December 18, 2015, Troy, NY The New York Jets travel to the Lone Star state to face the Dallas Cowboys in an interconference clash. The Jets at 8-5 are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the race for an AFC Wild Card berth. If all three teams win their remaining games, the Jets are odd man out due to tiebreakers. The Jets are currently on a three-game winning streak and have doubled last season’s paltry win total of four.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is having a career year with 24 TD passes. He has three games remaining to surpass Vinny Testaverde’s franchise record of 29 for a season set in 1998. WR Brandon Marshall has provided no. 1 receiver production of more than 1,000 yards and 10 TD catches.
The defense is starting to jell with DE Muhammad Wilkerson having a breakout season with 12 sacks. CB Darrelle Revis, returned from a concussion and will cover Cowboys WR Dez Bryant.
The Jets must show improvement in their porous special teams’ coverage. WR/KR Jeremy Kerley is probable with a bruised calf. If he is unavailable, no. 2 WR Eric Decker will assume punt return duties. Decker has been a reliable second option with 8 TD catches.
The Dallas Cowboys are 4-9 under head coach Jason Garrett, after beginning the season with ambitions of representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. Their offense has been decimated by injuries to WR Dez Bryant and QB Tony Romo during the first two games of the season. The Cowboys are 3-1 with Romo as their starter and 1-8 without him. Romo was lost for the season after reinjuring his shoulder in a Thanksgiving matchup with the Carolina Panthers. QB Matt Cassel has one victory as a starter this season. Bryant has been slow to return to form from his foot injury. GM Jerry Jones allowed All-Pro RB DeMarco Murray to leave in free agency and sign with NFC East Division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. The offensive line has remained a strength, though the backup QBs have been pedestrian at best.
Defensively, DE Greg Hardy was signed to provide a sorely needed pass rusher. Hardy has been fodder for the tabloids and unable to generate press clippings for his on field contributions.
Per Scoresandodds.com, the Jets opened as road favorites at -3 and are currently at -3.5.
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday at 8:25pm EST from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
The game will be broadcast by the NFL Network.