The good, the bad, and the ugly after the Jaguars’ Week 3 preseason win vs. Cowboys

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The Jacksonville Jaguars had their best preseason game of the year after a 34-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys. The fans at AT&T Stadium were treated to a breakout game of Trevor Lawrence and a brilliant overall performance from the Jags.

The team looked like they could do no wrong on offense or defense as they played their most complete game of the 2021 season so far. Still, it wasn’t completely flawless, though, and there were some miscues and questions left to be answered. With that being the case, let’s take a look at the good, bad, and ugly moments of Sunday’s victory, which put them at a 1-2 preseason record.

The good: Trevor Lawrence's breakout game

Aug 29, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) throws in the pocket for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 1 overall pick for the Jaguars had a rocky first two games this preseason, but Trevor Lawrence showed exactly why he was worth the selection against Dallas. The rookie signal-caller had a strong preseason finale where he was 11-of-12 passing for 139 passing yards and two touchdowns. The first of the touchdowns was an incredible 18-yard strike to wide receiver Pharoh Cooper where he also pump-faked the defender to free up the space for the throw. The second was a simple yet impressive 4-yard goal line corner route to receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. where he timed the throw perfectly as Shenault had a step or two on his man. The throw that had many fans talking was the huge 38-yard bomb to Phillip Dorsett II, which was the Jags' second passing play of the game. The veteran receiver ran a fade up the sideline and Lawrence put it directly in his hands for the first down. Lawrence looked much more confident and his protection was much better regardless if it was against the Cowboys' backups. This was the bounce-back game that the Jags' franchise quarterback needed in the final preseason game. Jags fans are hoping that that momentum carries over into Week 1 against the Houston Texans.

The bad: Grounded in the preseason

Dec 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (30) runs the ball while Jacksonville Jaguars offensive guard A.J. Cann (60) blocks during a game against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

While rushing numbers for star running backs aren't a total area of concern in the preseason, the Jaguars' ground game has looked a little sluggish. One of the NFL's best undrafted success stories in 2020 was James Robinson, who accumulated the second-highest rookie rushing total and set the single-season record for most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie with 1,414. While last season was a great one for him, he has not had the greatest of starts to the preseason. Through three weeks, Robinson has rushed for only 36 yards on 11 carries for a paltry 3.27 yard per carry average and only mustered 10 yards against the Cowboys' backups. Second-year back Devine Ozigbo was much more efficient on the ground with 68 rushing yards and a touchdown. This isn't an extreme area of concern and Robinson is healthy, which is a win in itself. Still, critics will always question whether or not a rookie rusher can duplicate their first season after having tremendous immediate success. Based on these numbers, that question will apply to Robinson — at least to some.

The ugly: The lack of preseason reps for the Jags starting OL (as a unit)

Sep 8, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars offensive guard Andrew Norwell (68) walks off of the field after the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The offensive line has been under fire all preseason after Lawrence took more bumps than fans cared to see. But when considering they were without Cam Robinson (in the last two games), Brandon Linder, A.J. Cann, and Andrew Norwell, the argument could be made that the Jags' offensive line fared better than expected. On Sunday, the Jaguars' reserves and Jawaan Taylor did not allow a single sack in the entire game, but the real question is rather or not the three aforementioned starters will be able to gel and be ready for Week 1. Lawrence will need all the help possible to get the maximum protection because when he has time, he has already shown that he can be a dangerous thrower of the football based on Sunday's game. The aforementioned three should be ready to roll Week 1 against the Texans, but it would have been nice for Lawrence to have some game experience with his full starting offensive line.

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