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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Houston now focused on postseason

Altuve and Correa homer, Astros drop final regular-season game

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With no playoff impact at stake if the Astros won or lost the game, Houston took Sunday's final regular-season game as a chance to get their lineup a few more at-bats before shifting focus to Tuesday's first game of the post-season. Here is a quick recap of the game against the Rangers:

Final Score: Rangers 8, Astros 4.

Record: 29-31, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wes Benjamin (2-1, 4.84 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Chase De Jong (0-1, 14.73 ERA).

Houston's main bats get a final tune-up

Knowing they'd only have a couple of at-bats to work with, some of Houston's big bats took advantage, starting with Jose Altuve. He crushed a pitch in the top of the first, a solo homer to put the Astros in front 1-0. After the Rangers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Altuve started the third with a walk before moving to third base on a Michael Brantley single, which improved Brantley's season average to .300.

Aledmys Diaz would pick up the RBI on a groundout to score Altuve, putting Houston back in front 2-1. In Correa's last at-bat in the top of the fourth, he extended the lead to 3-1 with a solo home run of his own.

Rangers hand Astros a loss to end the regular season

After getting the early run against Chase De Jong, the Rangers would put together a big inning against him in the fourth. After two one-out singles, Rougned Odor would give Texas their first lead of the day on a three-run homer to make it 4-3.

De Jong would continue to struggle in the inning, getting just one more out while loading the bases, prompting a move to the bullpen to bring in Nivaldo Rodriguez to try and eat up more innings. The Rangers greeted him with a two-RBI single to extend their lead to 6-3 before ending the fourth. Odor would hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to make it a four-run lead at 7-3.

Rodriguez allowed another run in the bottom of the seventh, making it 8-3. Diaz, who drove in a run earlier, would account for another RBI in the top of the eighth, getting Houston's third solo homer of the day. That would make it an 8-4 game, which would go final as the Rangers would win the regular season's last game.

Up Next: Houston's first game of the playoffs will be on Tuesday, with the start time and opponent TBD while the rest of today's games wrap up, and the schedule is announced. Regardless, the Astros are expected to begin that best-of-three series with Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

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