The Jets have won three in a row entering a rare Saturday night visit to Dallas, and they might need to double that streak to reach the postseason.
As one of three 8-5 teams — and the one with the toughest remaining schedule — battling for two AFC wild-card spots, Gang Green can’t afford complacency against the struggling Cowboys (4-9).
Here’s a look at the keys to this matchup as the Jets look to extend their winning ways to four games.
Ride on Ryan
Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick — who will now force the Jets to send a sixth-round pick to the Texans after playing in 70% of the team’s snaps this season — is enjoying one of his best three-game stretches as a pro. He’s tossed nine touchdowns without a pick as the Jets have won each week.
Dallas’ pass defense has allowed the third-fewest TDs through the air, but the unit also has the second-fewest interceptions this season. The Jets should feel comfortable letting Fitzpatrick sling it around.
Obviously, Matt Cassel is no Tony Romo. He’s a backup quarterback. But the Cowboys surely hoped for more from the injury fill-in than what they’ve gotten: seven games (six starts), 177 yards per game, 59.2% completion rate, five touchdowns, six interceptions and just one win.
Jets cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie should be feeling confident, even opposite All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant.
Give and take
Only three teams have created more turnovers than the Jets’ 24. At the other end are the Cowboys, who have an NFL-low eight take-aways all season.
Winning the turnover battle looks like an easy proposition on paper, but it will be up to the Jets to execute against the NFC East bottom-feeders.