COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys lose a close one; Packers up next

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The Dallas Cowboys lost their first game of the season in a close defensive battle on Sunday night. Neither team could get much going offensively, but the Cowboys scored the only touchdown of the game in the 12-10 loss.

Recap

Turnovers are one of the most key factors in all games, and this was no different. Dallas coughed up the ball three times to New Orleans' one. The Dallas Defense was stout and did everything they needed to do to be in position to win; especially only allowing four field goals.They held the Saints best player Alvin Kamara to under 70 yards rushing and only 20 yards receiving.Linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith were all over the field.Smith had 9 total tackles (7 solo, 2 for loss) and 1 sack.Vander Esch led the team with 11 tackles (10 solo).

With both defenses playing well, quarterback Dak Prescott was 22/33 for 223 passing yards, ZERO touchdowns, and 1 interception. He also had only one carry for 7 yards. Prescott was able to spread the ball around to six different receivers but was still unable to get in a rhythm.The loss of No. 2 receiver Michael Gallup might have a bigger impact than expected.

The passing game wasn't the only thing out of synch. Pro Bowl/Super Star Ezekiel Elliott had one of his worst games in his career. He had 18 carries for 35 yards but was able to score a 1-yard touchdown. He also led the team in catches with 6 for 30 yards on 7 targets.It's no coincidence when Zeke struggles, the offense struggles because he is the driving force.

The loss drops Dallas to (3-1) and still all alone atop the NFC East but both Philadelphia and New York won and are one game back at (2-2).

3 Things to Watch For

3 things to watch for

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): Zeke should be in line for other 20+ touch game as he will try to get the offense back on track this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers 7th worst rush defense.

2.Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith (Linebackers): As amazing as they were this past week, they are going to play great again as they go up against NFL great Aaron Rodgers.They are going to have to keep him contained and not allow him the get the ball deep down field.

3.Randall Cobb (Wide Receiver): As the defacto No. 2 receiver due to injury, I want to see him step up and have a big game as he goes up against his old team.I expect for him to get a few more looks than normal to give him a bit of revenge since the Packers let him go last year.

Coming Up

Sunday October 6th, the Cowboys (3-1) will be taking on the Green Bay Packers (3-1) at home in AT&T Stadium (AKA:Jerry's World). Kickoff is set for 3:25 pm Central time. With both teams coming off their first losses of the year, I expect them both to come out firing.The Packers will be looking to take advantage of the Cowboys through the air and the Cowboys will be looking to run on them.

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

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

Packers: Aaron Rodgers (QB), Aaron Jones (RB), Davante Adams (WR)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently -3.5 and the over/under is 47.I don't have a good feeling about Dallas at more than 3 but I think the over is the best way to go.

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NASCAR makes its inaugural trip to the Daytona Roval for the Go Bowling 235. This will be one of the most anticipated races in recent memory considering that for many years, it was considered that NASCAR would run here in this configuration and now it's finally has come. It will be extremely hard to predict what will go on and to add on there will be no practice and qualifying. This should be one of the most insane races in recent memory and I have no idea who will win this one. This will be a race you don't want to miss

Kevin Harvick dominated the doubleheader last week as he won both races on Saturday and Sunday. He led a combined 182 laps in both races and was easily the best car. The main headline of the race was NASCAR's new choice box rule. This was implemented last week for the first time in a points paying event as NASCAR tried it out in the all-star race at Bristol in June. This rule allows each driver to go to either the outside or the inside of the orange painted box after the start finish line. This allows them to line-up in either lane they chose. It paid dividends for a lot of drivers including Bubba Wallace and Joey Logano as they both picked up a number of spots on Saturday on the final restart. Overall, I really like this new rule but NASCAR once again decides to change everything up in the middle of the season. I echo the sentiments of what Clint Bowyer's spotter Brett Griffin was saying on his door bumper and how NASCAR needs to stop making such massive changes in the middle of the season. Regardless, I look forward to seeing how this works going forward.

As the silly-season continues, one of the big dominoes to fall was Christopher Bell as it was announced (as expected) that he will drive the #20 Toyota next season for Joe Gibbs. This was bound to happen the moment Bell moved up to the Cup Series this year for Leavine family racing. This was very similar to the trajectory of how Erik Jones got his ride back in 2017 when he replaced Matt Kenseth in the same car. While I hate to see Erik out of a ride, I have a feeling he will land on his feet and have a career resurgence wherever he goes. Besides, more than likely he'll be at the top of the list for Rick Hendrick to take over the #48 ride. This silly season continues to twist and turn as there were also rumors that a driver that isn't currently in the sport also was interviewed by Rick Hendrick for the ride. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks.

As we get closer and closer to the playoffs, the battle for the 16th and final spot in the standings is heating up. Currently, 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Erik Jones both sit 17th and 18th in the standings. This has been a season of such promise for both of these drivers and as everyone knows this is Jimmie's last season. It would be a shame to see both of them miss the playoffs as both have a lot to race for. In the next few weeks, don't be surprised to see these guys get desperate. In fact, Johnson has changed his paint scheme to white as he believes the black and purple look has given him bad luck. Both of these drivers have the speed to get in and it will be crucial for them to pick up as many stage points as possible, something they have struggled with all year. It will be interesting to see who falls over the next few races.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Ryan Blaney. Like I said earlier, this will be very difficult to predict considering this has never been done before and that there will be no practice. But if there is anyone who can get it done on a Roval, it has to be Ryan Blaney. Back in 2018, he won the first race at the Charlotte Roval and while both are extremely different, it would only make sense to see him win here. This year has been tough on the second generation driver and while he is solidly in the playoffs and has led the points at one point, he still has yet to capture that elusive first win. I expect all that to change come Sunday. Look for Ryan Blaney to take the checkered flag.

Tune in this Sunday, this is definitely going to be one for the books. There will be a lot of beating and banging and a lot of things that we aren't used to seeing. With the chance of rain as well, we could also see history as NASCAR has the rain tires at the ready for this occasion. This will be one you won't want to miss.

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