Cowboys defense dominates the Jags in Big D; Redskins next

Dak Prescott had a big game. Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys cruised to an easy 40-7 victory on Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Cowboys looked like a completely different team from the one that showed up in Houston last week.  The offense was crisp, the play calling was excellent, and the defense didn’t allow Jacksonville to get anything going offensively.   

The Dallas defense was GREAT. They caused two turnovers (one interception and one fumble), only allowed 10 first downs, and had three sacks.  The front seven kept constant pressure on quarterback Blake Bortles and never let up. Linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith look like they are the ones who will be picking up the slack with the absence of the injured Sean Lee.  They combined for 18 tackles, 13 of them were for a loss.

The Cowboys offense was also clicking on all cylinders and it began on their first offensive play of the game.  Head Coach Jason Garrett started the game off with a bootleg, where Dak Prescott faked a handoff to Ezekiel Elliott, rolled out and hit a wide open Geoff Swaim for an 11 yard gain.  Dallas went on to score on its first four possessions. Throughout the game, Garrett mixed in lots of play action passes as well as taking deep shots down the field to receivers like Cole Beasley and Michael Gallup.  Dallas also ran a few option plays where Prescott was able to break free and get some yards with his legs.

Dak Prescott was 17 of 27 for 183 yards, two touchdowns, and NO interceptions.  He also ran 11 times for 82 yards and another touchdown. A Cowboy receiver finally showed and helped Prescott out in the passing game. Cole Beasely caught nine balls for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns.  No other pass catcher caught more than two. He seemed to always be open somewhere down the field and Dak always got him the ball.

With the defense locked in on Elliott, Dallas let Prescott get at the Jaguar defense through the air and once they had a good lead, they leaned on Elliott to seal the game.  Ezekiel Elliott had 24 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown.

The win moved Dallas to 3-3 on the season and keeps them one game behind the division leading Washington Redskins.

3 Players to Watch

  1. Dak Prescott (quarterback): Dak is going to be a major factor this week as Washington has a good defense and will have to make plays down the field to help back the defense off the line to help create space for Elliott to get free.

  2. Cole Beasley (Wide Receiver): Looks like he has become Prescott’s No. 1 go-to receiver and needs to build last week’s success and leads the team in catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.  

  3. Leighton Vander Esch (Linebacker): Has filled in nicely for an injured Sean Lee and has become the team’s leading tackler.  He helps keep consistent pressure on the opposing offense and helps create opportunities for other players like Jaylon Smith to make plays in the backfield.

Coming Up (Week 7)

Sunday afternoon the Dallas Cowboys will be in our nation’s capital taking on the Washington Redskins at 3:25 pm Central time.   

This NFC East battle is very interesting as the Cowboys have a chance to move into a tie for first place in the division with a win.  The Redskins are coming into the contest off a win over the Carolina Panthers and look like they have found a reliable running game with Adrian Peterson in the backfield.  The Cowboys defense is going to have to play another great game to keep him corralled. Luckily for Dallas, the Redskins have a lot of injuries on their receiving group and that should allow the front seven to keep the pressure on Washington.   As for the Dallas offense, they are going to need to click on all cylinders again because Washington is the No. 2 defense in yards allowed this season.

If you have any fantasy players, the only must start players are:

Cowboys:  Ezekiel Elliott (RB)

Redskins:  Adrian Peterson (RB), Jordan Reed (TE)

For you gamblers out there, the current line is Dallas +1.5 with an over/under of 41.5.  If you think Dallas is going to win, bet the Cowboys. I am probably going to stay away from it and take the under seeing how both defenses are playing well.  


Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston can win series on Sunday

Timely hitting helps Astros edge out D-backs to even series

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The Astros had two losses over the last 24 hours; one a game against the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday night, the other the news that their recovering ace, Justin Verlander, announced Saturday afternoon that he is opting to undergo Tommy John surgery. The decision and surgery will likely sideline Verlander through 2021 when his current contract with Houston ends.

With that, the Astros headwinds continued to increase, meaning a win to even the series with Arizona on Saturday would be a much-needed pick-me-up. Here's how they did:

Final Score: Astros 3, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 26-26, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Enoli Paredes (3-2, 2.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Luke Weaver (1-8, 6.51 ERA).

D-backs score two on Javier who is pulled early

Kole Calhoun, who drove in four runs, including a home run in Friday's game, would start the scoring on Saturday with a solo home run off of Cristian Javier in the top of the second, giving Arizona an early 1-0 lead. Javier allowed another run in the top of the third, giving up a leadoff single that would move to third on a groundout then score on a sac fly, doubling the lead to 2-0.

Javier finished the third and tossed a 1-2-3 fourth, but whether it be due to a pre-determined pitch count or other situation, he would not go any further, ending his night there on just 77 pitches. His final line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 77 P.

Astros grab a lead in the sixth

The Astros were able to cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, getting a leadoff single by Josh Reddick, who would move to third after a walk and fielder's choice before scoring on an RBI-groundout by Jose Altuve, making it 2-1. Enoli Paredes was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the top of the fifth and retiring six straight batters for two perfect frames.

Houston would get to Luke Weaver in the bottom of the sixth, getting a leadoff single by George Springer, who would score from first on an RBI-double by Altuve to tie the game. Altuve would come around as the go-ahead run later in the inning on an RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, knocking Weaver out of the game as the Astros took their first lead of the game, 3-2.

Houston evens the series and moves back up to .500

Josh James was the next reliever for Houston in the top of the seventh, and despite getting into a jam by issuing a one-out walk and hitting the next batter, he was able to get out of it. It was thanks to a great play by Michael Brantley, who started a double play by catching a lineout and throwing a runner out at second to end the inning.

Brooks Raley had the eighth and erased a one-out walk by retiring the next two batters to maintain the one-run lead. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, the Astros turned to closer Ryan Pressly to get another save and finish the one-run game. Pressly would do so, as Houston would move back up to .500 and even the series 1-1 heading into the rubber game on Sunday.

Up Next: The finale of this series between Houston and Arizona, and Houston's last regular-season home game of 2020, will get underway at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 8.53) ERA will be on the mound for the D-backs, while Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Astros.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome