The Cowboys Report
Cowboys win 2 in a row; playoff matchup with Seahawks up next
The Dallas Cowboys (10-6) beat their divisional rival New York Giants (5-11) in a close game on Sunday by the score of 36-35. Even though the Cowboys couldn't improve their playoff position they played hard the entire game and came away with a last minute come-from-behind win.
Dallas sat several key players like the NFL's leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott, offensive lineman Zach Martin, and Tyron Smith (OL), which opened the door for other players to show off their talent. Despite Zeke sitting out the game, he still wound up winning the rushing title with 1,434 yards. Rookie Saquon Barkley ended up second with 1,307 yards and Todd Gurley was third with 1,251 yards as he also sat out his game on Sunday.
Quarterback Dak Prescott played the entire game and ended up going 27 of 44 for 387 yards, 4 touchdowns, and NO turnovers. With Elliott out of the game, the Cowboys were relying on back up running back Rod Smith to carry the load.That did not work well, which led to Prescott throwing the ball over 40 times.He connected with nine different players, most notably tight end Blake Jarwin who caught seven balls for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Jarwin has come on as of late as he has taken over for the injured starting tight end Geoff Swaim. He has had 20 catches over the last four games for a little over 300 yards.
Once again, the Cowboys defense was great. They held to Giants to seven points in the first half before they put it in cruise mode. They caused two turnovers and one sack. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch led the team in tackles again with nine (three solo) but left the game early in the fourth quarter with a lower leg injury and luckily has turned out to be a shin bruise.
With Dallas locked into the four seed, they will be hosting the five seed Seattle Seahawks this weekend. If the Cowboys win, their next game all depends on what happens in the Eagles vs Bears game. If the Bears win, Dallas will be heading to New Orleans to play the Saints in the divisional round. If the Eagles win, Dallas will be going to Los Angeles to play the Rams.
3 Players to Watch
1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running back): The NFL's 2018 rushing title winner has a semi-favorable matchup this week. Seattle is the 13th best rushing defense and Zeke could exploit that if the Cowboys can get him the ball on good play calls.
2.Leighton Vander Esch (Linebacker): Finished the season as the NFL's third leading tackler with 140. He is going to have his hands full this week as he will be going against Pro Bowl QB Russell Wilson and the No. 1 rushing offense in the league.
3.Blake Jarwin (Tight end): This second year player out of Oklahoma State seems to have good chemistry with Prescott and looks to be his security blanket. He has been the Cowboys leading pass catcher in two of the last three games and could be in for another big day as he goes against Seattle's 17th ranked passing defense.
The Cowboys (10-6) will be hosting the Seattle Seahawks (10-6) on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX (AKA:Jerry's World). Kickoff is set for 7:15 pm Central time and looks to be one of the better games of the weekend. Both teams play the same type of style, they both are run heavy offenses that occasionally take deep shots down the field on play action fakes and rely on the defenses to keep them in games.This game is going to come down to whichever quarterback plays best and doesn't turn the ball over.For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are -2.5 and the over/under is 43.5. With the Cowboys being 7-1 at home this season and Seattle usually not being as good on the road as they are at home, I would play Dallas at any number 3 or under.