The Cowboys Report

Cowboys burned by Jets; Eagles up next

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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.

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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