COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys come up short; Lions up next

Amari Cooper Cowboys
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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Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

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