COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys lose a close one; Packers up next

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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.

NFL Week 10

NFL Week 10: Good, bad and ugly

Phil Hoffman, Baltimore Ravens Team Website

Week 10 of the NFL brought us some good games. 11 of the 13 game splayed were decided by one possession (touchdown and two point conversion) or less. Good football and parity is what the league wants. Here's what I observed this week:

The Good

-Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the clear cut league MVP after his performance this past weekend against the Bengals.He was 15/17 for 223 yards and three touchdowns passing to go with his seven carries for 65 yards and a highlight reel-worthy touchdown rushing. The spin move he made on that touchdown run looked like a Madden glitch.

-Including Monday night's OT comeback, Seattle's Russell Wilson is tied for the most game wining drives since entering the league in 2012 with 28 (the Lions' Matthew Stafford also has 28). Here's yet another reason why Wilson is an MVP candidate this season. Look around him and notice he's not working with a whole lot of top notch talent.

-Cardinals wide receiver Christina Kirk had himself a game in their 30-27 loss to the Bucs. Kirk ended his day with six catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns, including a 69 yards touchdown catch that tied the game at 20 in the 3rd quarter. Kirk was a top recruit coming out of high school and did some good things at Texas A&M, but this was a perhaps his breakout performance in the NFL for the former 2nd round pick. Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray will need a him moving forward if the duo hopes to succeed.

The Bad

-Lions' wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught a pass near the end of their 20-13 loss to the Bears and tried to hurry things along by spotting the ball for the refs. Nothing uncommon about what he did...except he moved the ball up a few yards and the refs did nothing about it! Just another reason why officiating has been so terrible as of late.

-Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan is having a bad year. Even after missing four games due to suspension, he's still leading the team in penalties. He singlehandedly killed their first possession of the second half with back to back penalties forcing them to punt. To his credit, he totally owned it when the media came in the locker room after the game.

-Panthers' running back Christian McCaffrey is an amazing talent at the running back position. However, he isn't a bruiser of a runner. He's more of a finese guy. So asking him to bang it inside from the 2-yard line with no timeouts left and the game on the line is not ideal. How about coming up with a more creative way to get him the ball in space? They went on to lose to the Packers 24-16. This and the failed two-point conversion on their previous touchdown were both baffling calls.

The Ugly

-The Rams will be without offensive lineman Rob Haverstein for a week and Brian Allen for the remainder of the season with injuries. Things are getting worse by the minute for the Rams who came into this season off a Super bowl appearance.

-The Chiefs lost their leading sacker Emmanuel Ogbah for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Losing to the Titans was one thing, but losing a talented pass rusher for the rest of the season as bad as their defense has been is icing on a poop cake.

-Former #2 overall pick Charles Rogers passed away at the age of 38 due to liver failure. Rogers' life was a tragic tale of a talented guy who wasn't ready for what his talent gave him in the way of fame and fortune. He was selected one pick ahead of Texans' all time great Andre Johnson as the two were said to be the best two receivers in the 2003 draft.

Week 10 of NFL action was capped off by a battle in the NFC West between the 49ers and the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. With only two games decided by more than one possession, we were trewated to another good weekend of football. The '72 Dolphins popped their champagne somewhere after the 49ers lost. Division races became a tad more clear. Some became more crowded. But overall, it was another good week of football. Weeks like this one are why people are hooked on football and can't get enough.

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