THE COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys head into bye week with 3-4 record after loss to Redskins; add Cooper in trade

Jason Garrett and the Cowboys get a week off. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys lost another close one on the road, this time to their division rival Washington Redskins by the score of 20-17.  They now go into their bye week with a record of 3-4 (All four losses have been road games).

The score doesn’t really tell the story of the game though.  Dallas lost the most important battle of every game, the turnover battle (2-0).  The Redskins created two fumbles from Dak Prescott, including what was the game winning strip sack that they took back for a touchdown with less the five minutes remaining in the game and gave them a 20-10 lead.

The Cowboys offense had no answer for the Redskin defense when it came to getting the ball to Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott.  The NFL’s second leading rusher in the league was held to 33 yards on 15 carries and two catches for 9 yards which is Zeke’s second worst professional game ever.

With the Washington defense locked in on Elliott, head coach Jason Garrett had to find other ways to move the ball.  The Cowboys put game in quarterback Dak Prescott’s hands by running multiple play action fake passes and giving him the option to run the ball himself.   

Prescott was 22 of 35 for 273 yards and one touchdown which was a beautiful 49 yard pass to rookie receiver Michael Gallup to tie the game at 7 right before halftime.  He also ran the ball six times for 33 yards and another touchdown. He was able to spread the ball around and completed passes to seven different receivers. Top free agent acquisition Allen Hurns had his best game of the season with five catches for 74 yards and looks to finally be developing a good rapport with Prescott.  The issue was he was sacked four times and turned the ball over twice via fumbles.

The Cowboy defense was solid only giving up 305 yards of total offense and one touchdown early in the first quarter.  The teams were even in almost all categories of the game except for the most important one, turnovers.  

Dallas did have a chance to tie the game in the last few seconds but ended having to kick a field goal from 52 yards away instead on a 47 yard try due to a snap infraction on the long snapper.  Brett Maher’s kick was no good after hitting the left upright. He had made his previous 16 field goal attempts.

The loss leaves Dallas in a tie for second place with the Philadelphia Eagles and two games behind Washington.  The Cowboys now have a bye week to reload for the second half of the season that they will start with a Monday night game at home against the Tennessee Titans (3-4) on November 5th.  

The big news was the acquisition of former Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper. The Cowboys gave up a first-round pick in hopes he can step in and help the offense. They now have extra time to work him in.


 

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The Marlins are showing interest in Yuli Gurriel. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

As the reporting date for pitchers and catchers draws near, there are still some decisions hanging over the Astros. One of them is whether or not to bring back Yuli Gurriel. “La Piña,” as he's affectionately called, is 38 years old. He turns 39 in June. His leadership and instincts cannot be matched. The man has seen a ton of baseball and comes from a family of baseballers. So, what's the holdup?

Enter the Miami Marlins. The ownership group, led by Bruce Sherman, is undoubtedly trying to capitalize on the heavy Cuban population in the Miami area. Bringing in the Cuban Babe Ruth is a great way to attempt to get more fan engagement. The franchise has only been to the playoffs three times. First two times (1997 and 2003), they won it all. In 2020, they were swept in the NLDS. They're most likely offering him a ridiculous amount of money to come to a team with a losing history. Knowing the Marlins are willing to hand out stupid money, would you blame La Piña for taking one last ridiculous payday?

Think about it. He's got two rings and made a ton of money. He can safely retire very comfortably. The lure to come back for another year or two would definitely be about money. The Marlins aren't a real threat in the next couple of seasons to do anything, but are willing to pay me like I'm still a star? Plus, I'm closer to my home country with all my family and friends? Sign me up!

This is where the Astros have to make a decision. Bring Yuli back for another year or move on. If he follows through with his last four years, this should be a bounce back year. Since 2016, his first year in Houston and MLB, he's hit .262, .299, .291, .298, .232 (pandemic shortened season), .319, and .242 last season. The man is a professional hitter. He knows how to work an at-bat and can drive pitchers nuts. His defense isn't bad either. He's a more than capable first baseman.

This won't win me any favor, but I think it's time to move on. Yuli will always have a place in my heart because he was a major factor in the Astros' two World Series wins. Last season's title run was even more satisfying since it helped silence the haters. That was the mouthwash that got rid of the stench of the sign stealing scandal. Piña was there through it all.

Now, it's time to start transitioning towards the future. Piña, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Justin Verlander, and Lance McCullers Jr were the only holdovers from the 2017 team. Verlander was one of the guys the Mets backed the Brinks truck up for this offseason. Altuve (32), Bregman (28), and McCullers (29) should be all that's left of that group. While it would've been great to have Verlander (39) back, the emergence of the youth movement in the pitching staff made his loss somewhat expendable. At some point, the nostalgia wears off. Father Time and Mother Nature are both undefeated. If they were to bring Piña back, he should be a part timer transitioning into a hitting coach. Careers come to an end. It's time to start looking at his exit.

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