COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys come up short; Lions up next

Dallascowboys.com

The Dallas Cowboys lost another close game on Sunday.They were defeated at home by the score of 28-24 to the Minnesota Vikings.

Recap

The Cowboys were forced to being a one dimensional team as the Vikings shut down Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott but they were able to move the ball easily with their passing game. What got them in the end was the defense's inability to stop the 2019 NFL leading rusher Dalvin Cook and bad play calling late in the game. They stopped themselves from scoring the winning touchdown with two horrible running plays on 2nd and 3rd down at the Vikings 11 yard line instead of keeping the ball in the air where they had been successful all game long.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 28/46 for 397 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one interception. He connected with six different receivers, which included big days for both Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb. Cooper had 11 catches for 147 yards and 1 touchdown. Cobb had his best day as a Cowboy with 6 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. 2nd year receiver Michael Gallup only also had a solid receiving day with 4 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown as well.

Superstar Ezekiel Elliott had one of his worst games of the year. The Vikings defense locked in on him and did not allow him to get free. He carried the ball 20 times for 47 yards and only caught 2 balls for 16 yards. The Cowboys only had 50 rushing yards total for the game that does not correlate to wins.

Dallas falls to (5-4) and is now tied with the Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) atop the NFC East but edge them in a tiebreaker due to their (4-0) divisional record.

3 Things to Watch For

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): Needs to have a better game.He averaged 2.4 yards a carry last week. Luckily, he will be going against the Detroit Lions and the 6th worst defense in the league this week. Zeke should have himself a big day this Sunday.

2.Amari Cooper (Wide Receiver): Was questionable with a knee injury most of the week but came up big last week.He made two amazing catches on the sideline and was able to keep his toes inbounds on both of them.Let's see if he can follow up on one of his best games of the year.

3.Dallas Defense (All): The Cowboy defense should be primed for a big game.The Lions will most likely be starting a 2nd string quarterback and a 3rd string running back.I can see big plays being made by the front 7.

Coming Up

The Cowboys (5-4) will be on the road taking on the Detroit Lions (3-5) in the Motor City at Ford Field. Kickoff is set for 12:00 pm Central Time. The Cowboys are in dire need of a win to try and stay ahead of their division rivals. They should be able to control the game with Zeke and come away with an easy victory.

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)

Lions: Kenny Golladay (WR), Marvin Jones, Jr. (WR)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently -3 and the over/under is 51. I think the Cowboys are the right side in the game at 3 or less. If you want to bet the total, I would lean under because I don't think Detroit can score enough to help hit the over even though the over hit again last week.

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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