The Cowboys Report

Cowboys Crush the Eagles to take lead in NFC East

Dak Prescott
Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys (4-3) smashed the Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) Sunday night by the score of 37-10.The victory sends them into their Week 8 bye week on a positive note and stopped a three game losing streak.

Recap

The Cowboys caused an early turnover on the Eagles' first possession that they quickly turned into a 7-point lead and they never looked back.They won the all-important turnover battle 4-1 and held the Eagles to less than 300 yards of offense.

Both of Dallas' starting offensive tackles were back from injury and it showed.The Cowboy offense had their highest scoring game of the year. Quarterback Dak Prescott was 21/27 for 239 passing yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. He also ran the ball 5 times for 30 yards and a touchdown. He connected with six different receivers. All-Pro receiver Amari Cooper returned from injury and led the way with 5 catches for 106 yards.

Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott ran through the 4th best rushing defense all game long. He had 28 touches, 22 carries for 111 yards and 1 touchdown, and caught 6 passes for 36 yards.When the Cowboys feed Zeke the ball more than 20 times a game, a victory tends to come with it.

The Dallas defense was amazing. They held the one dimensional Eagles offense to less than 175 yards passing and only allowed 16 first downs.They recovered three fumbles and sacked Philly quarterback Carson Wentz three times as well. Sadly, they lost their best player, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch to a neck injury towards the end of the 1st half. Hopefully the bye week will allow him to not miss anytime going forward.

Dallas improves to (4-3) and takes over first place in the NFC East. Most importantly, they are now (3-0) against their division opponents.The Cowboys enter their bye week off of a HUGE win and will be on the road taking on their division rival New York Giants on Monday night November 4th.

For you gamblers out there, the over of 49 just missed but hopefully you were able to get the Cowboys at either -2.5 or -3 for an easy win.

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The Astros have their work cut out for them. Composite Getty Image.

Through 20 games, the Houston Astros have managed just six wins and are in last place in the AL West.

Their pitching staff trails only Colorado with a 5.24 ERA and big-money new closer Josh Hader has given up the same number of earned runs in 10 games as he did in 61 last year.

Despite this, these veteran Astros, who have reached the AL Championship Series seven consecutive times, have no doubt they’ll turn things around.

“If there’s a team that can do it, it’s this team,” shortstop Jeremy Peña said.

First-year manager Joe Espada, who was hired in January to replace the retired Dusty Baker, discussed his team’s early struggles.

“It’s not ideal,” he said. “It’s not what we expected, to come out of the shoot playing this type of baseball. But you know what, this is where we’re at and we’ve got to pick it up and play better. That’s just the bottom line.”

Many of Houston’s problems have stemmed from a poor performance by a rotation that has been decimated by injuries. Ace Justin Verlander and fellow starter José Urquidy haven’t pitched this season because of injuries and lefty Framber Valdez made just two starts before landing on the injured list with a sore elbow.

Ronel Blanco, who threw a no-hitter in his season debut April 1, has pitched well and is 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts this season. Cristian Javier is also off to a good start, going 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA in four starts, but the team has won just two games not started by those two pitchers.

However, Espada wouldn’t blame the rotation for Houston’s current position.

“It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster how we've played overall,” he said. “One day we get good starting pitching, some days we don’t. The middle relief has been better and sometimes it hasn’t been. So, we’ve just got to put it all together and then play more as a team. And once we start doing that, we’ll be in good shape.”

The good news for the Astros is that Verlander will make his season debut Friday night when they open a series at Washington and Valdez should return soon after him.

“Framber and Justin have been a great part of our success in the last few years,” second baseman Jose Altuve said. “So, it’s always good to have those two guys back helping the team. We trust them and I think it’s going to be good.”

Hader signed a five-year, $95 million contract this offseason to give the Astros a shutdown 7-8-9 combination at the back end of their bullpen with Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly. But the five-time All-Star is off to a bumpy start.

He allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a 6-1 loss to the Braves on Monday night and has yielded eight earned runs this season after giving up the same number in 56 1/3 innings for San Diego last year.

He was much better Wednesday when he struck out the side in the ninth before the Astros fell to Atlanta in 10 innings for their third straight loss.

Houston’s offense, led by Altuve, Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker, ranks third in the majors with a .268 batting average and is tied for third with 24 homers this season. But the Astros have struggled with runners in scoring position and often failed to get a big hit in close games.

While many of Houston’s hitters have thrived this season, one notable exception is first baseman José Abreu. The 37-year-old, who is in the second year of a three-year, $58.5 million contract, is hitting 0.78 with just one extra-base hit in 16 games, raising questions about why he remains in the lineup every day.

To make matters worse, his error on a routine ground ball in the eighth inning Wednesday helped the Braves tie the game before they won in extra innings.

Espada brushed off criticism of Abreu and said he knows the 2020 AL MVP can break out of his early slump.

“Because (of) history,” Espada said. “The back of his baseball card. He can do it.”

Though things haven’t gone well for the Astros so far, everyone insists there’s no panic in this team which won its second World Series in 2022.

Altuve added that he doesn’t have to say anything to his teammates during this tough time.

“I think they’ve played enough baseball to know how to control themselves and how to come back to the plan we have, which is winning games,” he said.

The clubhouse was quiet and somber Wednesday after the Astros suffered their third series sweep of the season and second at home. While not panicking about the slow start, this team, which has won at least 90 games in each of the last three seasons, is certainly not happy with its record.

“We need to do everything better,” third baseman Alex Bregman said. “I feel like we’re in a lot of games, but we just haven’t found a way to win them. And good teams find a way to win games. So we need to find a way to win games.”

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