The Cowboys Report

Cowboys rock Redskins but fall short of postseason

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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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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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