The Cowboys Report

Cowboys burned by Jets; Eagles up next

Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys lost a close game on Sunday when they were defeated 24-22 by the New York Jets.The Dallas defense wasn't prepared for the return of the Jets' starting quarterback Sam Darnold who boosted the New York offense.

Recap

The Cowboys dominated every aspect of the game except for the scoreboard. They out gained the Jets, had no turnovers, and their time of possession was 32:03 minutes.Their problem was that they were unable to score touchdowns in the first half and had to settle for field goals.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 28/40 for 277 yards, Zero touchdowns, and NO turnovers.He also carried the ball three times for 11 yards and scored a touchdown late in the game. This wasn't a bad outing for Dak considering he was playing without his two starting tackles La'el Collins and Tyron Smith. Prescott also lost his No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper early in the game with a quad injury.

With the team missing some key players, Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott was asked to carry the team. He carried the ball 28 times for 105 yards, 1 touchdown, and caught 5 passes for 47 yards. Usually when Zeke gets more than 20 touches the Cowboys come out victorious, but a missed 32-yard field goal and a turnover on downs at the Jets 6 yard line were the difference makers.

Dallas now falls to (3-3) but is still tied with the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) for first in the NFC East.

3 Things to Watch For

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): The Cowboys need to continue to keep getting Zeke the ball, but this week they might have to get creative as the Eagles have 4th best rushing defense. I would look to see if they call some screen and swing passes for him.

2.Michael Gallup (Wide Receiver): With the health of Cooper up in the air, Gallup is in line to step up and lead the way for the pass catchers.The Eagles are the 4th worst pass defense in the league and I expect Gallup to have a career day.

3.Dallas Defense (All): The Dallas defense should have a nice matchup this week.The Eagles are pretty one-dimensional, they are a passing team and don't have a workhorse running back.I would expect the defensive backfield to not allow big plays to the Philly receivers.

Coming Up

Sunday night Oct. 20, the Dallas Cowboys (3-3) will be taking on the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at home in AT&T Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:20 pm Central time.The winner of this game will be alone in first place of the NFC East.I expect both teams to score in the 20's but I think Dak will have a big day that will put Dallas on the winning side.

If you have any fantasy players, the only must start players are:

Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott (RB), Amari Cooper (WR), Dak Prescott (QB), Michael Gallup (WR)

Eagles: Carson Wentz (QB), Zach Ertz (TE), Alshon Jeffrey (WR)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently -3 and the over/under is 49. I would only take Dallas at -3 but would really like it a -2.5 but I think the over is the best play again.The over has hit the last two weeks in a row.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome