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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Houston has lost seven of eight

Mariners ride big fifth inning to series win over Astros

Jake Odorizzi earned his second loss as an Astro Sunday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

With the losing streak behind them by taking the middle game on Saturday night, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park on Sunday afternoon to try and make it back-to-back victories to take the series. Instead, they'd suffer their seventh loss in the last eight games.

Final Score: Mariners 7, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 7-8, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ljay Newsome (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-2)

Odorizzi locks in through four while Houston grabs a lead

Jake Odorizzi did not start his afternoon the way he needed to in order to have a good rebound outing compared to his first start. In the 37-pitch first inning, he issued two walks and an RBI-single, putting the Mariners at a significant advantage early. Odorizzi flipped the switch, though, finding a rhythm to retire the next ten batters after that RBI-single to get through four innings with just one run allowed.

Offensively for Houston, they quickly responded to Seattle's run in the first with one of their own in the top of the second, capitalizing on some shoddy defense by Seattle to get Carlos Correa to second to set up an RBI ground-rule double by Aledmys Diaz, tying things up 1-1. It stayed that way until the top of the fifth when a leadoff walk by Chas McCormick would turn into a run after a stolen base and two sacrifice flys to give Houston a 2-1 lead.

Mariners explode for four in the fifth

The lead was short-lived, as Seattle would explode in the bottom of the fifth, getting a leadoff single and one-out walk to set up a two-RBI triple by Mitch Haniger to go ahead 3-2. That would prompt Dusty Baker out of the dugout to end Odorizzi's day and move on to Brooks Raley. Raley would not fare any better, giving up a two-run homer to Ty France to extend Seattle's new lead to 5-2. He would finish the inning, putting Odorizzi's line final: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 89 P.

Seattle takes the series

Seattle would strike again in the bottom of the seventh against Joe Smith. After a leadoff walk, the Mariners would get back-to-back one-out RBI-doubles to extend their lead to 7-2. After Smith in the seventh, Peter Solomon would make his major-league debut in the bottom of the eighth and work around a one-out walk for a scoreless inning. Houston would then come up empty in the top of the ninth, dropping the finale and the series to Seattle.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Denver tonight and get an off day tomorrow. Tuesday night, they'll start a quick two-game set with the Rockies at 7:40 PM Central. Houston currently has Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 5.27 ERA) penciled in as their starter, but with ongoing illness, he has not yet been fully confirmed. For the Rockies, Jon Gray (1-1, 2.87 ERA) is expected to start.

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