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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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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