The Jacksonville Jaguars showed up to preseason Week 1 and beat the Dallas Cowboys 28-23. Although the outcome of the game won't count in the standings, the win could help the Jags build confidence ahead of the 2023 season.
Also, there were many things to like, including Trevor Lawrence's touchdown pass to wide receiver Christian Kirk and Nathan Rouke's impressive performance. Speaking of Rourke, here are three takeaways from Jacksonville's victory over the Cowboys.
No. 3 Jaguars QB Nathan Rourke showed vs. the Cowboys he deserves of a roster spot
Trevor Lawrence got the starting nod to start versus Dallas but he left after giving the Jaguars an early lead. C.J. Beathard then took his place in the lineup and he proceeded to put together a drive that ended with him reaching the end zone for a score. Once the Jags had built a favorable lead, the coaching staff went with quarterback Nathan Rourke, who's competing for a roster spot ahead of the 2023 season.
Rourke, a native of Canada, played with the B.C. Lions for two years before joining the Jags in January. Throughout the offseason, he got praise from the coaching staff but if he wanted to solidify his spot on the roster, he needed to come in and show out in Week 1 of the preseason. And that's precisely what he ended up doing, going 9-of-17 for 153 yards with one touchdown.
Moreover, Rourke didn't turn the ball over once and his touchdown pass to running back Qadree Ollison was a thing of beauty.
Throughout the game, Rourke showed great awareness and the ability to avoid pressure. Similarly, he displayed solid decision-making more often than not, taking what the defense gave him and rarely forcing any throws. Also, Rourke put on display his escapability, which came in handy when avoiding the pass rush. It's possible that he would have had an even better performance if his receiver had been open a bit more frequently.
Rourke was patient and didn't take unnecessary risks, which is what you want from your backup quarterback. Now, he needs to keep playing well against the Lions but he's so far building a solid case to make the Jags' 53-man roster this upcoming season.