THE COWBOYS REPORT

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.  



 

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Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans started fast but faltered late as the New York Jets hand Houston their ninth loss of the season 21-14. Here are 11 observations from the game.

1. Starting safety Justin Reid was benched for the game. David Culley said after the game it was his decision as head coach and he would keep the matter internal with Reid.

2. This is the third defender benched for disciplinary reasons this season. Reid joins Zach Cunningham and Desmond King as players who missed time for discipline.

3. Justin Reid told Fox 26 he was benched because he had a disagreement with the coaching staff. He also said he was shocked the Texans benched him. You have to wonder if the “culture” the team is building is right when one of the more likable and personable players falls victim to their rules. Reid, who is a free agent this offseason, could leave the Texans.

4. Tyrod Taylor had a couple of nice plays early on for the Texans. His willingness to take some shots downfield was refreshing and led to a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

5. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan found the end zone. He has played well in recent weeks after finally getting on the field. Jordan is playing over Jordan Akins as Akins was a healthy scratch again this week.

6. Tytus Howard started at left tackle with mixed results. Howard has struggled to find his way at guard but could be a long-term option at tackle if given the chance.

7. The offensive line overall played poorly after some early success. The pass rush of the Jets got going and the run blocking was poor again. Lane Taylor played at left guard some, with Max Scharping also playing some at that spot.

8. The offense was horrendous after the two scoring drives. The Texans amassed 202 net yards with 91 yards coming on those two scoring drives. Houston gained just 49 net yards after their opening three drives.

9. After the game, I asked David Culley if he would be making a change with his play-caller. Culley stood behind offensive coordinator Tim Kelly and said he would remain the team’s play-caller.

10. Second-year defensive lineman Ross Blacklock had two horrible errors that handed the Jets a chance to turn three points into seven points. Blacklock got a personal foul on a field goal attempt giving the Jets a first down. The very next play his offsides penalty erased a sack. Each week Blacklock falls even more behind a bevy of players drafted after him who contribute positively on a regular basis.

11. The loss to another bottom-dweller has the Texans back in the second spot in the 2022 NFL Draft order. It also feels like the deflating nature of this loss erased some of the good feelings after the victory over the Titans. The Indianapolis Colts come to Houston next week to begin December’s portion of the schedule.

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