THE COWBOYS REPORT

Cowboys wreck the Rams; Eagles up next

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott celebrating

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.

Recap

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.

Coming Up

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.

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Suns defeat Rockets, 110-105. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

Phoenix All-Star Devin Booker and Houston rookie Cam Whitmore got into a minor scuffle midway through the fourth quarter Thursday night and both players were called for a technical foul.

With a couple big blocks on the ensuing possession, Suns center Jusuf Nurkic was there to back his star teammate.

Booker scored 35 points, Kevin Durant added 24 and the Suns held off the Rockets 110-105, with the teams set to meet again in Phoenix on Saturday night.

Nurkic had 16 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks before fouling out. His biggest moment came in the fourth, when he stuffed Whitmore twice on the possession following the scuffle, drawing huge roars from the Phoenix crowd.

“Very important — that's the team sticking together,” Booker said. “That goes a long way. That's what you need when things get tough, it gets to the thick of things and the energy is high. You want to know you have people on your team that are built like that.”

Booker scored 20 points in the first quarter to help give the Suns an 18-point lead they would never relinquish. He has scored at least 20 points in an NBA-high six quarters this season.

Three-time All-Star Bradley Beal missed his fifth straight game because of a hamstring injury.

The Suns took an 86-75 lead into the final quarter. Houston cut the advantage to six midway through the fourth, but Booker responded immediately with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to nine.

That led to the brief skirmish between Booker and Whitmore. Tempers stayed hot over the next few minutes — Houston's Alperen Sengun fouled out and then got two quick technicals, earning an ejection.

Booker hit both of the technical free throws, Nurkic followed with his two free throws from Sengun's foul, and that pushed the Suns' lead to 99-84. The Rockets would cut the lead to four with 16.9 seconds left, but Royce O'Neale hit two free throws to end the threat.

Jalen Green led Houston with 34 points. Fred VanVleet added 21. The Rockets connected on just 11 of 45 3-pointers and shot 33.3% from the field overall, which was their worst percentage of the season.

“It wasn't one of our better nights as far as guys getting open looks and making the extra pass,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “We had a few guys who had it going, but a few guys who were struggling.”

Phoenix has won seven of its past 10 — and nine in a row at home — as it tries to stay in the top six of the Western Conference playoff race and avoid the play-in tournament. The sliding Rockets have lost eight of 10.

“We're getting confident in this building,” Suns coach Frank Vogel said.

Booker's big first quarter pushed the Suns to a 33-17 lead. The four-time All-Star made 8 of 10 shots from the field, including a 33-foot 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Phoenix settled for a 64-53 halftime lead. Booker had 26 points before the break while Green led Houston with 21.

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