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What to Watch: Quick questions, Cowboys-Jaguars


CHANDLER'S CROSS, England – Senior writer John Oehser preps for the week ahead with five quick questions for Cowboys-Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday

1. Will the picks stop?This maybe isn't quite so urgent a question as last week. That was when Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was coming off five interceptions in back-to-back games, including two returned for touchdowns by the Miami Dolphins. Still, Bortles had a costly interception late in a loss to Cincinnati, and until the interceptions aren't costly and memorable, this is a weekly question.

2. Can the defense hold up? The Jaguars' defense is an improved unit. It also has been a quality unit in recent weeks. But what it mostly is right now is an injured unit, with cornerbacks Will Blackmon and Alan Ball going on injured reserve in the past few weeks along with middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. Defensive end Andre Branch and middle linebacker Jeremiah George are also out. The defense has held up despite injuries for the most part, but this isn't easy. And it's a legitimate topic.

3. Can Denard keep it up? If Denard Robinson continues to perform as he has in the last three weeks, this will stop as a question soon enough. Robinson has averaged more than 100 yards a game the last three games, and they're real, earned yards. He has emerged as a reliable option, and one with playmaking, game-breaking ability. Those are rare, it's why Robinson's looking and more like a legitimate go-to running back.

4. Will Tony Romo play?We usually stick to more Jaguars-oriented questions in this feature, but this is the Cowboys and it's the quarterback position. Romo sustained a back injury against Arizona two weeks ago and the Cowboys haven't won since. Romo has taken criticism in recent years, but he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league and this game looks dramatically different with Romo playing and without.

5. Can the Jaguars win? Ah … the weekly question until it isn't … The Jaguars have played well enough in recent spurts to win. A couple of interceptions returned for touchdowns hurt against Miami two weeks ago and a missed assignment led to a game-breaking 60-yard touchdown by Cincinnati this past week. While there have been spots of significant improvement, the Jaguars have made too many mistakes too often to win consistently this season. That will be a major topic this week – as it should be.

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