Jarvis Jones Confirms He Screwed Up On Zeke’s Final TD

Quick update and confirmation over what happened on the Dallas Cowboys’ final play, a 32 yard dash by Ezekiel Elliott into the end zone to give them a 35-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mike Prisuta over at DVE has the goods for us. It appears he was one of the reporters speaking to Jarvis Jones today and Jones admitted he screwed up on Zeke’s score. The trio of pertinent tweets.

Of course, if you’re a follower of the site, you already know all of this. Here’s what we said on Tuesday morning. 

2. Jarvis Jones doesn’t win his gap. As we showed in the first example, the linebacker has to maintain the C gap. He can’t get reached and give up the inside. Jason Witten does a great job of keeping him at bay, maintaining inside leverage just enough. So when Elliott does cut back, there is no one there.

Remember, Jarvis isn’t the force player. The CB, again Sean Davis, is. Jarvis isn’t force. He isn’t two-gapping. He is responsible for one gap. And he failed.

That breakdown at the game’s biggest moment may have played a role in Jones’ demotion. James Harrison will start ahead of him Sunday, and presumably for the rest of the season.

Jones is known as a solid run defender, and generally is, but this mental lapse will loom over him for the rest of the season in what will likely be his last year with Pittsburgh.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Steelers12

    we need olbs badly

  • Andy Wright

    Why in the world was Jarvis even in on this play? Deebo would have a TFL. Our coaches are so damn stubborn, they insist on the keeping rotations regardless of the situation on the field. Jarvis is monumental bust, but Butler isn’t far behind.

  • Steel B

    He let 87 year old Jason Witten block him. Still slow and weak. Never should have drafted him.

  • The Truth

    Standard

  • The Truth

    Why was Jones even drafted?

  • Trueish90

    That’s Escobar not Witten.

  • Steel B

    OK I was going by what they wrote above… “Jason Witten does a great job of keeping him at bay, maintaining inside leverage just enough. “

  • Daniel

    Tell porter that hes the one rotating the linebackers

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Even an idiot like me knows to play Harrison art the end of a close and important game!

    Find the coach responsible and kick him in the nuts……..repeatedly!

  • Jason Vancil

    To rush the passer like he did at Georgia. 29 sacks in 2 seasons in the best Conference in college football. He can’t do it at this level. So, we move on.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yeah sorry, my bad. Still, failure is failure. And Witten is a lot better blocker than Escobar.

  • Jason Vancil

    That .gif is really comical. Look at the middle of the Steelers D. Hargrave, Tuitt, Timmons and Shazier are all just smushed into a big pile on the ground. Sad.

  • steelburg

    Agreed. He played like a man at Georgia.

  • gdeuce

    true, but they filled their gaps on the play

  • RickM

    The guy broke through the line just off the hashmark and based on your diagram yesterday that is closer to the A gap. Saying Jones is responsible for winning the C gap, but is also to blame for a guy going through the A gap is very confusing. At the very worst, Miller came through between the A and B gaps. I just don’t get why you say he came through the C gap when your own diagram contradicts that.

  • WreckIess

    So much for him being this “great run defender” I keep hearing about.

  • PaeperCup

    Coming out of college there was a lot to like. His Combine performance wasn’t good, but how often do we say that we can’t always go by those numbers. I’d say he’s more of a bust than a bad pick.

  • Corky

    If you watch this game the Dallas O line was taking our defenders and just taking them down flat face first.

  • draframe1

    bye Jarvis, barely knew you

  • EdJHJr

    what exactly did Shazier do on this play

  • Alex Kozora

    Click the hyperlink! You’ll find out.

  • justafanlikeyou

    Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier are just as culpable on this play as JJ.
    The LB play has been below the line all season. Shazier is the only one who occassionally flashes but he guesses wrong or ends up on the ground just as often.
    Lawrence Timmons makes tackles but most of them are well past the LOS.

  • EdJHJr

    obviously Shaziers fault. What are looking at to think anything else

  • PaeperCup

    Lots going on in the play. The safety also has a terrible angle on the play.

  • PaeperCup

    If Jarvis fills that gap, who’s setting the edge?

  • kjacksonpgh

    It is easy to pile on Jones as he was drafted to be an impact player. Honestly the entire front seven on that game winning play was man handled by the Cowboys offensive line.

  • justafanlikeyou

    Agreed, and this isn’t an isolated incident. These types of things have been happening most of the season. Right now this isn’t a well coached defensive team. Either that or these players are uncoachable.

  • Kevin artis

    I wonder how many of those 29 sacks he actually beat an OT to get to the quarterback?
    When I looked at his film he was mostly unblocked or was working on TE or RB.

  • RickM

    No idea how you consider that the C gap. He breaks through the line almost exactly where the ball was snapped.

  • JohnB

    am I the only one that hears “Yakety Sax” (Benny Hill) in their head when they see that gif?

  • Alex Kozora

    No, Shazier does his job.

  • Alex Kozora

    lol wut?

  • Alex Kozora

    Sean Davis.

  • Alex Kozora

    The inside hip of the TE is the C gap. Gaps will move when players do.

  • PaeperCup

    I don’t much care for that matchup. Zeke Vs Davis one on one with no one behind.

  • PaeperCup

    Just realized there’s another CB coming in from the right.

  • RickM

    So in other words Jones ultimately has responsibility for the A, B and C gaps and the guys who had responsibility for the A and B gaps no longer have any responsibility for them?

  • John A Stewart

    Give the guy Jarvis credit for admitting he screw up unlike that BUM Mike Mitchell.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yup. All explained in the hyperlink, the film room we did Tuesday. Davis made a great play earlier in the game when Zeke tried to bounce.

  • Alex Kozora

    Incorrect. Jarvis is responsible for the C gap. If the play goes off the tackle’s hip, he needs to be there. He was not. Majority of blame goes on him for not securing his gap.

  • Steel B

    His job was to run up to the LOS, slip and fall on his ass?? If every D player did that Elliot still gets a TD.

  • justafanlikeyou

    I love your stuff Alex and think your analysis is the best on this site but we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Shazier over runs his gap making it easy for his blocker to seal him inside. He lost his gap integrity

  • RickM

    We’ll just agree to disagree. Cheers

  • RickM

    Exactly.

  • greeny

    Thank you. Chalk this debacle up to the front office and scouting dept. you

  • Alex Kozora

    You’re not looking closely enough. Shazier is responsible for the ball off the tackle’s inside hip. That’s what he tries to secure.

    Please, please go read the post that is linked. I point out the issues with players off their feet and Jarvis’ breakdown.

    Jarvis has already said it’s on him. Why fight it?

  • Steeldog22

    Despite Jarvis being in the wrong gap the safety play was outstanding.

  • Alex Kozora

    Go read my post from Tuesday (the one linked) and I make things much clearer.

    Also: tell me who is supposed to have the B gap on this play if it isn’t Shazier.

  • Alex Kozora

    But Jarvis said it was him, haha! Why are we pushing back on that?

  • Vic

    First round flop

  • Vic

    I can’t wait for the day when the headline new is: Mike Tomlin is fired!

  • RickM

    Shazier gives up his gap by going to the inside and slipping as he tries to get back. His feet are almost directly behind Hargrave as he slips. That is not where he is supposed to be.

    The left tackle, who never fired out, simply mirrors Shazier’s mistaken movement and pins him. The only reason the run ends up going through the C gap is because Shazier doesn’t maintain his B gap. Jones deserves some blame because he doesn’t get to the inside of the TE. But there’s not a way in the world that Shazier is blameless. That’s my last debate comment lol.

  • justafanlikeyou

    He can’t get to the QB so some need justify him being on the field

  • Alex Kozora

    If you go back to my Tuesday article, you’ll see I point out the problems with players being on the ground, I wrote that before I got to Jarvis.

    But Shazier is in no way responsible for the ball going off the tackle’s outside hip. That’s on Jarvis. Shazier slipping in no way impacting Jarvis’ ability/inability to do his job.

  • AndyR34

    And to think we could have drafted FS Eric Reid, SS John Cyprien (and his 300 tackles vs. JJ’s 79), or CB’s Des Trufant or Darius Slay…all taken after JJ

  • AndyR34

    I do!

  • Michael

    BAD pick 4.9 speed must be kidding me.

  • Michael

    Watched the GIF 10 times, I think it’s 70-30 fault ratio Shazier & Jarvis. They both botched it.

  • Draftsteel Paul

    he was a man without a true job in Georgia too , was allowed to freelance a ton , moved around the formation to be able to find the mismatches , here he is an OLB period as every man has a responsibility …

  • Michael

    Shazier was crappy to my untrained eyes after GIF 10 times.

  • Michael

    Shazier DOVE to the pile with 7 bodies already in it. To shazier’s right was the massive hole Ezekiel RAN THROUGH.

  • Michael

    what is hyperlink?

  • Thomas Weber

    Not only was Jarvis out of position, the corner who came rushing in way over rushed Zeke. He ran where Zeke was at and not where he would be. Jarvis Jones has thus far been nothing but a huge disappointment.

  • keneyeam

    This failure is a coaching formation failure! The snap was clearly within winning field goal range. Nine, yes 9 seconds remained. Yes I know Dallas had a time out. It likely made no difference if a tackle was made for no gain or for 31 yards down field! More defenders should have been placed near the goal line some 30 yards from scrimmage. Making the tackle 30 yards down field with no time on the clock would have ended the game and the steelers win. The only reasonable way to have a chance to win in this situation is to burn out the clock or get a turnover. Jones was not put in the best place to make a ball stripping tackle like Shazier did against the Bungles last year!

  • PittsburghSports

    Between the T and TE is the C gap. That’s where the run goes. Doesn’t matter where on the field it is.

  • PittsburghSports

    Huh? Shazier has the B gap and Hargrave has the A gap to that side. Davis has the D gap. It’s pretty clear in the gif.

  • Alex Kozora

    You aren’t understanding gap integrity.

  • Alex Kozora

    I’m sorry, huh??

  • The Truth

    Have you ever watched the highlights on his sacks in college? They leave a lot to be desired.

  • The Truth

    Stephen Hawking could block Jones.

  • The Truth

    That was mainly the excuse Jones fans had to cling to in order to justify the love.

  • justafanlikeyou

    Read it Alex. To maintain his gap integrity he gets inside leverage on his blocker, which would allow him to tackle anything on his inside….between himself and Hargrave. He collapses too far and got washed out of his gap, but that’s just my take.
    I know remaining on your feet gives you the best leverage but I was always taught if you are getting washed out of your gap you drop to at least clog that hole to make the RB choose another hole. I think that’s what Hargrave did but I admit that is just speculation on my part.

  • gdeuce

    He ran where Zeke should’ve been had Jarvis done his job

  • gdeuce

    he made the tackle running the same play on the 3&1 earlier in the 4th quarter

  • Vic

    I’m not a Javaris Jones fan, but I think a mistake doesn’t deserve a demotion. I feel to in I’d using him as a goat because the real focus should why in the hell did Tomlin draft him in the 1st round and why is the steels D historically bad when Tomlin supposed to be a defensive minded coach!?!

  • Big White

    Nothing rallies the troops more than seeing their teammate scapegoated for a loss. Nice job Coaching Staff!!

  • Thomas

    That was bad, but the RDE literally got enveloped by the OL and Sean Davis and the other CB were way out of position too. So that is 4 people that screwed that final play.

  • Thomas

    Really should have taken Pro bowl safety Eric Reed, who was drafted right after Jarvis by the 49ers.

  • Thomas

    Literally no pass rush moves. He just bull rushes or spins and just gets walled by the OT.

  • Thomas

    Didn’t get injured.

  • WilliamSekinger

    This^

  • Thomas

    Both Davis and that CB were way out of position.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Looking at that…not sure it was all JJ. Shazier crashed hard to the inside shoulder of the T. JJ was lined on the outside eye of the TE. If Shazier doesn’t crash as hard and keeps his feet it creates congestion in the play doesn’t succeed

  • LucasY59

    kinda agree Hargrave and Shazier look pretty bad on the play as well (and cant see who Davis is lined up on but he seems out of place as well) definitely cant put 100% on Jones (but 50% is appropriate if that was the gap he was responsible for)

  • MC

    I saw a few times him ending up on the ground when trying to pass rush in this game. How can a pro lose his feet as much as he does? If he doesn’t beat them with an inside move or bull rush then he is either on the ground or 10 yards deep and out of the play.

  • MC

    Why wasn’t Jarvis reading the play? seem like he just wanted to see how far he can push a TE back (lord knows that’s the only position battle he can win against) Should of got his head around and shedded to at least slow Elliot down! Im convinced Harrison makes this play.

    Golden really is just a stop gap at safety. That is a terrible angle to take especially when you’re a safety, you know, the last line of defense!

    Man I’ve never seen the steelers make running plays look so easy for opponents.

  • Alex Kozora

    The part of the article that contains a link.

  • mokhkw

    Took me a while to work it out but I see what you are saying now. Shazier may have had his gap correct but his technique on that play is one of the worst examples of LB play I’ve seen at an NFL level. And Hargraves wasn’t much better either.

    JJ doesn’t seem to know the ball carrier is even coming his way until he is past him. He could have made that play, he was in position to.

    What a horrible execution of a play by all 3 of those players. Not even good enough for a ranked HS team imo.

  • Alex Kozora

    The field was trash Sunday though. Players slipping everywhere.

  • Alex Kozora

    Like I wrote in the article, he does need to keep his feet. Too many bodies on the ground. You compare that with the first play in the article I wrote Tuesday and you see the difference.

    But Shazier only lost his footing trying to adjust to Elliott’s cutback. It was a response, not a lane correction. It was Jarvis who never filled his lane in the first place.

  • Alex Kozora

    Yes, that’s my understanding too. But none of that changes the fact Jarvis screwed up in his gap. He’s the only one who did so most – not all – of the blame falls on him. He freely admits it.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Understand mistakes happen but JJ has been in the league too long to not know what to do…really makes us think if it is more of a failure of JJ or the coacing staff.

  • ryan72384

    Lol.. I think they all looked equally bad. Look at Shazier and Hargrave

  • PittsburghSports

    I would just give up Alex LOL. If a thorough explanation by you, a previous article showing the exact defensive play, and the player himself admitting that it was his fault doesn’t convince them, then nothing will.

  • RevDrEBuzz

    That looks like a guy who doesn’t want to hit or tackle people. A guy like Zack Thomas or Chad Brown stuffs that I think. Jarvis really plays timid and non-physical. He goes out of his way to not make a tackle. This teams is horrible at tackling.

  • justafanlikeyou

    There were 16 seconds left when the play started with Dallas having a TO. They felt they were within field goal position, felt comfortable running the ball to take what they could get, run the clock , and use their last TO so the field goal attempt would be the last play of the game.
    They just happened to score a TD instead.

  • justafanlikeyou

    I don’t think Rick or I am arguing where the gap is. What we are saying is you have to be able to hold the point of attack and not be able to get washed down to maintain that gap.
    What you guys are suggesting is basically saying Hargrave and Shazier could have been blocked all the way to the sideline and JJ would have had to continue running that way just to be where he was supposed to be. In that same scenario then the CB would either have to continue to follow those guys to maintain his proper fit or he would be required to cover 2/3 of the field to make the tackle.
    All we are saying is Hargrave and Shazier are as much to blame for being pushed to the opposite side of the field from where the ball was snapped. I realize JJ did not get under Escobar.
    Comparing the 2 plays in the hyperlink, while the same play, are apples to oranges because Hargrave did his job and held the point of attack consuming 2 blockers, Shazier held his gap without being pushed out of the hole, which helped Harrison collapse inside of the TE.

  • steelburg

    I agree. I think he is more like a Ziggy Hood bust rather than a Ryan Leaf bust. Not that it makes a difference but he is a back up player at best.

  • steelburg

    No arguments there. He definitely was moved all over the field. But 29 sacks is 29 sacks if it was easy a lot more people would be doing it. I originally felt like he was a low late first rounder to early 2nd round guy. But after his time with the team he seems more like a guy who should have went in the 3rd or 4th round.

  • steelburg

    Jarvis has always been a good hand fighter IMO he got a ton of his sacks by moving around and beating guys with his hands at Georgia. But good hands with no strength and speed in the NFL proved to be his down fall IMO.

  • Jim McCarley

    So….if JJ stuffs the play, the Cowboys run out the clock, while kicking the game winning field goal. At the time of this play, the game was over unless Dallas fumbles the hold on the kick and Romo is not in there, remember? After they drove down to this position on the filed, what happens after that is a mute point. It does not matter, imo. The entire defense sucks…..stop blaming this loss on what happened on one play involving one player…ridiculous, imo.

  • Primanti05

    If I could like this 20 times I would!

  • Primanti05

    The standard WAS the standard….until Mikey T showed up…

  • Teresa A

    Jarvis’ season has been pretty good, overall

  • Steel Tippin

    Although he over pursued, he filled his gap. Jarvis did not, and as a result the play broke through his gap, not shazier’s.

  • cencalsteeler

    This! We can blame Hargrave, Shazier and Jones, but the play call is a head scratcher and an offensive cord. dream come true. If everyone walled up like the play was designed, then it’s Davis against Elliott. The games on the line and this is the scheme you call?

  • cencalsteeler

    Alex. I totally see your point of Shazier “doing his job” by filling his lane. The issue I have with this is sometimes, as a player, you have to adjust on the fly. His eyes should be focused in that backfield the whole time. He should mirror that back, anticipating to fill the hole, but read the back. He doesn’t read and react or a better word anticipate very well. Thats why we see him overpursuing and getting caught in the wash so much. He falls right into what offenses are trying to do much like a mouse falling for the cheese on the mouse trap. He needs to get a little more “street smart” out there. It’s a big reason cut back runners have success against us. You watch way more film than I do. How often do you see Ryan changing directions in the box? I’m still not a fan of the play call in general matching up Davis against Elliott (if it was executed correctly) with the game on the line. I’d blame the play caller just as much as JJ on that one. What ever happened to have your OLBs force the play inside and have your ILbs do their job? Maybe Butler is too exotic and should just get back to the basics. I remember LeBeau admitting that at times.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Man I’m a Jarvis fan but a TE should never be able to stand you straight up. James even at 38 would be licking his chops if he saw a TE across the line of scrimmage even thinking about blocking him.

  • PittsburghSports

    I know exactly what you’re saying but you’re wrong if you’re suggesting either of those two are equally to blame as Jones is. Jones is the only guy to not fill a gap. It’s that simple.

  • Steelers072684

    Shazier got sucked into the inside big time.

  • PaeperCup

    Especially since davis put the team in that position with the facemask! He can be a solid tackler, but I don’t know…that just didn’t at all work out like it should have.

  • Ralph Wagner

    I question the want to of the Steelers defensive players. Do they really want to tackle a big running back? Do they really want to use their arms instead of trying to body block a running back or receiver down? Blocking and tackling is the name of the game. Until Tomlin and the Steelers players get it (blocking is the offensives job, tackling is the defenses job) the loses will continue.

    Go Steelers

  • Dorian James

    Dave did that break down when he was drafted and that was his main point as to why he shouldn’t have been drafted at that pick

  • steelersfan

    Good riddance

  • Lizard72

    Dave did a break down. Not many were against OT’s.

  • SouthernSteel

    He’s been great in coverage and run defense…but unfortunately looks like he’s in Tomlin ‘ s dog house now… and now we will play Harrison 30 snaps a game..and he will get wore out and be ineffective. ..seems like endless cycle last 4 or 5 years

  • SouthernSteel

    Zeke is top NFL RB right now and Steelers D is bottom of NFL …not just one play or player