The Cowboys had just scored with 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Only a two-point conversion try stood between the Jets blowing all of an 18-point lead or pulling off an extra-large upset for their first win after opening with four losses.
“Everybody was just calm,” Jamal Adams said of the defense. “It was really a beautiful sight to see because we usually kind of panic. Guys are not sure what’s going on, or are we going to stop it? Everybody believed. We made it happen.”
Adams and fellow safety Marcus Maye made it happen. Adams burst through on a blitz. Dak Prescott had to get rid of the ball and threw for tight end Jason Witten. But Maye had him covered tightly a few yards into the end zone. The ball fell incomplete. The defense had done just enough to survive against the NFL’s top-ranked offense, and the Jets won, 24-22.
Afterward, Adams and Sam Darnold were showering and talking about the defensive play of the day, a play the Jets’ defense had been practicing for a while against their offense.
“He said it’s a hard blitz to pick up, especially in the red zone,” Adams said. “It was a great call by (defensive coordinator Gregg Williams) dialing that up.”
Leonard Williams paid tribute to Adams’ work in pressuring Prescott.
“He made the ball come out quick, and Dak wasn’t able to get his read in time,” the defensive lineman said. “That won us a game. That was a big-time play, and we finished the game.”
The defense allowed 398 yards, including 152 from scrimmage by Ezekiel Elliott, failed to force a turnover and helped let a 21-3 lead slip.
But the Jets did force four drives to end in field-goal tries, three of which were successful, and held the Cowboys to two touchdowns, none in the first three quarters. Adams and Quinnen Williams also stuffed Prescott for a loss of a yard on a fourth-and-2 run from the Jets’ 7 in the second quarter.
“Obviously, we didn’t get (a turnover), but we had a lot of turnovers as far as stops,” Adams said. "Obviously, we’ve got to do a better job as a defense creating those turnovers to put our offense in better position. But at the end of the day, a win is a win.”