Stadium on October 19, 1997. Mark Brunell threw three touchdown passes but was intercepted with 1:33 to play and the Jaguars on the Dallas 36-yard line. The Jaguars battled back from Dallas' 19-14 lead to go ahead 22-19 in the fourth quarter on Brunell's 2-yard TD pass to Derek Brown (the only TD reception of his six-year career) and a two-point conversion pass to Willie Jackson. But Dallas bounced back five plays later on Herschel Walker's 64-yard catch-and-run. Keenan McCardell caught seven passes for 120 yards for his first of four 100-yard games of the season. The Jaguars were outgained (271 yards to 337), and they had fewer first downs (15 to 24) and less time of possession (26:36 to 33:24), due in part to having only 51offensive plays, tied for the second-fewest ever in team history. Brunell was 21 of 31 for 242 yards, with his second three-TD game of the season (and fifth of his career) and one interception. The Jaguars rushed only 18 times for 42 yards.
A JAGUARS VICTORY OVER THE COWBOYS WOULD: Even their preseason record at 2-2 and be their eighth victory in their last 10 preseason games dating back to 1996. It would also be the fourth straight year they have won the final preseason game before heading into the regular season.
INJURY UPDATE: There were no significant injuries in the Kansas City game, but 14 players missed the game because of injuries: CB Curtis Anderson (Achilles), S Chris Hudson (thumb), LB Brandon Tolbert (hamstring), LB James Hamilton (ankle), LB Tyrone Hines (knee), C Michael Cheever (back), G/OT Jeff Novak (leg contusion), G Rich Tylski (knee), G/OT Todd Fordham (ankle), TE Pete Mitchell (back), DE Tony Brackens (ankle), DT Don Davey (knee), DT Kelvin Pritchett (hyperextended elbow) and DE Fernando Smith (hernia). The status of all injured players will be updated during the week.
THE COACHES: Jacksonville head coach Tom Coughlin has led the Jaguars to the playoffs each of the last two seasons, a first for an NFL expansion team. In 1997, the Jaguars finished 11-5 and lost the AFC Central Division championship on the fifth tiebreaker to Pittsburgh. The Jaguars were defeated by Denver in the Wild-Card playoffs. In their second season in 1996, the Jaguars advanced all the way to the AFC Championship game, finishing the regular season in second place in the division with a 9-7 record. In the playoffs, the Jaguars upset the Bills and Broncos on the road before losing at New England. In 1995, Coughlin's Jaguars finished with four victories in their inaugural season. He became head coach of the Jaguars on February 21, 1994 following three successful seasons as head coach at Boston College. Coughlin compiled a record of 21-13-1 from 1991 to '93 at Boston College, and had two appearances in bowl games and a ranking of 13th in the final AP poll of 1993. A veteran of 27 years of coaching, he was previously an NFL assistant coach with the New York Giants (wide receivers, 1988-90), Green Bay Packers (wide receivers and passing game coordinator 1986-87) and Philadelphia Eagles (wide receivers, 1984-85). He has a record of 24-24 during the regular season and 2-2 in the postseason. Coughlin's preseason mark is 9-7.
Chan Gailey became the fourth coach in Cowboys' history, taking over a team that finished 6-10 last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1990. In 10 seasons as an NFL assistant coach, Gailey appeared in four Super Bowls, six AFC Championship Games, and has been a part of seven division-winning teams. Gailey spent the previous four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1994-97), serving the last two as offensive coordinator. Under Gailey, the Steelers led the NFL in rushing last season. He was the Steelers' receiving coach when the Steelers faced the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX. Prior to joining the Steelers, Gailey spent six years with the Denver Broncos (1985-1990). He served in various capacities with the Broncos before being named the offensive coordinator in 1989. That season, the Broncos finished 11-5 and won the AFC title, earning a berth in Super Bowl XXIV. In between his time in the NFL, Gailey had head coaching stops with the World League's Birmingham Fire (1991-92) and Samford University (1993).
JACKSONVILLE-DALLAS CONNECTIONS: Three Jaguars have played for the Dallas Cowboys: WR Willie Jackson was a fourth-round pick in the 1994 draft and was inactive for all 16 games before being selected in 1995 by Jacksonville in the expansion draft; WR Jimmy Smith was drafted in the second round in 1992 and played in Super Bowl XXVII; and CB Dave Thomas was drafted in the eighth round in 1993 and played in Super Bowl XXVIII and the 1994 NFC Championship game before joining the Jaguars in the 1995 expansion draft ... Six Jaguars are from Texas: WR Will Moore (Dallas, Texas Southern), WR Keenan McCardell (Houston), WR Damon Dunn (Arlington), DE Tony Brackens (Fairfield, University of Texas), FS Chris Hudson (Houston) and S Tre Thomas (Sugarland, Univesity of Texas). Also, G Jeff Novak attended Southwest Texas State. ... Seven Cowboys are from Florida: WR Michael Irvin (Ft. Lauderdale, University of Miami), G Nate Newton (Orlando, Florida A&M), CB Deion Sanders (Ft. Myers, Florida State), RB Emmitt Smith (Escambia, University of Florida), WR Ernie Mills (Dunnellon, University of Florida), LB K.D. Williams (Tampa), LB Darren Hambrick (Pasco, University of Florida before transfering to the Unviversity of South Carolina). Also, C Clay Shiver attended Florida State and LB James Bates attended Florida. ... Cowboys head coach Chan Gailey was a three-year letterman at quarterback for the Gators from 1971 to '1973, and graduated from Florida in 1974 with a degree in physical education. He then became a graduate assistant for the Gators for the 1974 and '75 seasons ... Cowboys linebackers coach Jim Bates coached at the University of Florida in 1990 ... Cowboys special teams coach Joe Avezzano grew up in Miami and then played and coached at Florida State ... Jaguars QB Mark Brunell played at the University of Washington with Cowboys TE Eric Bjornson, who as a freshman played QB behind Brunell and Billy Joe Hobert before moving to wide receiver ... Jaguars G/OT Todd Fordham played at Florida State with Cowboys C Clay Shiver ... Jaguars QB Mark Brunell, DT Don Davey and defensive coordinator Dick Jauron were in Green Bay with Dallas LB Fred Strickland in 1994 ... Jaguars CB Curtis Anderson played with Cowboys WR Billy Davis at the University of Pittsburgh ... Jaguars OT Pierre Brillant was a teammate of Cowboys TE Rod Monroe at the University of Cincinnati ... Jaguars S Donovin Darius and RB Malcolm Thomas played with Cowboys DT Antonio Anderson and LB Nate Hemsley at Syracuse ... Cowboys G/T Flozell Adams played with Jaguars G/OT Brian Demarco in 1994 and DT Jabbar Threats in 1995 at Michigan State ... Jaguars CB Kevin Devine played with Cowboys RB Tarik Smith at the University of California ... Jaguars DT Winfield Garnett played with Cowboys FB Nicky Sualua at Ohio State ... Jaguars WR Willie Jackson was a teammate of Cowboys WR Ernie Mills at the University of Florida in 1990 ... Jaguars LB Derek Strey played with Cowboys WR Jeff Ogden at Eastern Washington ... Jaguars LB Brandon Tolbert was a teammate of Cowboys LB Randall Godfrey and G Antonio Fleming at the University of Georgia.
NFL TO EXPERIMENT WITH INSTANT REPLAY: This week's Jaguars-Cowboys game will be the ninth of 10 preseason games in which the NFL experiments with new concepts of instant replay. Preseason testing includes: 1) reviews by the referee at two field-level monitors (one at each 20-yard line); 2) a challenge system for coaches (two per team per game); and 3) limited categories of reviewable plays.
The categories of reviewable plays will be limited to three areas: plays of possession or touching; plays governed by sideline, goal line, end line or line of scrimmage; and other detectable infractions (number of players on the field).
NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue says the league has no plans at this time to revive the instant replay system as it operated for six seasons ending in 1991. But, he said, the NFL will continue to explore ways of making television replays promptly available to game officials in connection with on-field decisions and to keep abreast of current technology for that purpose.
PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Practice and interview times for the next week are as follows:
Day Practice Players Coach Coughlin
Monday 3:30 p.m. 12:00 - 12:30 12:30 p.m.
Tuesday 1:30 p.m. 11:45 - 12:15 p.m. 12:15 p.m.
Wednesday Walk through No availability No availability
Thursday Jaguars vs. Cowboys, 8:00 p.m. EDT
NEXT WEEK: The Jaguars will be on the road when they open their fourth NFL season against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, September 6 at Soldier Field. It will be the second meeting ever between the two teams. The Bears defeated the Jaguars 30-27 on October 15, 1995 in the Jaguars' seventh game in franchise history. The Bears finished 4-12 and in last place in the NFC Central Division in 1997.
LAST WEEK: The Jaguars suffered their second loss of the preseason 22-21 to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Jacksonville led 21-9 midway through the third quarter, but the Chiefs scored the final 13 points of the game. Mike Hollis had an opportunity to win the game for Jacksonville with 1:56 remaining, but his 58-yard field goal attempt was wide left.
Mark Brunell played in the first one-and-a-half quarters, directing three series that ended with a punt, a touchdown and a missed field goal. Brunell was 6 of 15 for 68 yards, but he threw his third TD of the preseason, a 12-yarder to Keenan McCardell. Jamie Martin was 3 for 3, including an 80-yard TD pass to Jimmy Smith that would have been the longest in team history had it been in a regular-season game. Martin also directed a second touchdown drive that ended with a seven-yard TD run by rookie Tavian Banks, who scored for the second straight game.
The Jaguars were outgained 375 yards to 252, but midway through the third quarter they had outgained Kansas City 261 to 192 and led 21-9. From that point on, the Jaguars lost nine yards on their final four possessions, while the Chiefs gained 183 yards. The Jaguars had the ball for just 3:37 in the third quarter and 5:43 in the fourth period.
NOTES FROM THE CHIEFS GAME: The Jaguars brought 70 players to Kansas City and 68 of them played (all but WR Todd Floyd and C Matt Cravens). ... The Jaguars had three takeaways and two turnovers in the game. ... With his 3 for 3 passing for 112 yards, Jamie Martin improved his preseason statistics to to 9 of 9 for 196 yards and a 155.8 passer rating. ... Rookie Jonathan Quinn was 0 for 4 and Steve Matthews was 0 for 1. ... Rookie WR Alvis Whitted led all rushers with 33 yards on his one reverse. James Stewart carried seven times for 29 yards (4.1 average) and for the preseason has 130 yards on 22 carries (5.9 average). ... Jimmy Smith had three receptions for 108 yards and an 80-yard score, while Fred Taylor and Willie Jackson each had two catches. ... Jeff Kopp and Aaron Beasley made interceptions, giving the team three in three preseason games. ... Bryan Barker punted four times for a 52.8-yard average, a long of 57 and one touchback. ... The Jaguars made three sacks, two by Kevin Hardy and one by Seth Payne. ... LB Kevin Hardy led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo), and LB Brant Boyer and MLB Bryan Schwartz each had 7 tackles. ... Jaguars captains were Gs Ben Coleman and Brian DeMarco and DTs Seth Payne and Renaldo Wynn.
FROM COACH TOM COUGHLIN ON THE CHIEFS GAME: "I am not happy with the twos. From the midpoint of the third quarter on, I wasn't pleased with how the game went. Obviously the Kansas City second-team defense dominated our second-team offense. We had our chances to win. The disappointment that I have is that many of our kids in the second offensive line were overmatched, and I don't know if I can put it in any other way. Three of our intregal offensive linemen are injured and can't play at this time, so you do the very best you can. I thought it was a very competitive football game, a very hard-hitting football game. We gave Kansas City back the momentum; we had the momentum when we were up 21-6. We'll see this team again in the second week of the regular season.
(on Bryce Paup playing for the first time) "There is no question that we are a better football team with him playing. We needed to get him on the field. This gave him a chance to play and gain some confidence. We restricted his number of snaps that he had, but he got his feet wet and this is going to help. Hopefully he's healthy and strong and can build on this."
FROM QB MARK BRUNELL: "Overall, we did some good things. In the first half I thought we moved the ball OK and put some points on the board. The first unit did a good job up front as far as the protection and making some lanes for the running backs. In the second half we backed off a little bit; I don't think our intensity was there. The Chiefs were on the field too much and they scored too many points. We lost. It is preseason, but a game like that you want to win. Sure, we did some good things in the first half, but that is a game that we let go."
A LOOK BACK AT THE 1997 SEASON: The Jaguars set a number of team firsts in 1997, their third season. Here's a recap:
- Won a team-record 11 regular-season games
- Became the NFL's first expansion team to qualify for the playoffs twice in its first three seasons
- Finished six games over .500 in the regular season for the first time in team history (11-5, .688)
- Finished with the same record as AFC Central Division champion Pittsburgh for the first time ever (losing the division title on the fifth tiebreaker)
- Won seven of eight games at home for the second straight year
- Increased their winning streak at home to 13 consecutive games before losing the home finale
- Went 4-4 on the road for the first time ever
- Became one of only seven NFL teams to make the playoffs each of the last two seasons.
- Evened the franchise's three-year record in the regular season at 24-24.
- Improved their mark to 7-4 in December over three seasons
- Sent five players to the Pro Bowl (starters OT Tony Boselli, PK Mike Hollis and P Bryan Barker, and backups QB Mark Brunell and WR Jimmy Smith).
- OT Tony Boselli and P Bryan Barker became the first Jaguars to be named to Associated Press' All-Pro team
1997 STATISTICAL MILESTONES: The 1997 Jaguars set numerous statistical records. Here's a quick look at the most significant numbers:
* Scored a team-record 394 points * Allowed only 318 points, a team record * Sacked opposing quarterbacks 48 times, a team record * RB Natrone Means rushed for a team-record 823 yards * QB Mark Brunell's passer rating of 91.2 led the AFC and set a team record * WRs Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell became only the eighth receiving tandem in NFL history to have back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Smith set a single-season team record with 1,324 receiving yards, and McCardell tied his team record of 85 receptions in a season. * CB Deon Figures had a team-record five interceptions * PK Mike Hollis led the NFL in scoring with a team-record 134 points, including a team-record 31 field goals
THE TEAL IS REAL . . .Since November 24, 1996, when the Jaguars began their run to the '96 playoffs, their record is the third best in the NFL. The Jaguars have won 16 of their last 21 regular-season games. Here's a look at the league's best records since November 24, 1996:
Team Reg. Season Reg. Season Total
Green Bay Packers 5-0 13-3 18-3
San Francisco 49ers 4-1 13-3 17-4
Jacksonville Jaguars 5-0 11-5 16-5
Denver Broncos 3-2 12-4 15-6
Kansas City Chiefs 1-4 13-3 14-7
New England Patriots 4-1 10-6 14-7
Pittsburgh Steelers 2-3 11-5 13-8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-2 10-6 13-8
. . . WITH THE THIRD-BEST RECORD AT HOME . . .The Jaguars have gone 7-1 at ALLTEL Stadium each of the last two seasons, which is tied for the third-best record at home in 1996 and '97. The Jaguars' 13-game home winning streak was snapped on December 7, 1997 when they were defeated by the New England Patriots. That was their first home loss since September 10, 1996, when they lost to the Houston Oilers. The Jaguars are 14-2 at home in the last two years and have won 15 of their last 17 home games dating back to December 24, 1995, in their inaugural season. Here are the best home records in the NFL in 1996 and '97:
Rk. Team 1996 1997 Total
- Green Bay Packers 8-0 8-0 16-0
Denver Broncos 8-0 8-0 16-0
- Jacksonville Jaguars 7-1 7-1 14-2
Pittsburgh Steelers 7-1 7-1 14-2
- San Francisco 49ers 6-2 8-0 14-2
- Kansas City Chiefs 5-3 8-0 13-3
New England Patriots 6-2 6-2 12-4
. . . AND FOURTH-BEST RECORD ON THE ROAD . . . The Jaguars are one of only six NFL teams with a better than .500 record on the road (including postseason) dating back to November 24, 1996. The Jaguars' 8-6 record away from home during that time is the fourth-best mark in the NFL, and their eight victories is tied with the San Francisco 49ers for the most road wins in that time. Here are the only teams in the league with a better-than-.500 record on the road since November 24, 1996:
Team W-L-T Pct.
Green Bay Packers 7-3 .700
San Francisco 49ers 8-4 .667
Carolina Panthers 7-4 .636
Jacksonville Jaguars 8-6 .571
New York Giants 5-4-1 .550
Kansas City Chiefs 6-5 .545
THE FIRST FOUR SEASONS: Here's how NFL expansion teams fared in their first four seasons:
Team 1ST SEASON 2ND SEASON 3RD SEASON 4TH SEASON
Dallas 1960 0-11-1 1961 4-9-1 1962 5-8-1 1963 4-10
Minnesota 1961 3-11 1962 2-12-1 1963 5-8-1 1964 8-5-1
Atlanta 1966 3-11 1967 1-12-1 1968 2-12 1969 6-8
Miami 1966 3-11 1967 4-10 1968 5-8-1 1969 3-10-1
New Orleans 1967 3-11 1968 4-9-1 1969 5-9 1970 2-11-1
Cincinnati 1968 3-11 1969 4-9-1 1970 8-7 1971 4-10
Seattle 1976 2-12 1977 5-9 1978 9-7 1979 9-7
Tampa Bay 1976 0-14 1977 2-12 1978 5-11 1979 11-7
Jacksonville 1995 4-12 1996 11-8 1997 11-6 1998 ?
Carolina 1995 7-9 1996 13-5 1997 7-9 1998 ?
Records include postseason games. The only expansion teams to make the playoffs in their first four seasons are Jacksonville (1996 and '97), Carolina (1996), Cincinnati (1970) and Tampa Bay (1979).
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Below is a list of players who went to the Jaguars' inaugural training camp in 1995 who are now with other teams:
Player Position 1998 team
Steve Beuerlein QB Carolina Panthers
Derek Brown TE Oakland Raiders
Hillary Butler LB Denver Broncos
Ryan Christopherson FB Denver Broncos
Reggie Clark LB Kansas City Chiefs
Mike Dumas S San Diego Chargers
Paul Frase DT Green Bay Packers
Desmond Howard WR Oakland Raiders
Greg Huntington C Chicago Bears
Rob Johnson QB Buffalo Bills
Randy Jordan RB Oakland Raiders
Ernie Logan DE New York Jets
Curtis Marsh WR Pittsburgh Steelers
Le'Shai Maston FB Washington Redskins
Tom Myslinski G Indianapolis Colts
Marcus Price OG San Diego Chargers
Mike Thompson DT Cincinnati Bengals
Mickey Washington CB New Orleans Saints
Dave Widell C Atlanta Falcons
Bruce Wilkerson OT Green Bay Packers
James Williams LB San Francisco 49ers