THE COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys lose a heartbreaker in Houston; face Jags this week

Cowboys lose a heartbreaker in Houston; face Jags this week
Dak Prescott had a rough night in Houston. Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys took a tough 19-16 overtime loss to their interstate rival Houston Texans Sunday night and this time the score does show that it was a close contest.

It was a back and forth game for its entirety and the teams ended with similar stats in all aspects of the game except for yards gained.  The Texans outgained the Cowboys by almost 200 yards (462 to 292).

The Dallas defense played extremely well whenever the Texans entered the red zone and only allowed one touchdown.  They stopped Houston three times when they had first and goal throughout the game.  The Cowboy linebackers were exceptional at containing the mobile Texans quarterback and held Deshaun Watson to 40 yards rushing.  The defense in all only sacked him once but hit him 10 times and slowed him down a bit by causing a chest injury. Watson was moving a lot slower than normal as the game went on.

The Cowboys offense was another story.  Quarterback Dak Prescott did pass for over 200 yards again but was sacked twice.  His final stat line was 18 of 29 for 208 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. NFL leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott was held to only 54 yards on 20 carries for a 2.7-yard per carry average.  The Texan defense locked in on him and never let him get anything going. Even when he lined up as a receiver the Texans were able to cover him up. With the Houston defense keyed on Zeke, someone else needed to step up.  The problem was nobody did. No other Cowboy other than Elliott caught more than three balls.

At the end of the night and even with all the offensive struggles, the Cowboys made a clutch drive late in the fourth quarter to score a game tying field goal to send the game to overtime.  In OT, Dallas took the opening drive to the Texan 42 yard line and had a crucial third and 1 play.  The Cowboys opted to run Elliott up the middle from a shotgun formation and he got stopped for no gain.  Head Coach Jason Garrett decided to punt the ball away and trust his defense. The difference in the game was that the Texans playmakers stepped up when it counted most and the Cowboy’s playmakers didn’t.  Texan superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins took a short pass and ran through multiple Cowboys defenders, which sealed the game.

A bright spot for the Cowboys is all other NFC East opponents lost as well.  This keeps in second place and one game behind the Washington Redskins.

3 Players to Watch

  1. Ezekiel Elliott (running back): Zeke stays No. 1 on the list because he needs to have a good game for the Cowboys to win.  He is the only playmaker on the team and needs to make something happen against a great Jaguar defense.

  2. Geoff Swaim (tight end): Swaim seems to have found a nice connection with Prescott and is his check down receiver whenever he gets in trouble.  He was the seconding leading receiver last week with three catches for 55 yards.

  3. Brett Maher (kicker): Has not missed a field goal since his first attempt in the NFL which was in Week 1.  He has made 11 straight and needs to keep it going as points are going to be hard to come by against Jacksonville.   

Coming Up (Week 6)

Sunday afternoon the Dallas Cowboys (2-3) will be back at home to host the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) with the kickoff scheduled at 3:25 pm Central time.  

This should be a compelling matchup in which the Cowboys should have a good chance of winning.  The Jaguars are without their superstar running back Leonard Fournette and much like the Cowboys; don’t really have any big time playmakers on offense.  Points are going to come at premium and the team who plays the better defense will probably be the victor.

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

Cowboys:  Elliott. 

Jaguars:  T.J. Yeldon.

For you gamblers out there, the current line is Dallas +3 with an over/under of 40.5.  If you are going to play I think you would want to catch Dallas at a number over three and maybe take the under.  Both offenses tend to struggle and I don’t see both teams scoring 20 points.



 

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Astros defeat the Orioles, 5-1. Composite Getty Image.

Ronel Blanco pitched seven strong innings and Chas McCormick homered twice to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez added a two-run shot to help Houston extend its winning streak to four games.

Blanco (8-2), who threw seven hitless innings in his last start, allowed four hits and a run with three strikeouts for his third straight win.

Alvarez put the Astros on top with his 16th homer, which came off Corbin Burnes (8-3) in the third, and McCormick made it 4-1 in the fifth. McCormick got his fifth career multihomer game when he connected again in the eighth.

Burnes allowed five hits, including a season-high two homers and a season-most four runs in seven innings to snap his career-best streak of 10 consecutive quality starts. He was 5-0 in seven starts since a loss at Washington on May 7.

Jordan Westburg homered in the second for the Orioles, who set a franchise record with 21 straight games with a home run to surpass the 1998 squad's 20-game streak.

Baltimore had troubled stringing hits together Saturday after scoring 28 runs combined in the last two games. The top four batters in their order combined to go 1 for 13 against Blanco and Houston's bullpen.

Ryan Pressly threw a scoreless eighth before Josh Hader struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.

Westburg connected off Blanco with one out in the second to put the Orioles up 1-0.

Yainer Diaz opened Houston’s second with a triple on a line drive to right field. The Astros tied it when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón with one out.

McCormick singled with no outs in the third and the shot to center field by Alvarez came with two outs to put Houston on top 3-1.

McCormick’s home run to the seats in left field extended the lead to 4-1 with one out in the fifth.

Cedric Mullins tripled off the wall in center with one out in the seventh. Colton Cowser hit a sharp line drive, but was robbed of a hit when shortstop Jeremy Peña made a leaping catch for the second out. Blanco then retired Ramón Urías to end the inning and leave Mullins stranded.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Jake Bloss, who made his major league debut Friday night, was placed on the injured list with right shoulder discomfort.

ROSTER MOVES

Astros: RHP Nick Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday night. ... LHP Bryan King was selected to the MLB roster and RHP Luis Contreras was recalled from Sugar Land on Saturday. … RHP Alex Speas was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (5-5, 3.91 ERA) opposes RHP Albert Suárez (3-1, 2.05) in the series finale Sunday.

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