The Jets had big hopes in Big D, but they left Texas with a 1-1 record following a 30-10 loss to the Cowboys. While the visitors got an electrifying 68-yard TD reception from Garrett Wilson, Dallas' offense was the more consistent unit throughout the game that featured two of the most-talented defenses in the NFL.
Zach Wilson, who came on in relief of Aaron Rodgers in the Jets' thrilling Monday night win over the Bills in Week 1, finished 12-of-27 passing for 170 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. All three picks came in the final quarter as the Green & White was trying to put points on the board.
"Up until we had the force it, I thought [Wilson] did a really nice job," head coach Robert Saleh said. "[Zach] Wilson hit that strike route to Garrett over the middle for that big touchdown. I thought he did a really nice job at the end of half moving to chains getting some points."
Dak Prescott, meanwhile, connected on more than 80% of his passes while throwing for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns. Dallas dominated time of possession (42:15 to 17:45) and won the battle on third down (53% to 10%) while pass rusher Micah Parsons set the defensive tone with a sack of Wilson on the Jets' third play from scrimmage. Parsons totaled 2 sacks, 4 QB hits and a forced fumble he recovered as he ripped the ball out of Dalvin Cook's hands.
"That pass rush, those guys did a good job. You got to give them credit," Z. Wilson said. "I thought we had a good game plan as far as trying to help those guys out up front. We're going to go back, and watch see how I can help in the pocket and see if I can get the ball in my hands quicker, but you got to give those guys credit. They did a good job and they made it tough on us."
The Jets didn't have many things go their way in the first half, but they trailed only 18-10 at the break. Zach Wilson's second TD to Garrett Wilson in six days covered 68 yards, cutting a 10-0 deficit to 3 points. Then the third-year QB, making his 23rd career start, ran for 33 yards on the final possession of the half and helped set up Austin Seibert's 34-yard field goal.
The Cowboys took command from the outset. Instead of deferring to get their defense on the field first, the 'Boys opted to take the ball, promptly marched 75 yards on 12 plays and ended the possession on Prescott's 3-yard TD to TE Jake Ferguson. The score came on third down as Dallas converted all three of its third downs on the first drive, including a 15-yard Prescott scamper.
Prescott started with a career-high 13 straight completions and the Jets deficit grew to 10-0 when K Brandon Aubrey was good from 35 yards out. But the Wilson-to-Wilson connection changed the tenor of the game and the Jets nearly had a lead in their hands when CB Sauce Gardner jumped a Prescott sideline pass intended for CeeDee Lamb but couldn't corral the pass. During the first half, Dallas converted 7-of-10 on third downs while the Jets were 1-of-6.
"They had a great scheme," DT Quinnen Williams said. "They came out and ran the ball well and threw the ball well. We have to go home look in the mirror and watch film and get better."
The Jets return to MetLife Stadium next Sunday for a divisional matchup with the Patriots.
See the best game action photos during the Week 2 matchup against the Cowboys.
Both S Tony Adams (hamstring) and CB Michael Carter II (elbow) exited in the first half and were replaced by Adrian Amos and Brandin Echols. Adams was ruled as out in the third quarter. C.J. Mosley and Jordan Whitehead co-led the defense with 9 tackles (5 solo) … The Jets were flagged for two roughing the passer infractions in the first half including a questionable flag on John Franklin-Myers that gave the Cowboys a first down inside the red zone. … S Ashtyn Davis successfully converted a fake punt in the first quarter, powering for 4 yards on a fouth-and-1. The Jets have had been successful on four consecutive fakes (FG or punt) since last season, tied with Detroit for most in the NFL.