Among the many weapons the Dallas Cowboys faced last week in their historic matchup with the Denver Broncos was kick returner Trindon Holliday. While Holliday did not run one back on the Cowboys, he's dazzled audiences across the NFL nation with his amazing kick returns.
This week, the Cowboys made opponents aware that they have a special teams weapon of their own.
Dwayne Harris tallied 222 return yards on both kick and punt returns, and contributed to two of Dallas's three touchdowns in a 31-16 victory over their bitter rival, the Washington Redskins in an exciting Sunday night game at AT&T Stadium. With time winding down in the 1st half, Harris took a Sav Rocca punt 86 yards to the house to put the Cowboys up 14-3. Before the Cowboys' first 2nd half possession, by which point the Redskins had trimmed the gap to 14-9, Harris took Kai Forbath's kick from the end zone 90 yards, setting up the Cowboys up on the Washington 15. QB Tony Romo found WR Terrence Williams two plays later to put the Cowboys up 21-9.
With the win, the Cowboys enjoy a bit of revenge for last year's pair of defeats to the Redskins, the first time Washington had swept the season series since 2005. While the much maligned defense gave up 413 yards, they forced two key Washington turnovers and sacked QB Robert Griffin III three times for a total of 29 yards. Griffin, along with fellow super sophomore RB Alfred Morris, were mostly held in check by the Dallas defense, after the duo posted big numbers against the Boys last season. Griffin would finish the game 19-39, with 246 yards and an interception. Morris did rush for 81 yards on 16 carries, but a majority of that came on a 45 yard touchdown run that shrunk Dallas's lead to 21-16 in the 3rd quarter. On all his 15 other carries, Morris ran for a pedestrian 36 yards. Griffin also fumbled twice, the latter of which was forced and recovered by DE Kyle Wilber at the Washington 4. It was the first sack of the 2nd year Wilber's career. CB Orlando Scandrick accounted for the interception that essentially put the game out of reach.
On the offensive side of the ball, Romo didn't exactly have a record breaking day like he did last week, but he was effective nonetheless. While did throw one interception, a tipped pass that landed into the hands of LB Rob Jackson (who caught Romo's ill fated final pick last December in Washington), but for the most part his return to a conservative offense was a success. He finished the day 18-30 for 170 yards. WR Cole Beasley led all Cowboys receivers with 44 yards, while Dez Bryant caught 5 passes for 36 yards.
The Cowboys did suffer some casualties in the win. DE DeMarcus Ware (3 tackles) left the game with a right quad injury and RB DeMarco Murray (7 carries, 29 yards, 1 TD) exited with an MCL sprain. While the status for both players is uncertain (they are both scheduled for MRI's on Monday), the Cowboys' bench rose to the occasion in the meantime. After Wilber, who finished the game with 3 tackles, stole the ball from Griffin, rookie RB Joseph Randle punched it in from two yards out. The 5th round pick out of Oklahoma State scored his first NFL touchdown with a little help from a fellow rookie, first round C Travis Frederick, who pushed Randle over the goal line for the final score of the night.
With the win, the Cowboys exit the week exactly how they entered it, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the NFC East with identical 3-3 records. As luck would have it, the Cowboys head to the City of Brotherly Love next week to face the Eagles in a battle for first place (1:00 EST, FOX). Much like the Cowboys this week, the Eagles will be seeking revenge for a series sweep. Before a 38-33 win at AT&T Stadium in December, the Cowboys went to Lincoln Financial Field last November 11, where they took a 38-23 decision from the Birds. It was last year's game in Philadelphia where Harris established himself as Dallas's primary return man, as he took former Cowboys Mat McBriar's punt 78 yards for a score. Not only was it Harris's first career touchdown, but it also gave the Cowboys a lead they would never give up.
Check back Friday for my prediction and preview for Sunday's big showdown!
DAL 37, PHI 10: Cowboys Correct Course by Crushing Eagles
The Dallas Cowboys will need plenty more games like this one to undo some of the damage from their recent three-game losing streak. But with a 37-10 rout of the division rival Philadelphia Eagles tonight, Dallas took a big step toward redemption and restoring order in their season.
The game got ugly in a hurry for the Eagles, who fumbled on their first two possessions and set the Cowboys up for touchdowns on each. Philadelphia would answer with a score on their next drive to make it 14-7, but it was all Dallas from there.
It was a joint effort from all parts of the Cowboys roster tonight. Ezekiel Elliott had 111 yards rushing and another 36 receiving, plus one touchdown on the ground. Dak Prescott threw for 239 yards and one score and ran for another touchdown.
Dallas' defense limited Philadelphia to just 283 total yards. DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, and Jourdan Lewis each recorded sacks while Xavier Woods had a rare interception for the Cowboys secondary.
Even special teams contributed; Brett Maher nailed a 63-yard field goal to end the first half and made his two other FG attempts as well.
The Eagles were missing several key players on both sides of the ball, giving them a bit of an excuse for how lopsided this game got. But with Dallas now getting bye week rest while Philadelphia has to stay on the road in Buffalo, is this the beginning of the end for the Eagles' season?
- Amari Cooper led the receivers tonight with 106 yards on five catches. He did not appear to be hampered by any injury despite our worries earlier in the week.
- Maher's 63-yard field goal put him in the NFL record books as the only kicker to ever hit three career FGs from 60 or more.
- Prescott's 21st career rushing touchdown broke Roger Staubach's record for most all-time rushing TDs by a Cowboys quarterback.
- Some negative injury news coming out of the game; Leighton Vander Esch (neck) and Robert Quinn (ribs) both had to leave and didn't return. No word yet on severity for either, but hopefully the bye week is all they need to recover.
- Jeff Heath was also shaken up toward the end of the game but appeared to be okay on the sideline.
- No injury setbacks for any of the Cowboys' previously concerning players. Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Tyron Smith, and La'el Collins all made it through without incident.
- Dallas now gets a long rest with the bye week and their next game not coming until Monday, Nov. 4th, against the New York Giants. While the Cowboys are healing up, the Giants will be traveling to Detroit next Sunday.
DAL 27, PHI 7: Cowboys Winning Every Phase, Build Big Halftime Lead
The Dallas Cowboys certainly heard about Doug Pederson's win guarantee, but did anyone tell Pederson's team? The Philadelphia Eagles have fumbled and flopped their way into a 24-7 halftime deficit in this pivotal Week 7 rivalry game.
Two early fumbles by Dallas Goedert and Carson Wentz helped set up the Cowboys for short fields and touchdowns. Dallas has scored points on all but one of their drives in the first half.
Ezekiel Elliott is on pace for his best game of 2019 so far. He has 65 rushing yards and another 25 through the air, with one touchdown coming on the ground.
Dak Prescott has been sharp with 161 passing yards on 15-of-20 passing. He connected with Blake Jarwin on the team's second touchdown of the night.
Dallas' other touchdown came on a pretty toss play to Tavon Austin, who used his athletic skills to juke one Eagle and then outrace the rest to the endzone.
Brett Maher finished the half with an amazing 63-yard field goal. He also made one from 26 yards earlier.
Standouts on defense so far include DeMarcus Lawrence, who is playing up to his verbal response to the Eagles' head coach earlier this week. We've also some big plays from Maliek Collins, Jourdan Lewis, and Robert Quinn.
Leighton Vander Esch had to leave the game with a neck injury and is questionable to return. Hopefully, the Cowboys won't need him.
Great start by the good guys! Let's keep it going!
Eagles @ Cowboys 2019: Gameday Inactives for Both Teams
Kickoff between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 of the 2019 season is almost upon us. The teams have now officially declared their inactive players for tonight, and the Cowboys' list comes with many sighs of relief.
After a week of worrying that several starters and other key players could miss this pivotal game, Dallas should have most of them on hand.
Cowboys inactives: Devin Smith, Anthony Brown, Luke Gifford, Adam Redmond, Brandon Knight, Justin Hamilton, Dorance Armstrong.
Losing Anthony Brown, who is essentially a starter as the nickel corner, isn't great. But it will mean more playing time for Jourdan Lewis, and to some that could be a blessing in disguise.
As for Philadelphia, their inactive list features several key names
Ronald Darby is active for the #Eagles. Rookie Shareef Miller active for the first time. The inactives for tonight's game against the Cowboys: DeSean Jackson, Avonte Maddox, Darren Sproles, Nigel Bradham, Nate Herbig, Jason Peters, Tim Jernigan.
You can read more analysis of the Eagles' missing players here. But just to summarize, that's two offensive starters(Jackson, Peters) and three from the defense (Jernigan, Bradham, Maddox) who won't be playing in Dallas tonight.
Will these injuries decide the game? Will Dallas take advantage or will Philly overcome?
We're about to find out!
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