Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars intercept Prescott, stun Cowboys 40-34 in OT

Jacksonville Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins (2) runs into the end zone with teammates linebacker Josh Allen (41) and linebacker Devin Lloyd (33) after Jenkins intercepted a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Noah Brown (85) and run in for a game winning touchdown the NFL football in overtime, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Rayshawn Jenkins snatched the ball inches from the ground and raced the other way.

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He could have played it safe and taken a knee or stepped out of bounds. But this wasn’t the time or place — not for a guy who had never returned an interception for a touchdown.

Not in the NFL. Not in college. Not in high school. Not even as a kid playing peewee football in Florida. So Jenkins had one thought: score.

Jenkins intercepted Dak Prescott’s tipped pass in overtime and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown that gave the Jacksonville Jaguars a stunning 40-34 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

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“That’s a play you dream about ever since you’re 8 years old, ever since I started playing this game, to be the guy to make a play like that for us to get that win,” said Jenkins, who became the first player in NFL history with 18 tackles and two interceptions in the same game. “That was pretty cool to do.”

Tre Herndon tipped Prescott’s low throw to Noah Brown, and Jenkins made a shoelace grab and went untouched to the end zone to end Jacksonville’s 20-game skid — an NFL record — against teams from the other conference.

“I was running for dear life,” Jenkins said. “My hamstrings about to pull and everything.”

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Prescott sat on the field in disbelief as the Jaguars celebrated one of their more improbable wins in franchise history.

“Unlucky bounce for us; hell of a play by them,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said.

The shocker ended Dallas’ four-game winning streak and prevented it from securing an NFC playoff berth, at least for a few hours. The Cowboys wrapped up a wild-card spot later Sunday when the New York Giants beat Washington. Jacksonville (6-8), meanwhile, got within one game of reeling first-place Tennessee in the topsy-turvy AFC South.

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The Jaguars stormed back from a 27-10 deficit to take the lead in the fourth, only to see Prescott and the Cowboys answer. Trevor Lawrence responded by driving Jacksonville into position for Riley Patterson’s 48-yard field that sent the game into overtime.

Jacksonville won the coin toss and had a chance to win it but went three-and-out. Jenkins’ pick-6 three plays later ended the game.

“It’s tough. It’s frustrating,” Prescott said. “It’s tough treading that line, trying to make a play, trying to be aggressive, and at the same time not putting the ball at risk.”

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Prescott completed 23 of 30 passes for 256 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Two of his TD passes went to Brown.

Lawrence was better. He completed 27 of 42 passes for 318 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception. Lawrence also lost a fumble. Three of his TD passes went to Zay Jones. Travis Etienne ran for 103 yards.

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It was Jacksonville’s first cross-conference win since the 2018 season opener against the Giants. The 20-game skid was one of several losing streaks Jacksonville has ended in coach Doug Pederson’s first season.

“We’re here to flip the script,” Jaguars receiver Christian Kirk said.