The Cowboys Report

Proficient Prescott looks to be in midseason form for Cowboys

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The Dallas Cowboys got their first win of the preseason Saturday night when they beat the Los Angeles Rams 14-10.

For the second week in a row Quarterback Dak Prescott has led the Cowboys to a score in their opening possession. Just like last week, he was perfect on all his throws (5-5) for 64 yards, which helped add to the 12 play, 97 yard touchdown drive.H e seems to be in mid-season form already as he connected with five different players on each of his throws. Once again he hooked up with second year receiver Michael Gallup, this time for a 31 yard pass down the right sideline for the longest play of the game.cHe looks like he is ready for the regular season to begin and perhaps deserving of a new "Starting Quarterback" contract.

Speaking of new contracts, last year's NFL leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott is still hasn't reported to the team as he is waiting for a new one of his own. With him out, rookie running back Tony Pollard looked great as he played with the starters on that opening drive. He carried the ball five times for 42 yards and caught one pass for nine yards. Most importantly, Pollard ended the drive with an inside handoff that he took for a 14 yard touchdown. After seeing that, the Cowboys have something more than just the win to be excited about.

The Dallas defense looked solid again. They made the Rams punt on their first two possessions but did allow a touchdown on their third one which was set up by a fumbled punt return on the Cowboys 37 yard line.


3 things to watch for

1.Running backs (T. Pollard or A. Morris): Rookie Tony Pollard (2019 fourth round pick) looked impressive. He ran with a good mix of both power and speed. Veteran Alfred Morris saw his first preseason action. He didn't do much with his three carries for six yards. Pollard looks to be the clear cut #1 RB for now.

2.Return of Jason Witten: After coming back from a year of retirement, the 11 time Pro Bowl Tight End caught his only target that turned out to be a clutch third down catch that gave the Cowboys a first down to keep their scoring drive alive. He could be an important factor that helps cure their red zone woes.

3.Kicker Brett Maher: Missed his only field goal attempt of the game (52 yards) but made his two extra point attempts. The Cowboys don't seem to have much confidence in him and might start looking to bring in someone else to kick for them.

Coming up

Saturday Aug. 24 the Dallas Cowboys (1-1) will be taking on their in-state rival Houston Texans (1-1) at home in AT&T stadium.This matchup should be compelling as it's the third preseason game and it is the one that most resembles a regular season contest. Almost all starters should play a good amount of time.

Currently, the line on this game is a pickem with the over/under at 40.5. Again, this is preseason and I will be staying away. If you absolutely have to play something, I would look to the over. The Texans are averaging 26 points this preseason while the Cowboys are averaging 11.5. If that stays true, score will be around 37.5. With all starters playing a little more than they have been, I would, think that one or maybe both teams might score a little more than their average. If you played last week, it was an easy under of 43.5.


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McCullers Jr. had nine strikeouts over four

McCullers Jr. looks sharp in tune-up before Rangers overpower Houston's bullpen

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite watching their chance to clinch their playoff spot on the field slip away in the walk-off loss on Friday, the Astros benefited from a loss by the Angels later in the night, securing their playoff berth. That meant they could play conservatively in the final two games of the season against the Rangers in Arlington. Here's a quick rundown of Saturday's matchup:

Final Score: Rangers 6, Astros 1.

Record: 29-30, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jimmy Herget (1-0, 3.20 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Brandon Bielak (3-3, 6.75 ERA).

McCullers Jr. looks playoff-ready 

With nothing substantial to play for, the Astros did not expect to ask Lance McCullers Jr. to go deep into Saturday's game, instead giving him a few innings for a tune-up before assuming whatever role he would play in the post-season. He looked impressive, a promising sign after his injury stint and struggles on the road at points this season.

He finished four innings, during which he racked up a season-high nine strikeouts while giving up no runs on just two hits, both singles, and two walks. His final line: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 0 HR, 61 P.

Both teams trade runs as  they go to their bullpens

Meanwhile, neither team was getting much going at the plate in the early goings, keeping it a scoreless game through the first five. Brandon Bielak took over for McCullers Jr. starting in the fifth but would allow the first run of the night in the bottom of the sixth as the Rangers would get three singles to take a 1-0 lead.

After Kyle Gibson held the Astros at bay for six innings, Houston would get on the board against Texas' bullpen, getting a leadoff double by Aledmyz Diaz in the top of the seventh. Diaz moved to third on a sac bunt, then scored on a sac fly by Jack Mayfield, making it 1-1.

Rangers blow it open in the seventh

The tie didn't last long, as Bielak would put two on base in the bottom of the seventh before giving up a three-run homer to make it a 4-1 Rangers lead. Andre Scrubb was next out of Houston's bullpen and allowed a solo home run on his first pitch. Scrubb would complete the inning, but not before allowing another run on three singles to push Texas' lead to 6-1.

Cy Sneed was next out of Houston's bullpen for the bottom of the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Houston would not make the unlikely comeback in the top of the ninth, with the Rangers taking the game 6-1.

Up Next: The last game of the Astros' 2020 regular season will be Sunday at 2:05 PM Central, as are most other games on the MLB slate on the league's final regular-season day. Houston's starter is TBD as they will continue to preserve their arms for the best-of-three first round that starts on Tuesday, while Texas will send Jordan Lyles (1-6, 7.08 ERA) to the mound.

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