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Cowboys News: Jerry Jones denies rumors of Jason Garrett extension

Plus, what’s the word on Tavon Austin’s injury?

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Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jerry Jones responds to report that Cowboys are planning to give Jason Garrett an extension - John Breech, CBS Sports
On Monday, Mothership writer Jeff Sullivan tweeted his feeling that Jason Garrett would be getting a contract extension soon, and speculation took off from there. Tuesday, Jerry Jones responded to the claim.

“I don’t know where Jeff is getting his information,” Jones said. “He’s pulling one out of the air there as far as any knowledge.”

On the other hand, Jones didn’t exactly deny that an extension could eventually be coming. As a matter of fact, the Cowboys owner went out of his way to note during the interview that his opinion of Sullivan’s report didn’t necessarily mean Garrett won’t be getting an extension.

”I would say that my response should not in any way indicate whether I’m thinking about it or whether it’s going to be there,” Jones said. “it’s just not something that I would have visited with anybody about, least of all Jeff.”

Dak Prescott’s Legs Could Save the Cowboys Offense - Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling, Sports Illustrated
Dak Prescott’s threat to scramble with the ball was a big part of the offensive success against Jacksonville. This has led some to argue that Prescott needs to use his legs more often going forward.

He was excellent on both designed runs and scrambles. The strength of top offenses around the league is the passing game. It’s the receiving weapons and the quarterback. That’s not the Cowboys’ strength, and the Jaguars are built to deal with that strength. Not that they’re bad against the run, but they did struggle to stop the run both Prescott and the more traditional running game. It’s the Jaguars strength against the Cowboys’ biggest weakness. Does your strength really matter that much at that point if even a middling group of cornerbacks and pass rushers can shut down this passing game?

Decoding Linehan, Week 6: Cowboys’ third-down precision makes all the difference – Bob Sturm, The Athletic
Sturm explains why winning on third downs was the key to the win against the Jaguars, and why there may be reason for optimism going forward.

Through five weeks, only two offenses were worse on third downs than the Cowboys and both of those teams started QBs who are playing in the NFL for very first time – Buffalo and Arizona. As you know if you read this weekly, I was certain the Cowboys could rebound in this category — because under Dak Prescott they have been one of the better third-down offenses in the NFL. This was true in both 2016 (10th) and 2017 (fifth) with a combined mark of just under 43% in a league where 39% is average. There was almost no basis for the Cowboys to be sitting at 30th.

Dallas’ Week 6 performance against one of the very best defenses in the NFL offered a ray of sunshine that could even be mistaken for optimism. 8 for 11 with 10.2 yards an attempt [on third down]? A 135 passer rating? Does this suggest that the player who has been a 100-passer rating QB on third down his whole career can actually execute again?

Crazy what finding Cole Beasley again can do for an offense.

This was a really nice performance from the passing offense and they pretty much shut it down at halftime and sat on their lead in the second half. That part is far less important than the strides on third down and in 11 personnel, which should help them build a plan for Washington.

The news has been pretty poor for five weeks, but Week 6 gives you a vision of what’s possible. Let’s see what the Cowboys do with that vision.

Cole Beasley knew a big day was coming; can Cowboys keep it going? - Todd Archer, ESPN
The realization is beginning to set in that the Cowboys' passing game will never be about fantasy numbers.

The Cowboys’ passing game will never be confused with the Los Angeles Rams or Chargers or the Kansas City Chiefs or New England Patriots. The Cowboys’ passing game cannot be measured in big numbers, but it can be measured in efficiency.

Prescott targeted Beasley 11 times against the Jaguars and he caught nine passes. Seven of those catches came on third down. Four of them led to a first down or a touchdown. One was a yard short of a first down but allowed Garrett the chance to convert a fourth-and-1.

“You saw Witten stuff. You saw No. 1-ish. We talk about what is [a No. 1 receiver], well, of course, but we saw an emphasis on what he does, his level,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “There’s no question we all know his skill is separation and he was able to do that.”

FMIA Week 6: Chiefs-Patriots Leaves Expectations in the Rearview – Peter King, ProFootballTalk
Earlier this week, Peter King came to a similar conclusion about the Cowboys as he ruminated on the win over the Jaguars.

How Jekyll and Hyde are the Cowboys? But that was the team Cowboys ownership and coaching built to be one of the league’s best at running the football and efficient at passing it.

Derwin James, Leighton Vander Esch duking it out for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors - Staff, Pro Football Focus
Los Angeles Chargers' Derwin James and Dallas Cowboys' Leighton Vander Esch are currently neck-and-neck in the race for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors through Week 6, according to PFF.

Among the 72 off-ball linebackers with at least 150 defensive snaps this season, Vander Esch ranks third in overall grade (86.4), sixth in run-defense grade (82.6) and fourth in coverage grade (81.1). Diving into the PFF history books, Vander Esch ranks second among the 70 rookie off-ball linebackers with 150-plus defensive snaps in the first six weeks of the season in the PFF era (2006-Present) in overall grade, behind Seattle Seahawks All-Pro Bobby Wagner.

From magnetic charisma to an ‘all-timer’ play, how LB Jaylon Smith is emerging as a leader for Cowboys - Brandon George, SportsDay Dallas
The Jaylon Smith renaissance has taken off in Dallas, as the third-year linebacker is blossoming into a star for this defense. What’s more important is that he’s picked up the slack in Sean Lee’s absence.

“He’s running the huddle and communicating the play to everybody,” said rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who has started in place of Lee the last three games. “There hasn’t been a step off one bit with him out there running it on the field. He’s done an amazing job.

”He helps me be able to help him help everybody else. What he does on the field and off is he takes initiative and he’s extremely driven. He wants to be known as one of the best linebackers in the NFL, and I have absolutely no doubt he’s going to be there. I just look forward to playing with him for many years to come and making an amazing duo out of it.”

Cowboys unlikely to have Tavon Austin for the Washington game - Dave Halprin, Blogging the Boys
Tavon Austin left the Jaguars game early with an injury, and based on some of Jason Garrett’s comments, the wide receiver/running back/web back isn’t going to be available for the upcoming Redskins game.

The Dallas Cowboys will be likely without one of their receiving corps when they play Washington this Sunday. Tavon Austin came up lame in the game against the Jaguars and coach Jason Garrett is not “overly optimistic” about his chances of playing the next game.

Austin strained his right groin midway through the third quarter Sunday against Jacksonville on a run around the left end. He was hurt near the sideline and didn’t return. Austin had his right groin heavily wrapped as he congratulated players entering the locker room after the game.

”It might be a little bit of time,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Austin’s timeline to return. “We’ll take his situation day by day, but I’m not overly optimistic he’ll be available this week.”

Noah Brown eligible to return - @toddarcher
It was noted on Monday that wide receiver Noah Brown, who is on the injured reserve with an unknown condition, is now eligible to return to practice, though the Cowboys might take a more precautious route.

Byron Jones is stingy in pass coverage - @PFF
The emergence of Byron Jones as a top tier cornerback in the league has been a recurring theme so far, and Pro Football Focus pointed out that Jones has only allowed 0.55 yards per coverage snap so far this season.

Brett Maher off to a hot start - @rjochoa
The decision to cut Dan Bailey for unproven Brett Maher was controversial at the time, but the Cowboys kicker has done nothing but prove his immense value through six games.

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