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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Houston leads the series 1-0

Astros get a late rally to take ALWC Game 1 from Twins

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With a fresh slate in front of them, the Astros entered Target Field on Tuesday needing thirteen wins to get their second World Series win in franchise history. First, they needed to take two of three in the ALWC (American League Wild Card) round against the Twins. As with most playoff series openers, it shaped up to be a fierce pitching matchup. Here is a rundown of the game:

Final Score: Astros 4, Twins 1.

Series: HOU leads 1-0.

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez.

Losing Pitcher: Sergio Romo.

Greinke allows a run then gets the early hook

After stranding Michael Brantley on second base after a double in the top of the inning, the Twins put early pressure on Zack Greinke in the bottom of the first. They took advantage of Greinke struggling to find the zone, getting a one-out single, then back-to-back walks to load the bases. With some stellar defense behind him, though, he would escape unscathed.

After loading the bases in the first, Greinke retired the next seven in a row, not allowing a baserunner until two outs into the third when he would walk Max Kepler. That proved costly, as Nelson Cruz would drive him in on a long RBI-double, putting the Twins ahead 1-0. He would get the next batter out, then tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but would get the early hook with his pitch count rising and the top of Minnesota's order coming back around in the fifth. Greinke's final line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR, 79 P.

Valdez takes over then the Astros tie it up

One reason they were quick to take Greinke out early is that they were willing to use Framber Valdez, who took over in the bottom of the fifth. He would struggle against his first two batters, walking both before sitting down the next three to keep it a one-run game heading to the sixth.

The Twins also dipped into their bullpen starting in the top of the sixth, with another scoreless inning by Houston's bats. The Astros would tie the game and get on the board in the top of the seventh, getting back-to-back two-out singles by Josh Reddick and Martin Maldonado to set up an RBI-single by George Springer, before Maldonado would run into the third out trying to advance to third.

Astros blow it open in the ninth and take Game 1

The game remained tied 1-1 into the ninth with Minnesota going inning-by-inning with relievers while Valdez was dealing for Houston. In the top of the ninth, the Astros started the inning with back-to-back singles to threaten to go ahead. After outs in the air by the next two batters, an error by the Twins loaded the bases instead of recording the third out, keeping Houston alive and bringing Jose Altuve to the plate.

Altuve would get the go-ahead RBI, working a walk to put the Astros in front 2-1 for their first lead of the game. That brought Michael Brantley to the plate, still with the bases loaded, and would drive in two of them with a two-RBI single to push the lead to 4-1.

Houston would ride the hot hand into the bottom of the ninth, sticking with Framber Valdez to bring it home. He would maintain the lead and get the win, erasing two one-out singles to finish the Houston victory, putting them a win away from advancing to the ALDS.

Up Next: Game two of this best-of-three will start an hour earlier on Wednesday, with a 12:08 PM Central start. With Framber Valdez being used in Game 1, the Astros are expected to start Jose Urquidy in Game 2, while the Twins will send Jose Berrios to the mound.

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