Eagles 17, Cowboys 9

Cowboys vs Eagles: Good, bad and ugly

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After an impressive victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys came into Sunday ready to claim their division championship over their hated rivals Philadelphia Eagles. Fate would have other plans, as the Cowboys forgot how to play football for the entirety of the game, and let the Eagles take the lead in the NFC East.

The Good

- Kai Forbath looks to have secured his job as the Cowboys' kicker. The journeyman was picked up by the Cowboys last week, and has been nothing short of spectacular. He made all three field goal attempts Sunday bringing his total up to a perfect 6/6 with the Cowboys. A far cry for the wildly inconsistent Brett Maher, Forbath looks to be kicking for the Cowboys long after this season is over.

- In an otherwise putrid offensive game, there was one bright spot, and for once it wasn't Ezekiel Elliott. Instead, it was Michael Gallup. His chemistry with Dak Prescott has grown exponentially since the start of the 2019 season. In only his second year in the league, Gallup has transitioned from a solid wide receiver to a potential number one option. With Amari Cooper's future with the Cowboys in question Gallup would be a great replacement as the Cowboys' new go-to receiver if in fact Cooper leaves via free-agency.

- The final bright spot of the game is that this season is almost over. The 2019 campaign for the Cowboys has been heart-breaking, underwhelming, disappointing, and most of all inconsistent. Luckily, we only have one more game to endure this trauma. Unless of course the Giants win and the Cowboys beat the Redskins, then we have two more games of pain. In the end I really couldn't think of another positive thing to say about Sunday's loss to the Eagles. The Cowboys just fell flat on all aspects of Sunday's game offensively and defensively.

The bad

- Speaking of defense, they could not stop the run to save their lives Sunday night against the Eagles. With a banged up Eagles offense that was without guys like Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery, the Cowboys' defense should have had the upper hand in this matchup. Carson Wentz and running back Miles Sanders had other plans. Sanders seemed to get first downs at a moment's notice and was able to run on the Cowboys defense all day. Wentz converted many key third-down conversions to his back up receivers with ease. One key play in the game was a deep pass to the former University of Houston Quarterback Greg Ward Jr which untimely set up Sanders for his lone score. The Eagles went up 17-6 at this point and any momentum the Cowboys had left vanished.

- I would like to file a missing person report. Ezekiel Elliott did not have a good game, and his numbers show. With only a total of 47 yards on the ground, the Cowboys could not get the run game going with both Elliott and Tony Pollard. Last week both running backs were able to feast on the Rams supposedly superior defense, but Sunday was the exact opposite. Both running backs had the worst game of the 2019 season, and because the Cowboys couldn't get the run game going, the offense stalled. The Cowboys have predicated their game as a run first offense, but if that is not working it seems as though they can't figure things out before it's too late or its garbage time. Whether this is a coaching issue or Dak Prescott's inability to lead an offense without a Pro-Bowl caliber running back remains to be seen, and should be a key question Jerry Jones should answer this offseason.

- If the opponent's defensive game plan is stop the run and force Dak Prescott to beat you, it has worked for multiple teams this season. In what is supposed to be a contract year for the 4th year quarterback, he has been underwhelming to say the least. For a guy looking for a long-term deal and to be made one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the draft, Prescott's case looks worse than other potential avaible quarterbacks such as Cam Newton or Ryan Tannehill. Sure his first three games of the season were specular against the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins, but since then the Cowboys have a losing record. They are 5-8 after Week 3 and have only had one impressive victory over the Rams. I'm not saying Prescott won't be the quarterback next year, but its plain to see he will not be getting his contract extension. If anything, he will be franchised tagged instead.

The Ugly

- The Cowboys have become an enigma. One week they are manhandling the defending NFC champions, and the next week they are unable to score a single touchdown. Their inconsistently has finally caught up to them and it might be too late to overcome. Whether it is Quarterback play or coaching mistakes, the Cowboys seemingly couldn't beat anyone with a decent plan to stop Ezekiel Elliott. With such a talented roster, this team should be contending for the Super Bowl not trying to strive to make the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Changes are defintily coming before next year for the entire coaching staff. Jason Garrett will not, I repeat will not be the head coach for the Cowboys next year nor will most of his staff.

- As previously mentioned, Dak Prescott is a free-agent next season and he probably will not get his big money extension he wants this offseason. I do think he will stay with the Cowboys, albeit on a shorter high-dollar deal. There is one player who could be on his way out though and last night was apparent he wasn't happy. According to multiple reports, Amari Cooper left the game before the final play of regulation in which the Cowboys went for a last ditch effort to win the game. Instead Cooper was watching from the sidelines as the Cowboys failed on offense one last time. Cooper has been an oddity this season. He has been a model of inconsistency parallel to that of the Cowboys 2019 season. Cooper is a free-agent next year and could be a candidate to receive the franchise tag as well. The Cowboys could have a tough decision to make next year by deciding to keep either Prescott or Cooper.

- If it wasn't bad enough the Cowboys got utterly destroyed by the Eagles on Sunday night, they couldn't even leave Philadelphia due to plane issues. According to reports, their plane was deemed "not viable" to fly home to the DFW airport. They were eventually able to find a new plane to fly home on, but this just adds insult to injury to the worst game of the Cowboys' 2019 season.

The Cowboys had plenty of chances and opportunities to win against the Eagles, clinch the division, and rest guys against the Redskins but couldn't. Their only chances at making the playoffs now are if the Giants beat the Eagles and the Cowboys beat the Redskins on Sunday December 29th. At this point would it even be worth it? Would you rather see the Cowboy's season mercifully end, or would making the playoffs to face a NFC powerhouse team like the Seahawks or 49ers be worth it in the end?


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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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