COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys outplayed by Bills; Bears up next

Dallascowboys.com

The Dallas Cowboys (6-6) were beat 26-15 by the Buffalo Bills (9-3) on Thanksgiving Day.

Recap

For the first time in five weeks, the Cowboys quickly scored first on their opening possession that gave them an early 7-0 lead. The problem was that drive was the only good thing they did on offense. They didn't score again until late in the 4th quarter when the game was out of reach.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 32/49 for 355 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 turnovers (1 interception and 1 fumble). Yes, when you look at the stat line, it looks like he had a great game but they are mostly empty numbers. Prescott connected with 8 different receivers and Amari Cooper led the team in receptions (8) and yards (85).

Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott looked like he was set for a big day after the Cowboys' first drive but ended up becoming a non-factor once Dallas started trailing by double digits. Zeke finished the game with 12 carries for 71 yards and 7 catches for 66 yards.

Dallas drops to (6-6) but stay in first place atop the NFC East because their division rival Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) lost on Sunday.

3 Things to Watch For

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): Zeke had a decent game this past week but will have to be better to carry his team to a victory. He will be going against another top 10 defense and will have Khalil Mack who is one of the best players in the NFL across from him.

2.Cowboys Defense (All): Look for the defense to have a big day. The Bears offense is average to below average and their quarterback has a tendency to turn the ball over. I can see multiple players recording a sack.

3.Brett Maher (Kicker): 2nd year kicker has not had the best season so far and needs to start making his field goal attempts. He missed 2 last week that would have helped Dallas stay in the game. Hopefully he can get his game back on track.

Coming Up

The Dallas Cowboys (6-6) will be on the road taking on the Chicago Bears (6-6) on Thursday night in Chicago, Illinois at Soldier Field. Kickoff is set at 7:20 pm Central time. The Cowboys still have not beat a team with a winning record this year, luckily the Bears area .500 team and Dallas should be able to come away with a win. The Cowboys should have a good mix of both run and pass plays that will allow their athletes to make big plays.

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

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

Bears: Allen Robinson (WR), David Montgomery (RB)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently -3 and the over/under is 42.5.I love Dallas this week. I would definitely take them at -3. I believe their #1 offense will overcome a terrible Chicago offense.

Friday the 13th. Triskaidekophobes' worst nightmare. It's silliness. Like believing in the Texans as Super Bowl contenders.

So how did the Texans go from toppling the 10-1 Patriots one Sunday, to having the 4-8 Broncos humiliate them the next? That is what mediocrity is all about, Houston Texans style. Imagine how ugly it would have gotten had the Broncos not had to deal with the intimidation factor of playing under a closed roof on a gorgeous autumn afternoon. There was a surprising number of no shows for an 8-4 home team off of two quality wins. Coincidence? Certainly not entirely. Ticket holders who opted to stay away joined essentially the entire team in no-showing.

With their record 8-5 the odds still favor the Texans making the playoffs. Winning two of the remaining three games does the job (and secures other one of those cute little AFC South Champion banners!). Of course, the odds favored the Texans not trailing 31-3 at home at halftime to a Broncos' team that hadn't scored more than 24 points in any game all season. Winning one to finish 9-7 could mean a Wild Card. Yippee!

They are only three point underdogs at Tennessee Sunday. If the Texans' feeble pass rush can't pick it up the Texans' D figures to be D-stroyed again. Ryan Tannehill's career revival with the Titans has been astounding. What reasonable person would have believed that entering this game Tannehill would be playing better quarterback than Deshaun Watson over the last month? Defending Derrick Henry's power running is a big problem, and that has made Tannehill devastating in the play action passing game. Good chance the Texans will need to score more than 28 points to win. They last did so eight games ago in their 31-24 victory at Kansas City. The Titans look like the better team right now, but week to week in the NFL who knows.

As I put it on the radio show earlier this week, in an either or scenario which would you prefer: the Texans do win their division, maybe win a wild card weekend home game, and if they do then take a shot at not getting crushed at Baltimore again. OR…the Texans lose twice to the Titans, lose in Tampa, tumbling from 8-4 to an 8-8 playoff miss and Cal McNair decides to fire Bill O'Brien?

Tough spell for Astros

Given that Oakland wasn't a possibility, Gerrit Cole picking the Yankees is the Astros' worst case scenario. If you're thinking nine years 324 million dollars is nuts, of course nine years is crazy long, but the Yankees are a money printing machine. Forbes magazine estimate for 2018 had the Yankees generating roughly 300 million dollars more in revenue than did the Astros.

Another bottom line: with Cole the Yankees are markedly better, without him the Astros are markedly worse.

The Astros are in a payroll bind, hence the trade Carlos Correa rumblings. In isolation, trading Correa would be dumb. Yes he has proven brittle. But Correa is also super-talented, 25 years old, and for two more years in Major League Baseball terms, dirt cheap. Trade Correa for what? A desperate play to escape the 13 million dollar anvil that is Josh Reddick's 2020 contract? Offered for nothing in return the Astros have no takers for Reddick. As a must take in a Correa deal, Reddick would drive down the return the Astros could get.

The Astros would be seeking a cheap, multi-years team-controlled stud young starting pitcher for Correa. They're not getting one for him. Guys like the Dodgers' Walker Buehler, the Cardinals' Jack Flaherty, the Braves Mike Siroka, the Indians Shane Bieber, those teams wouldn't swap their guy for Correa straight up. They'd laugh at an Astro offer of Correa and Reddick. Reds' starter Luis Castillo's name has been thrown against the wall. He's had one really good full big league season. At 27 years old, Castillo isn't eligible for arbitration until 2021. Why would the Reds trade him for Correa who can walk as a free agent after the 2021 season? Mets starter Noah Syndegaard? Probably not available, and he can become a free agent the same time as Correa.

It's always easy to burn someone else's money, but the Astros' best play is keeping Correa and swallowing the Reddick 13 mil if necessary, rather than taking 70 cents on the dollar back in a trade. Jim Crane and his partners can make back any loss in profit margin during this Astros' window of excellence by cutting costs when the next rebuilding time comes around and/or by selling the team down the line for several times the 610 million dollars they paid to buy it.

Buzzer Beaters

1. If you can get a ticket, UH-Oklahoma St. at Fertitta Center is the place to be Sunday afternoon. 2. The NBA has captivated very few around here so far this season, but the relentlessness of James Harden's scoring pace (37.6 points per game) is stupefying. 3. Absurd actual phobias: Bronze-Somniphobia, fear of sleep Silver-Cherophobia, fear of happiness Gold-Arachibutyrophobia, the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth


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