After each game, we've been highlighting three defensive and three offensive players and looking in detail at their performance. We'll conclude today with the defense:
Let the chips fall where they Maye
As usually tends to happen when the Jets play well, Marcus Maye had a good game at safety.
His best play is a great example of a combination of a good defensive set with good instincts enables someone to blow up a play.
On 3rd-and-long the Jets have a plan in case Dallas opts to try to catch them out by running Zeke Elliott into space with blockers out in front. Elliott is being keyed from a distance by Maye, who uses his closing speed to get to him and breaks down well to make the tackle.
The key to this play is that Maye sniffs it out immediately and doesn't hesitate. If he does, Tavon Austin potentially slows him down with an open field block, leaving Jason Witten to pick up Neville Hewitt and giving Elliott a chance to make the first down.
In all, Maye was credited with five tackles, which included two open field tackles in the first half that prevented what could have been two much bigger plays. He also had a diving pass break-up and was in good position on a couple of other coverage plays.
As noted the other day, Dallas only had one play that went for more than 20 yards and Maye was a big part of that effort.
The only real negative you could criticize him for was not making the stop at the goal line on Elliott's touchdown run, although that was a tough ask anyway. Hopefully Maye can remain healthy, productive and efficient.
Taking a Leo-p of faith
Once again, Leonard Williams came under fire after this game for only posting two tackles as the media simultaneously tries to will a trade into happening while at the same time attempting to tank the perception of his value.
For Williams, who played a season-high 60 snaps, he once again failed to make any significant impact plays, missed two tackles and was blocked out of a few plays, including on Elliott's touchdown run:
However, he did contribute to the defensive effort. Both his tackles were run stuffs close to the line and he pressured Dak Prescott four times and drew a holding penalty. Williams' only credited hit on Prescott came as he stunted up the middle, but he also created pressure with some interior push.
If there's one concern with Williams that nobody is talking about, it's his discipline. He already has four penalties this season after only averaging three per year in his first four seasons. And, on Sunday, he easily could have had two more as he lined up in the neutral zone on one play and led with his helmet on one of his quarterback hits.
The obvious thing to do with Williams this season was to see how the year played out. Would he break out or flatter to deceive? It's been closer to the latter so far, but the rest of the front seven hasn't been at full strength which has influenced that.
With an 0-4 record, the obvious thing to do was to shop Williams, but now that they've won one game, they might be close to rethinking that if they manage to win another between now and the deadline and convince themselves they can get back into contention with this group.
Jordan's comeback game
Jordan Jenkins returned to the line-up and produced well as a pass rusher as he had a team-high three quarterback hits, including a sack.
Jenkins didn't fare quite as well against the run, with his only tackle other than the sack coming as he made a diving stop on an inside run that gained three yards.
In the third quarter, Dallas got themselves back into the game by running at Jenkins six times. In all, they ran left seven times in the quarter, gaining positive yards on all of them and 53 overall.
Jenkins was blocked out of a few of those plays as the Cowboys went after him with a few double teams. However, he ran himself out of this one, crashing down to take on a blocker and giving up contain as Elliott ran right past him. The play might have gone for even more yards had the Cowboys run the end around which was obviously also an option.
Jenkins didn't really have much in the way of quality pressure, as his sack was a coverage sack and a couple of his pressures came late in the play. However, he did have one good play where he bull rushed the right tackle and got a hit on Prescott.
It's good to see this production from Jenkins, but he needs to be more disciplined in dealing with the run because the other three edge rushers - Tarell Basham, Jordan Willis and Kyle Phillips - were all also productive with three pressures each as they all push for more time.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Jenkins should be a veteran leader but with less upside than that trio but actually he's the same age as Basham and only a year older than Willis. Sometimes we forget that Jenkins is still developing.
Previously: 3-on-O: Anderson, Edoga, Shell