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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Should Watson be in the MVP conversation? Composite image by Jack Brame.

The 2020 NFL season has a lot going on. Even if we take the coronavirus out of it, there's still a lot to digest. There are so many great performances being put up, one can make an argument for several players to win league MVP. The quarterback position typically gets more credit than others. If I restrict the argument to quarterbacks only, we're looking at Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers. Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Derrick Henry are the leading contenders at running back. On defense, there really isn't a standout defender. The defense gets no love, but there are several guys in the running for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Deshaun Watson has been putting up numbers that have matched or rivaled some of the top MVP candidates over his last seven games. That stretch has coincided with the firing of head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien. Coincidence? I think not. Taking the reigns off a wild horse can often lead to said horse running free and flourishing! So question: Should Watson be getting league MVP considerations? I think so.

For starters, he's been one of the best players in the league over the course of the last seven games. 18 passing touchdowns and only two interceptions. The only quarterback with a better touchdown to interception ratio over that same span is Mahomes (19 and 2, as opposed to Watson's 18 & 2). Factoring in total season stats, of course Mahomes is doing much better. He's on a better team with a much better coach and general manager. The same could be said for Wilson and Rodgers. Put Watson on any of those teams and their records wouldn't be any worse than what they are now.

The Texans are 4-3 since firing O'Brien. While that isn't a great record, consider the fact they started the season 0-4 and looked like a total disaster. Watson looked like he was caged and couldn't wait to be freed. The team's record could be even better if the defense had a pulse. The proper supporting cast has a lot to do with a player's MVP candidate's chances. Now that one of his favorite weapons, Will Fuller, and the team's best corner, Bradley Roby, are both suspended for the rest of the season by the league for violating the substance abuse/PED policy, things will get much tougher for Watson.

If he continues to put up these cartoon like numbers, I don't see why he wouldn't be in the MVP conversation. He's currently fopurth in passing yards, sixth in completion percentage, tied for fifth in passing touchdowns, eighth in QBR, and third in quarterback rating. Watson is emerging as the star he was projected to be coming into the 2017 draft. I'm not saying Watson deserves to be the league MVP, but he deserves to be in the conversation. His MVP candidacy should be treated like the family gathering hierarchy: once you reach a certain age and/or status, you're no longer resigned to the kiddie table. Now you get to sit with all the adults, engage in their conversations, and gain access to things you couldn't previously. Watson won't win the MVP award, but I strongly believe he could finish top five. Especially if he keeps making lemonade with the lemons he's been given.

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