THE COWBOYS REPORT
Cowboys wreck the Rams; Eagles up next
The Dallas Cowboys (7-7) finally showed up to play for the first time in about a month. They cruised to an easy win over the Los Angeles Rams (8-6) on Sunday by the score of 44-21.
Once again Dallas started off with a 7-0 lead just like the last few weeks, but this time they stayed focused and continued scoring on their next four possessions. The defense really came up big and held Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley to only 20 yards rushing. They looked like a completely different team that had all phases of the game working for them (Offense, Defense, and Special Teams).
Quarterback Dak Prescott was only 15/23 for 212 yards, 2 touchdowns, and NO turnovers. The numbers are not as big as he usually puts up but that is OK because the Cowboys got the most important thing, the Win. Dak connected with 8 different receivers that included a one handed 19-yard touchdown catch from future Hall of Famer Jason Witten late in the 1st quarter. Super star wide receiver Amari Cooper and 2nd year receiver Michael Gallup only had 1 catch each for less than 20 yards and probably killed some fantasy teams as well (My team was one of them).
Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott had himself a "BIG" day! He ate up the Rams defense with 24 carries for 117 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 catches for 43 yards as well. Dallas leaned on its biggest offensive strength and ran the football. Backup running back Tony Pollard also had a great game as well. He carried the ball 12 times for 131 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys finished the game with 263 rushing yards, which is a season high.
Now that Dallas has finally beaten a team with a winning record, they are 7-7 and have a 65.1% chance of winning the NFC East (according to ESPN's Football Power Index). They are currently ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) via tiebreaker but as long as they beat them this week, they will win the division.
3 Things to Watch For
1.Ezekiel Elliott (Running Back): Zeke carried the team to victory this past week and is going to have to do it again this week. He will be going against the Eagles' 4th best rushing defense in the NFL. So look for Dallas to get him the ball on some passes out of the backfield.
2.Amari Cooper (Wide Receiver): Look for him to bounce back with a big game against a bad Eagles pass defense. Let's see if Dak can get him the ball down the field and maybe he can repeat his 100+ yard performance from their last matchup.
3.Kai Forbath (Kicker): Went perfect in his first regular season game as a Cowboy. He was 3/3 in field goals and made all 5 of his extra point attempts. It's amazing how well the offense does when it isn't killed by a missed kick. Let's see if he can keep the momentum going.
Sunday afternoon, the Dallas Cowboys (7-7) will be in the "City of Brotherly Love" taking on the Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Kickoff is set at 3:25 pm Central time. If the Cowboys win this game, they win the NFC East and will be the #4 seed in the playoffs. If they lose, they will have to beat the Redskins in week 17 and hope that the Giants beat the Eagles for them to win the division. The Eagles have been struggling as of late and have been hit with a ton of injuries. I expect Dak and Company to pull out a victory and get ready for a postseason run since it looks like they have finally figured things out.
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)
Eagles: Carson Wentz (QB), Miles Sanders (RB), Zach Ertz (TE)
For you gamblers out there, the Cowboys are currently -2.5 and the over/under is 47.5. Dallas at -3 or less would be the play here. I don't think Philly has enough to compete due to their injury situation.