DALLAS—Next stop, the season opener.
The Jaguars concluded the preseason with a 27-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys last night at Texas Stadium. Tyson Thompson's five-yard touchdown run with 2:38 left to play was the game-winner and left the Jaguars at 2-2 for the preseason.
It was a game dedicated to young players' bids to make the final roster and rookie running back Derrick Wimbush had the night of his life. Wimbush's 55-yard run in the third quarter and another solid performance on special teams probably earned him a spot on the Jaguars' final roster.
Wimbush's long run led to a touchdown that gave the Jaguars a 17-13 lead over the Cowboys with 11:21 to play in the third quarter at Texas Stadium. David Garrard followed with a five-yard touchdown pass to Ernest Wilford.
The Cowboys regained the lead late in the third quarter, however, when quarterback Tony Romo completed an 18-yard pass to Quincy Morgan that carried to the Jaguars one-yard line and Thompson scored on the next play, staking Dallas to a 20-17 lead with 4:35 to play in the third quarter. The score remained that way into the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars should certainly be rested and ready for the Seattle Seahawks on opening day. The first units played a grand total of one minute and 38 seconds and all of that by the offense, which ran a total of five plays.
Coach Jack Del Rio obviously chose to rest his players in the preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys. It was the formula Patriots coach Bill Belichick used in last year's preseason finale, when Belichick rested all of his starters in the Jaguars' 31-0 win.
The Jaguars put their second-team defense on the field for the start of the game and the Cowboys first-team offense marched to two easy scores.
Quarterback Drew Bledsoe capped a nine-play, 87-yard drive on the first possession of the game with a 40-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Terry Glenn, who had beaten rookie cornerback Scott Starks on a corner route. It completed a drive in which the Cowboys moved the ball on the ground and through the air. Cornerback Kenny Wright was the only first-team player on the field for the Jaguars.
Dallas went 68 yards in 12 plays in its second possession, with the Cowboys running the ball at will against the left side of the Jaguars defense. Jose Cortez booted a 26-yard field goal with 2:01 to play in the quarter. At that point, Dallas had held the ball for 12 minutes and seven seconds, having gained eight first downs and 170 total yards.
The Jaguars first-team offense went three-and-out in its first possession and Jacksonville didn't experience its first high moment until Wimbush, an undrafted free agent nfrom Fort Valley State, returned a short kickoff to the Cowboys' 47-yard line late in the first quarter. Quarterback Byron Leftwich immediately followed that return with two big passes, the first of which was to Wilford for 33 yards at the Cowboys 14-yard line. Leftwich then completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Williams with 1:15 to play in the first quarter.
That score marked the Jaguars first-team offense's second touchdown of the preseason and it completed Leftwich and company's participation for the preaseason.
Nick Novak booted a 49-yard field goal for the Cowboys with 4:42 to play in the first half. He missed a 40-yard try late in the second quarter.
Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee converted a 39-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the first half and tied the game at 20-20 in the fourth quarter with a 28-yard field goal.
Leftwich completed three of five passes for 52 yards, one touchdown and a 135.0 passer rating. He was replaced at quarterback by Garrard, who completed seven of 12 passes for 61 yards, one touchdown and a 99.7 passer rating. Garrard was sacked twice.
Bledsoe was seven of eight for 91 yards, one touchdown and a 153.6 passer rating. Julius Jones rushed for 75 yards on 11 carries.