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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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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