The Dallas Cowboys stay in-state this week, as they face the Texans in Houston on Sunday Night Football. They needed a win last week and barely got it against the Detroit Lions. With the Lions taking the lead late on a Golden Tate reception, the Cowboys came back with a Brett Maher 38-yard field goal to seal a 26-24 win. That just about sums the Lions up for the last two decades. They’ve gotten pretty good at losing games like that over the years, no matter if the quarterback was Joey Harrington, Jon Kitna, or Matthew Stafford.
I know I’m missing some names in there, but we won’t go far back as Charlie Batch. It was an important game for the Cowboys, as they avoided moving to 1-3, which undoubtedly set off panic in Dallas. Dak Prescott is already under enough scrutiny, a loss to the Lions would have escalated that to the highest level we’ve seen in his career.
The Cowboys won, and it was against a decent team, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying it was a good win. Remember the Lions were coming off a huge win over the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. They dominated in that game and humiliated Tom Brady all night long. It was one of the worst performances from Brady in a while. So, with the Lions heading on the road the following week, there were some expectations that there might be a letdown. It probably wasn’t the best effort from the Cowboys, as they nearly lost to a team coming off an emotional win.
Prescott passed for 2 touchdowns with 255 yards passing on 17-for-27 passing. He hooked up with Ezekiel Elliott for 88 yards and a touchdown to lead the team in receiving. Other than Elliott, there really isn’t much for Prescott to work with. Cole Beasley is a decent receiver out of the slot, but it’s hard to expect any production out of anyone else. The Cowboys want to get rookie Michael Gallup involved.
And while he was good at Colorado State, the Cowboys can’t expect him to be much of a threat in the offense yet. They’ve flirted with the idea of bringing Dez Bryant back, but what’s he have left at this point. Deshaun Watson led the Texans to a crazy 37-34 win in overtime over the Colts. Will Fuller is expected to play, so that would help Watson out greatly. Head below to get our free Cowboys vs. Texans pick to wrap-up Sunday of Week 5 in the NFL.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans Week 5 Betting Odds:
vs. Texans -3(-120)
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Cowboys vs. Texans Pick:
Watson racked up 375 yards passing with 2 touchdowns through the air and one with his legs. Andrew Luck passed for 464 yards on the Houston defense, but that wasn’t enough. The Texans allowed the Colts to get back in the game, but it ultimately didn’t mean anything. It was 28-10 with just over 6 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and the Colts came back to tie it up at 31-31 with 45 seconds left on the clock. They dug a hole against the Patriots which isn’t the wisest move. The Patriots, unlike the Texans, didn’t play that loose on defense to allow a comeback.
After getting gashed for 464 yards by Luck, the Texans’ defensive numbers took a dive. They are now 27th in the league at defending the pass, allowing 288 yards per game. Eli Manning passed for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns on Houston the week prior, so it’s been one thing the Texans are going to have to be better at. The good news tonight? They’re playing a Cowboys team who have struggled mightily at moving the ball through the air. Dallas are 30th in the league, averaging just 166.5 yards per game. The only teams worse are the Cardinals and Bills. In the current climate of the NFL, you have to try pretty hard to only pass for 166.5 yards on average.
I’m not a big fan of Prescott, but he doesn’t have much to work with here. Any criticism on him should be levied on the offense and not just him. The Texans will certainly be happy to see the Cowboys’ offense out there on the field rather than Luck again. Dallas will predictably look to establish the run with Elliott on Sunday night. Surprise, surprise.
The Texans are fine with that, because what they’ve struggled with is the pass, the defense has been good at defending the run. They are allowing 94.3 yards per game for 9th in the league. If they can keep an eye on Elliott springing free in the passing game, they are likely going to be in good shape in this one. The receiving core does nothing to say the Texans should be fearful of their passing game. Look for Watson to outperform Prescott in this matchup, and the defense to show up in primetime, as the Texans push the Cowboys to 2-3 on the season at home.