COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys dominate the Dolphins; Saints up next

Zeke Elliot keeps rolling. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys put another "W" in the win column on Sunday when they beat the Miami Dolphins by the score of 31-6.

Cowboys Cruise

There was no doubt that the Cowboys were the better team, but the Dolphins put up a good fight for the first half.The Cowboys came out of halftime only up 10-6 but quickly scored two touchdowns and put the game away.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 19/32 for 246 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception.He also had 2 carries for 7 yards and 1 rushing touchdown.The loss of his #2 receiver didn't seem to bother him much. He delivered passes to 7 different players, including 6 balls to superstar Amari Cooper for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns.

With Prescott spreading the ball around, the Dallas running game was able to produce two 100-yard rushers for the first time in 21 years.Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott touched the ball 21 times on Sunday.He had 19 carries for 125 yards and caught 2 passes for 14 yards.His backup running back Tony Pollard (rookie) carried the ball 13 times for 103 yards and the final touchdown of the game that enabled Dallas to cover their huge 22.5-point spread.

The Cowboy defense also came out to play. They held the Dolphins to less the 300 yards of total offense, 17 first downs, and had 3 sacks. Linebacker Jaylon Smith led the team in tackles with 10, (8 solo).

This is the first time in 11 years that the Dallas Cowboys have started a season at 3-0. Most importantly, they sit all alone atop the NFC East and a 2 game cushion over their biggest threat the Philadelphia Eagles.

3 Things to Watch For

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): Zeke is main driver of the Cowboy offense and will need to have another great game this upcoming week if Dallas wants to pull off a win in New Orleans.I expect Elliott to have another 20+ touches on Sunday.

2.Jason Witten (Tight End): Only had 3 catches against Miami but one of those was a clutch 33 yard reception on 3rd and 20 that led to a Cowboy touchdown early in the game. Witten is crucial to keeping Dallas drives from stalling out.

3.Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith (Linebackers):These guys are going to have their hands full on Sunday as they will be tasked at stopping Alvin Kamara, who is one of the best running backs in the league.They will need to keep him contained if they want to pull out another victory.

Coming Up

Sunday Night September 29th, the Dallas Cowboys (3-0) will be on the road in the Big Easy taking on the New Orleans Saints (2-1) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is set for 7:20 pm Central Time. The Saints will be without their starting quarterback Drew Brees who is out with a thumb injury. Before last week, I would have thought Dallas should have a good chance at picking up another win but New Orleans just beat the Seahawks in Seattle.The Cowboys are going to need to control the ball with Zeke and keep Kamara off the field.

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

Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott (RB), Amari Cooper (WR), Dak Prescott (QB)

Saints: Alvin Kamara (RB), Michael Thomas (WR)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently -3 and the over/under is 46.The number will dictate what side to take. If it's less than 3 play the Cowboys. If it is more than 3, play the Saints.

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After grinding through back-to-back extra-inning games in the series with the Los Angeles Angels where they would ultimately come away with the victory, the Astros had a day off on Monday before getting back into action on Tuesday. They were in Arizona for the first of three games against the Diamondbacks. Here is a rundown of the series opener:

Final Score: Astros 8, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 6-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.42 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 7.04 ERA).

Houston takes an early lead against Bumgarner and then piles on

Houston wasted no time going after Madison Bumgarner, with George Springer going after the first pitch of the game for a groundout, then Jose Altuve launching a solo home run on the next pitch to get an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. They added to that lead in the second inning, with Carlos Correa leading it off with a solo home run of his own, making it 2-0. After two hit batters and a single, the Astros had the bases loaded for George Springer with one out, and he would deliver a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 3-0.

They would put runners on base in the next two innings, but would not score again until the fifth when a Bumgarner fielding error on a potential double-play would bring in a run and extend the inning. Houston would go on to load the bases, setting up Kyle Tucker for an RBI-single to make it 5-1 and end Bumgarner's night. Against Arizona's new reliever, Martin Maldonado worked a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-1, then Springer followed with a two-RBI double, blowing the game open at 8-1.

Javier gets first-career win in another impressive start

With a lead in hand when he went to the mound, Cristian Javier had another strong performance in his second-ever start. He allowed just one baserunner over the first three innings, a single in the second. After those three efficient innings, he would face some adversity in the bottom of the fourth. After allowing a double and one-out walk, he would give up his first run of the night on an RBI-single to make it a 3-1 game. Luckily, a great double play behind him would get him out of the jam and the inning.

Javier was able to settle back in after that rougher inning, getting quick, scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, earning him the win. His final line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR.

Yet another rookie pitching debut as Houston's bullpen finishes the win

Bryan Abreu was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the bottom of the seventh. He would not have an inning to remember, allowing a leadoff double followed later by two walks to load the bases. He then walked in a run, making it 8-2, and prompting another call to the bullpen. Enoli Paredes would enter and get the final out of the seventh inning.

Paredes ran into trouble of his own in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases after a walk and two singles, but with some help from Houston's defense would keep it a six-run lead heading to the ninth. In yet another Astros debut for a pitcher in 2020, Humberto Castellanos entered in the bottom of the ninth, and he recorded the final three outs to close out the victory for Houston.

Up Next: This series continues on Wednesday with the middle game of this three-game set at 8:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 5.40 ERA) will return to the mound in another start for the Astros, while Robbie Ray (0-2, 8.64 ERA) will look to turn things around in his early season with the Diamondbacks.

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