COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys tame Lions; Patriots up next

Zeke Elliot keeps rolling. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys got a much-needed win on Sunday when they beat the Detroit Lions 35-27. It was important for them to get a win because their next two opponents are the New England Patriots (9-1) and the Buffalo Bills (7-3).

Recap

Once again the Cowboys spotted the opposition an early lead but were able to take control of the game by halftime. The coaching staff improved their play calling which helped keep them out of bad situations. The Dallas offense was unstoppable though the air as they totaled 434 yards (509 yards total) and 26 first downs.

Quarterback Dak Prescott was 29/46 for 444 yards, 3 touchdowns, and NO turnovers. This is the third game in a row he has thrown for at least 3 touchdowns and keeps showing why he deserves a big contract at the end of the season. Prescott connected with 7 different receivers, which included a duo of 100 yard pass catchers. They were led by 2nd year wide out Michael Gallup who caught 9 balls for 148 yards. Slot receiver Randall Cobb was second on the team with 4 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. Superstar Amari Cooper only had 3 receptions for 38 yards but 2 of them were for 1st downs that led to a Cowboys score.

Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott only got 18 touches but he did not have to be the workhorse this week with Dak and Company having such success through the air. Zeke carried the ball 16 times for 45 yards and 1 touchdown. He also caught 2 balls for 28 yards and another touchdown.

Dallas improves to (6-4) and is in all alone in first place atop the NFC East. They are ahead of their division rival Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) who lost this past week.

3Things to Watch For

1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): I can guarantee the coach Belichick will have the Patriots defense locked in on him. The Cowboys are going to have to come up with some creative ways to put Zeke is a position to succeed against the #1 defense in the NFL.

2.Randall Cobb (Wide Receiver): Has scored a touchdown in each of his last 2 games and should be in line for some more big plays this week with the New England defense having to worry about Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

3.Jason Garrett (Head Coach): Needs to have a good game plan and must be able to make adjustments during the game. Dallas is usually able to overcome coaching mistakes due to their talent on the field but this week could get out of hand early if Garrett is not properly prepared.

Coming Up

The Dallas Cowboys (6-4) will be on the road taking on the New England Patriots (9-1) at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Kickoff is set for 3:25 pm Central Time. The Cowboys are going to have to be at the top of their game if they want to beat the defending Super Bowl champs. Dak Prescott is going to have to be mistake free and keep the #1 offense in the NFL going.

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), Randall Cobb (WR)

Patriots: Julian Edelman (WR), Tom Brady (QB)

For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently + 6.5 and the over/under is 46. The Cowboys haven't beaten any team with a current record over .500 and I am not sure if they will this week. It is a no play for me but if you have to play, I would lean on the under unless you can get Dallas at +7 or more.

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Rockets get another much-needed win. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets went on a redemption tour by beating the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks. But the most pivotal win was against the Mavericks as the Rockets finally showed their true potential. John Wall finally made his return from his injury hiatus and played with a lot of energy. DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Gordon combined for 61 points. It was great to see Stephan Silas crack a smile as he was able to beat his former team.

The Rockets clearly missed Wall during his eight-game absense. This season, the Rockets are a .500 team with Wall on the court. Wall is the Rockets' floor general that leads, constructs, and also pushes his teammates to become better.

Wall only played 21 minutes in the 133-108 win over the Mavericks but still had eight assists. Even though Wall only had 7 points, his presence was still felt by finding his teammates for open looks beyond the perimeter. Wall made sure Cousins and Gordon got a plethora of touches. He called multiple actions, so they got open looks from three, which was mainly Gordon. Gordon and Cousins' struggles have been similar but with Wall on the court, they were successful against the Mavericks. According to NBA Stats, Wall posted a 111 offensive rating with the starters versus the Mavericks, which included Gordon and Cousins.

"He's the engine to this team. He gets everybody going. He makes the game easy," Cousins told a reporter after the game. "The pressure that he constantly puts on the defense is a tough thing to deal with."

Gordon has struggled all season long with three-point shooting and relied on his slashing abilities. Saturday night, Gordon made six three pointers against the Mavericks, which was 66 percent from beyond the perimeter. Gordon increased his three-point percentage from 31 percent to 34.5 percent after Saturday night's game. Gordon's 33 points came from being able to attack the entire Mavericks' defense. Willy Cauley-Stein didn't stand a chance against Gordon as he was burned multiple times. Gordon's been a lifesaver for the Rockets in the last two games, and hopefully he maintains his play.

Cousins played fantastic against the Mavericks scoring 28 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. This is Cousins' first double-double with the Rockets this season. Cousins became the vintage player from the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. It was extremely fun watching Cousins push the ball up the court and aggressively snatch rebounds. Boogie shot 50 percent from behind the arc by making four three-pointers. He was dominant inside the paint as Cousins went 7/8 from the restricted area versus the Mavericks. This was the game Cousins needed after having a poor performance against the Pistons Friday night.

"It was really, really good. He did it all. He's a physical presence on both ends of the floor," as Silas said on Cousins' performance.

David Nwaba and Mason Jones were big factors off the Rockets' bench by having a combined total of 34 points together. Nwaba has been great in transition for the Rockets the entire season. Keep in mind that Nwaba is returning from an Achilles injury he suffered with his former team, the Brooklyn Nets. Nwaba has became a great defender, slasher, and is averaging a career-high nine points per game with the Rockets. He finished with 18 points on Saturday night versus the Mavericks.

Mason Jones has become a fan favorite of the Rockets because of his confidence. Silas is loving the usage of Jones off the bench but wants to find more minutes for him. Jones had a breakout performance versus the San Antonio Spurs with 24 points off 66 percent shooting from the field. He continues to get better with his reads from the point guard position. Jones' knowledge of running the offense has helped his efficiency on the court. He is never afraid to take clutch shots in pivotal moments of the game.

"To have a young kid who can come in and not be afraid of the moment, that's big. That's a tough position to be in as an undrafted rookie. I trust him. It's a good problem to have," Silas mentioned after the game. "He's showing me he's ready. He's a confident kid, and he should be. That's why he's good. He's not afraid of the moment, at all. He can get us organized, run plays, and score the basketball."

Hopefully, the Rockets can sustain their level of play when Victor Oladipo returns against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday. It will be interesting to watch Oladipo and Wall play in the same backcourt.

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