Five-star answer: Jets won't hit mark in win

September, 9, 2011
9/09/11
1:05
PM ET
This week's question: Can Dallas hold the Jets under their 2010 rushing average per game?

Yes, they can but I don’t think it means they win Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium.

Given the shakiness of the secondary, even if Mike Jenkins is able to play, I think Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will be able to throw the ball more than the offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has shown in the past.

With Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason, as well as tight end Dustin Keller, Sanchez has veteran, dependable wide receivers that will make him look better even with some inaccurate throws.

I say this knowing the Cowboys run defense wasn’t good in the preseason, but LaDainian Tomlinson didn’t exactly light it up either.

The Cowboys allowed 492 yards on 112 carries and four rushing touchdowns. Sometimes stats can be skewed in the preseason because of how much the backups play. Well, the first-team run defense took a hit on the first series of the first preseason game vs. Denver. In the dress rehearsal that is the third game, Adrian Peterson went nuts.

There is no shame in seeing Peterson put up yards but you can’t expect the Cowboys to just flip a switch when the games count. The Cowboys allowed five 100-yard rushers last year and a 90-yard rusher.

I don’t think the Jets will have a 100-yard rusher Sunday night, but it won’t be because of the run defense.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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