FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — America’s team is bringing its top-ranked offensive act to MetLife Stadium.
So what stands out on that side of the ball for a 3-2 Cowboys team that will face the winless Jets on Sunday?
“Probably their Pro Bowl offensive line, probably one of the best running backs in football [Ezekiel Elliott], explosive wide receiver [Amari Cooper], good slot wide receiver [Randall Cobb], Hall of Fame tight end [Jason Witten], quarterback’s pretty good [Dak Prescott],” Adam Gase said. “Outside of that . . . ”
The Jets’ biggest problem in their 0-4 start has been their bottom-ranked offensive act, but quarterback Sam Darnold is returning after missing three games with mononucleosis. The Jets’ defense, on the other hand, is ranked a respectable 12th.
Four-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin) likely will miss his fourth straight game. He’s doubtful. So is defensive lineman Henry Anderson (shoulder). But the Jets will be getting one reinforcement back at outside linebacker and possibly two to try to help in this formidable challenge: Brandon Copeland and Jordan Jenkins.
Copeland is returning after a four-game suspension. Jenkins missed the last two with a calf injury, but he practiced on a limited basis this week and Gase said the situation is “trending in the right direction” to play against Dallas. Officially, Jenkins is questionable.
“His energy and attitude is very contagious for our team,” Gase said.
The Jets have only six sacks, including one by Jenkins in the opener. He delivered a career-high seven sacks last season to share the team lead with Anderson, and Copeland posted a career-high five.
“They’ve got some good power,” defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said.
The Jets also could use Leonard Williams to attack for sacks. The sixth overall pick from the 2015 draft has none. Gase said he faces a lot of double teams and Gregg Williams said he does a lot of the dirty work.
“He’s playing unbelievable,” his coordinator said. “ He’s graded out very well on how we grade film.”
He may have to be wary of the Oct. 29 trade deadline, though. He’s in a contract year. His lack of sacks could also impact his sacks of cash.
“I have to do what my position requires me to do,” Leonard Williams said. “Obviously, a part of that is getting sacks, but I feel like that’s just going to come the more I focus on myself and the more I focus on my technique and just getting better.”
Notes & quotes: LG Kelechi Osemele (shoulder, knee, illness) and RB/KR Trenton Cannon (foot, ankle) are doubtful. WRs Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee) and Josh Bellamy (shoulder) and CB Nate Hairston (knee) are questionable. Cobb (hip, back) is among three who are questionable for Dallas . . . Le’Veon Bell is averaging only 2.9 yards. “It’s been pretty obvious who they’ve been trying to take away,” Gase said.“There’s always an extra guy in the box.”