THE COWBOYS REPORT

Enough with the prep; Cowboys ready for Giants in Week 1

Zeke Elliot. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys lost their preseason finale to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by the score of 17-15.

Ending preseason

With almost all of their starters and 2nd string players enjoying the game from the sidelines, there wasn't much of any importance going on. Both teams allowed their key players to take one final week off before the start of the regular season on Sept. 8.

Rookie Quarterback Taryn Christion from South Dakota State played the majority of the second half and led the Cowboys to their only offensive touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter. He finished the game 11/17 for 142 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception. Christion also ran 5 times for 22 yards.

Most importantly is that the 2018 NFL leading rusher and superstar Ezekiel Elliott has finally agreed to a new deal with the Cowboys that will make him the highest paid running back ever. The 6 year $90 million contract extension comes with a $50 million guarantee. Not only are Cowboy fans rejoicing, but fantasy owners everywhere are taking a huge sigh of relief.

With the preseason in the books, Dallas looks primed for a deep playoff run this year.

3 things to watch for 

1.Running backs (Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard): It will be interesting to see what kind of shape and condition Zeke is in as he had spent his entire time away from the team in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. No. 2 RB Tony Pollard could have a bigger role to play this Sunday as Zeke tries to get into game shape.

2.Linebackers (Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith): These 2 upcoming superstars are going to have their hands full as they try to contain one of the NFL's best running backs Saquon Barkley.

3.Tight End Jason Witten: With the future Hall of Famer leaving the announcing booth and rejoining the team, there is much intrigue to see how much he can contribute to an already potent offense.

Coming Up

The Cowboys (0-0) are starting off the 2019 regular season by taking on the New York Giants (0-0) at home in AT&T Stadium on Sunday September 8th at 3:25 pm Central time. The Giants don't look to be a good team this year as they are in a rebuilding mode. They traded away their best receiver this past offseason and now are only left with one offensive weapon in Saquon Barkely. The Cowboys defense should be able to stop him 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)

Giants: Saquon Barkley (RB)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are -7 and the over/under is 45. Seven points are a lot to give for any team so the only way I would play it is the number drops below seven. As for the total, I don't have a good read because I don't think New York can score much.

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Houston gets another victory in Anaheim

Astros overpower Angels again as magic number dwindles

Kyle Tucker had 3 of Houston's RBI on Tuesday night, including a two-run homer. Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

After a beatdown of the Angels on Monday in the opener, the Astros entered Tuesday's game looking to replicate that success. Though Los Angeles would put up more of a fight, Houston still used their potent offense to keep the game out of reach.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 5

Astros' Record: 90-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (8-3)

Losing Pitcher: Packy Naughton (0-3)

Houston's bats keep connecting to back up Urquidy

The Astros picked up on Tuesday's game where they left off on Monday, launching homers to take and extend a lead. A leadoff walk by Carlos Correa in the top of the second set up Kyle Tucker, who drove a two-run shot. Aledmys Diaz was next, making it back-to-back jacks to push the new lead to 3-0.

That gave Jose Urquidy a lead to work with, which came in handy as former Astro Jack Mayfield cut the lead to two runs with a leadoff solo homer in the bottom of the second. Other than that, Urquidy did well through five innings, allowing just two other hits over that span. LA got to him in the sixth, getting two singles to set up a three-run homer to end his night. His final line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 79 P.

The runs keep coming

He would still leave in line for the win, though, as before that bottom of the sixth, the Astros had put up seven more runs across the fifth and sixth. A leadoff walk in the top of the fifth was followed by a two-run homer by Jose Altuve, then later in the frame, an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz made it 7-1. They pushed that to double digits in the sixth, with a leadoff solo shot by Martin Maldonado, a sac fly by Carlos Correa, and an RBI groundout by Kyle Tucker, putting them up 10-1 before the homer allowed by Urquidy cut that to 10-4.

Astros win to reduce magic number again

In the sixth, Cristian Javier took over for Urquidy, finished that inning, and returned for a scoreless seventh. He ran into Shohei Ohtani to lead off the bottom of the eighth and left a fastball in the zone, which Ohtani turned around 445 feet to make it a five-run game. Javier still got through the inning, leaving just the ninth for Houston's second reliever of the night, Josh James. James would get through a scoreless inning, erasing a leadoff walk as the lopsided win paired with an A's loss reduces Houston's magic number to 4.

Up Next: The third of this four-game series will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Wednesday. Janson Junk (0-1, 2.25 ERA) will make his third career start for the Angels, while Luis Garcia (11-7, 3.37 ERA) will have the ball for the Astros.

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