The Cowboys Report

Cowboys rock Redskins but fall short of postseason

Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys (8-8) came away with an easy win on Sunday when they blew out the Washington Redskins (3-13) by the score of 47-16.

Recap

The Cowboys needed to win and have the New York Giants (4-12) beat the Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) for them to win the NFC East and make it into the playoffs. Dallas played hard and looked like the team everyone expected them to be all year but sadly, the Giants couldn't beat the Eagles and the Cowboys season came to an end.

Quarterback Dak Prescott had one of his better games of the year. He was 23/33 for 303 yards, 4 touchdowns, and NO turnovers. Dak connected with seven different receivers, second year man Michael Gallup led them with 5 catches for 98 yards and 3 touchdowns. It was Gallup's first multi score game of his career. Also, super star wide out Amari Cooper finally showed up for the first time in a few weeks, he had 4 catches for 92 yards.

With Dak and Company having so much success through the air, Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott also had a big day. He carried the ball 18 times for 118 yards and a touchdown. Hopefully, this was just a glimpse of what this team can in the years to come.

Improvements to watch for in the Offseason

New Head Coach: First and foremost, they need a new voice in the locker room.I believe this team has quit on Jason Garrett and he is the main reason this extremely talented team under performed. I don't know why he wasn't fired first thing Monday morning but if they stick with him next year will just be more of the same.

Offense: They locked up Zeke with a huge contract this year, now it's time for them to pay both Dak and Cooper as they enter free agency. The QB position is way more important than receiver so believe Dallas will give Dak a market value contract and then probably franchise tag Cooper to make him prove his worth, especially with the play of Michael Gallup towards the end of the year. The resigning of slot receiver Randall Cobb would be great for them as well if they can get him at a reasonable price.

Defense: They all are set with their two core stud linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch but Vander Esch missed most of the year with a neck injury. Hopefully he can recover during the offseason and come back at an elite level. I believe Dallas will look to sign some secondary help and improve the defensive backfield.The top free agents at this moment are Chris Harris (CB), Jimmy Smith (CB), and Logan Ryan (CB).

NFL Playoffs

With that being said there are still 11 NFL Postseason games to be played:

Saturday January 4th:

AFC Wild Card:Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans at 3:35 pm Central Time

AFC Wild Card:Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots at 7:15 pm Central Time

Sunday January 5th:

NFC Wild Card:Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints at 12:05 pm Central time

NFC Wild Card:Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles at 3:40 pm Central time

Saturday January 11th:

NFC Divisional Round Games:Will be at 3:35 pm and 7:15 pm Central time

Sunday January 12th:

AFC Divisional Round Games:Will be at 2:05 pm and 5:40 pm Central time

Sunday January 19th:

AFC Championship:Will be at 2:05 pm Central time

NFC Championship:Will be 5:40 pm Central time

Sunday February 2nd:

Super Bowl LIV (54):Kickoff is at 5:30 pm Central time

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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