The Cowboys Report

Cowboys collapse; Redskins up next

Dallascowboys.com

The Dallas Cowboys (7-8) came out with a disappointing performance on Sunday when they were defeated 17-9 by the Philadelphia Eagles (8-7). Dallas was lucky to only lose by one score as their offense was terrible, their defense wasn't able to stop anyone, and the coaching was even worse.

Recap

The Cowboys went three and out on their first two possessions while the Eagles quickly gained a 10-0 lead on their first two possessions.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 25/44 for 265 and NO touchdowns. He also carried the ball one time for 7 yards and had zero turnovers. Not all of the offensive struggles can be put on Dak, as star receiver Amari Cooper didn't help much. He failed to do anything by catching four balls for 24 yards and killing fantasy players for the second week in row. Michael Gallup led the team with five catches for 98 yards and was the target on their last play of the game.

Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott was held in check. The Eagles defense only allowed him to rush for 47 yards on 13 carries, but he did have 7 catches for 37 yards. With both Dak and Zeke not being able to move the ball much, the Eagles were able to hold the ball for over 36 minutes and wear down the Dallas defense.

Dallas falls to (7-8) and now only have a 26.2% chance of winning the NFC East (according to ESPN's Football Power Index). In order for that to happen, the Cowboys have to beat the Washington Redskins (3-12) and the Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) have to lose to the New York Giants (4-11). If that happens, Dallas will win the NFC East via a tiebreaker over Philadelphia and will host a playoff game next week.

3 Things to Watch For

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): Zeke needs to come up big this week.He will be going up against the 4th worst rushing defense and I expect him to get 20+ touches for 100 yards and maybe a touchdown or 2.

2.Randall Cobb (Wide Receiver): With free agent to be Amari Cooper pulling a disappearing act over the last few weeks, it seems Cobb has become a great option for Dak over the middle of the field. He made some clutch catches in the 4th quarter last week. Let's see if he can keep up the momentum.

3.Kai Forbath (Kicker): Has now played 2 games as a Cowboy this year, and still has not missed a kick. He is now 6/6 on field goal attempts and is 5/5 on extra points. With the Dallas offense struggling, hopefully he will help keep them in the game with a few kicks.

Coming Up

Sunday afternoon, the Cowboys (7-8) will be at home taking on the Washington Redskins (3-12) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Kickoff is set for 3:25pm.The Cowboys need to come up with a win in order to keep their hopes of a postseason berth alive. I expect the Cowboys to ride Zeke to a victory as they keep their eye on the scoreboard of the Eagles game which also starts at 3:25pm.

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

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

Redskins: Adrian Peterson (RB), Terry McLaurin (WR)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are -11 and the over/under is 44.5.There is no way I could lay more than 10 points on Dallas with the way they just played. Washington +11 is the play here and I also lean on the over, the Redskins have been playing hard and I think they will push the Cowboys to score.

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Texans fall to Browns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans kept it closer than the experts thought they would, but couldn't pull out a victory. Here are 11 observations from the loss in Cleveland to the Browns.

1. The game looks totally different if Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor finishes the game. Taylor left at halftime with a hamstring injury. He was playing exceptionally well against his former team. Taylor is not expected to play Thursday according to NFL Network.

2. Davis Mills had a rocky NFL debut which was to be expected. Mills looked to have the wrong elements of a few plays. He also couldn't hit backup wideout Andre Roberts over the middle and threw an interception. It was a fine performance considering what Mills showed he could do in the preseason.

3. Mills didn't work with a full load of offensive weapons in the second half. Rookie wideout Nico Collins didn't return to the game after his lone catch and big run early in the game. Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola left the game with an injury. Tight end Anthony Auclair left with an eye injury. The Texans entered the game without wide receiver Anthony Miller who was inactive.

4. Brandin Cooks is a monster through two games. He is the most dangerous skill position player on the team, and defenses still have trouble covering him and staying with him. Cooks turned in yet another impressive day for this team and hauled in a Davis Mills touchdown pass.

5. The Browns did a solid job against the ground game of the Texans. Mark Ingram averaged under three yards per carry and Tyrod Taylor was the only rusher to have a big play on the ground. This led to a fair number of third-and-long situations which the Texans usually had trouble converting.

6. Justin Reid was set to increase his payday on his next contract with his early play. Reid forced a fumble and had an interception in the first half. Unfortunately, Reid would leave the game multiple times with injuries. The knock on Reid has always been his health.

7. The Texans were worn down by the Browns rushing attack all day. Once Cleveland committed to the run they saw the success of their work culminating in a 26-yard scamper by Nick Chubb for a touchdown. The Browns didn't run as much as I excepted them to run early.

8. Tim Kelly had another nice day calling plays. Kelly remains creative in finding ways to get the ball out of Taylor's hands quickly as well as manufacturing matchups where the Texans can win and pick up yards. He even got creative to get Davis Mills a passing touchdown late in the game. Kelly has been very impressive through two games.

9. Andre Roberts was inexcusably bad today. The Texans defense held on the opening drive and his muffed punt eliminated the momentum from the defensive stand. He also had poor returns on kickoffs. His lone job is to be a solid returner, and he failed at that on Sunday.

10. David Culley had a head-scratching decision foregoing an offsides call on a third down. The head coach opted for the result of the third down, and a punt on fourth down, instead of another third down. He did not explain himself well postgame on the decision either.

11. The Texans hung tough and should feel solid about where they could have been without the injury to their quarterback. With no Taylor in the short week, it will not be easy to beat the Panthers who upset the Saints on Sunday.

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