Dallas Cowboys Report

Let the Games Begin! Cowboys ready for season opener

Dak Prescott will shoulder a heavy load. Tim Warner/Getty Images

Thursday night’s preseason finale was not much of a game for most teams.  The Cowboys and Texans were no exception. They rested their starters, which led to the Cowboys taking another loss.  The 14-6 result left the Cowboys winless (0-4) before starting the regular season.

Backup quarterbacks Cooper Rush and Mike White split halves and once again White looked like the better option as QB2 on the depth chart.  He went 13 of 21 for 118 yards and no turnovers. Rush was 14 of 25 for 83 yards and two interceptions although one was a Hail Mary at the end of the first half so that shouldn’t really count.  Head Coach Jason Garrett and staff need to make a decision on who will back up starting QB Dak Prescott and it looks like rookie White is the right choice.

In a surprise move the Cowboys cut longtime kicker Dan Bailey.  He had been a cornerstone at the position for the last eight years and is the second most accurate kicker in NFL history with 88.2% accuracy.  They are going forward with Brett Maher, a kicker who is coming over from the Canadian Football League. Maher has never kicked in an NFL regular season game but has shown promise going 4 for 5 with a long 57-yard field goal against the Texans.  The decision seems to be purely financial as Bailey was set to make over $3 million dollars this season while Maher is set to make a little under $500,000. I am curious to see how well this decision works out through the course of the season.

3 Players to Watch

  1. Allen Hurns (wide receiver): Signed a two year, $12 million dollar contract this offseason to come over from Jacksonville.  He is slated to be the replacement to former Cowboys great Dez Bryant and hasn’t had much opportunity to show off his skills so far.  With Week 1 approaching let’s see if he can develop a good rapport with Prescott.

  2. Geoff Swaim (tight end): In the absence of Cowboy legend Jason Witten, Swaim is now the starting tight rnd.  It will be intriguing to see if this fouth year player can help the Cowboys reclaim an above average passing attack. He has never scored a touchdown and has only nine career receptions.

  3. Tyree Robinson (free safety):  The 6’3 slender defensive back from University of Oregon made the 53-man roster and is the backup free safety.  With starter Xavier Woods listed as questionable for Sunday’s regular season start due to a hamstring injury, Robinson could be in line for his first start.

Coming up

It is finally here, the start of the 2018 NFL Regular Season!  The Cowboys start off on the road against the Carolina Panthers and former NFL MVP Cam Newton on Sunday Sept. 9 at 3:25pm Central Time.  The Cowboys are still dealing with offensive line injuries (Travis Frederick and Zack Martin).  

If the Cowboys struggle with the running game, it is going to up to Prescott to get the ball downfield to his unproven pass catchers.  On the defensive side of the ball, the main threats are going to be Newton’s ability to escape the pressure and run for first downs as well as containing versatile second year running back Christian McCaffrey.  Luckily for the Cowboys, the Panthers don’t seem to have many playmaking wide receivers.  

For you gamblers out there, the current line is Dallas +3.  If you are going to bet on the Cowboys, bet them early because they are a very public team and the line usually goes lower on their side closer to game time.  Meaning, it will probably end up less than 3. I would only bet them if you can a number more than 3.




 

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Another win for the Coogs! Photo by Getty Images.

The Cougars were supposed to play a game in Tampa against The University of South Florida on Jan. 14th, but this contest was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing within the USF program. Houston was able to take advantage of the extra time off to rest their players and prepare for their next game against UCF.

Their previous game against the Knights in Orlando on December 26th was a close matchup which saw UCF and the Cougars tied at halftime. The second half was a back-and-fourth contest between the two teams, but Houston was able to come away with a nine point victory.

This game however was nowhere near as close and their previous meeting.

Houston immediately got off to a 12-0 start thanks to four straight 3-pointers from DeJon Jarreau (2x), Marcus Sasser & Quentin Grimes.

The Cougars continued to surge past the knights and at one point led 38-9 with 3:43 left to go in the contest.

Houston led 45-19 at halftime, their largest first half lead of the season.

The Cougars were able to maintain their commanding lead with both efficient scoring early on and elite level defense. Houston forced UCF to commit 20 turnovers that resulted in 22 points for the Cougars.

The Cougars won most of their games this season with commanding defense, dominating the boards and superior guard play. All three boxes were checked as Houston was able to secure a 75-58 victory.

UCF did outscore Houston in the second half 39-30, but the Cougars' lead proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to overcome for the Knights. Essentially, Houston was on cruse control the second half of the game and never saw their lead drop below double digits.

Grimes scored in double figures for his 11th straight game after opening the season with eight points against Lamar. Senior forward Justin Gorham scored a season high 15 points as well.

Houston has now won its fourth straight game since its loss to Tulsa and now remain in sole position of 1st place in the AAC.

The Cougars moved up from No.11 to the 8th ranked team in the country as multiple top-ranked teams suffered losses over the week.

Kelvin Sampson passed former Houston coach Tom Penders as he earned his 650th career win. This also moves him into sole possession of 41st place on the NCAA wins list. He is also the second winningest coach in Houston Cougars Men's Basketball history behind only the great Guy Lewis.

UP NEXT: Houston looks to exact revenge against the only team to defeat them this season as they host Tulsa at the Fertitta Center on Wednesday at 7pm.

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