Sun Sep 22 4:37pm ET
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) gets past Miami Dolphins defensive back Walt Aikens (35) and into the end zone for a touchdown in the second half of a NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates his run for a first down in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) gets past Miami Dolphins defensive back Walt Aikens (35) and into the end zone for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws a pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys defensive end Robert Quinn (58) and defensive tackle Maliek Collins (96) in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) catches a pass for a touchdown in front of Miami Dolphins' Xavien Howard (25) and Bobby McCain (28) in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Miami Dolphins' Taco Charlton lines up against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of a NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Team staff assist Miami Dolphins' Allen Hurns (17) off the field after he suffered an unknown injury in the first half of a NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Amari Cooper before running for another score, and the Dallas Cowboys pulled out of a first-half funk as huge favorites in a 31-6 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
One of Prescott's TD tosses to Cooper came before halftime, but the Dolphins had a great chance to lead at the break as 22-point underdogs when Kenyan Drake fumbled on first down from the Dallas 7-yard line in the final minute of the second quarter. DeMarcus Lawrence recovered to preserve a 10-6 lead.
Josh Rosen was 18 of 29 for 200 yards without a touchdown or interception in his first start for Miami, which went with him over Ryan Fitzpatrick after getting outscored 102-10. No team since 1961 had a worse point differential through two games.
The rebuilding Dolphins are 0-3 for the first time since losing their first seven in 2011. They have been outscored 133-16, the largest point differential through three games in the league history since 1950.
Prescott fueled the first Dallas team in 41 years to win its first two games while rolling up at least 400 yards and at least 30 points each time. And while the Cowboys reached 3-0 for the first time since 2008, it took them awhile to find that offensive form.
The second touchdown to Cooper was a 19-yarder that capped a 75-yard drive to open the second half, and came after a 74-yard TD toss to Randall Cobb was nullified by offsetting penalties.
Prescott ran 8 yards to cap the second straight TD drive to open the second half, pulling him within one of Roger Staubach's career club record of 20 rushing touchdowns in just his fourth season. Prescott was 19 of 32 for 246 yards with an interception, and Cooper had six catches for 88 yards.
Ezekiel Elliott had his second straight 100-yard game after missing the entire preseason holding out for the $90 million extension he signed the day of the first full workout before the regular season.
Rookie Tony Pollard, who became the top option behind Elliott while the two-time rushing champion was gone, had his first 100-yard day (103), clinching it on a 16-yard run for his first touchdown.
The Dolphins outgained the Cowboys in the first half (216-204), but still have just one touchdown in three games after settling for two field goals from Jason Sanders in four trips inside the Dallas 30 before halftime.
Just before Drake's fumble, DeVante Parker dropped a throw that he easily could have turned into a touchdown. Parker earlier had a one-handed grab on a drive that ended in a 47-yard miss by Sanders.
QUINN'S DALLAS DEBUT
Robert Quinn recorded a sack in his debut for Dallas after an offseason trade from Miami and a two-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancers.
During his one season with the Dolphins and in previous years with the Rams, Quinn raised his fist during the national anthem to protest police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality. Colin Kaepernick sparked the debate in 2016 by kneeling during ''The Star-Spangled Banner.''
In keeping with what he had already done in two home preseason games, Quinn didn't raise his fist during the anthem before facing the Dolphins.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been outspoken against such protests. Two years ago, he was the first owner to say he would bench a player for protesting during the anthem.
TACO SWITCHES SIDES
Taco Charlton sacked Prescott in the third quarter after being activating by the Dolphins just three days after they claimed the defensive end on waivers, which was a day after the Cowboys dumped their underachieving 2017 first-round pick.
Charlton had four sacks in 27 games over two seasons for Dallas. He was a healthy scratch the first two weeks with the Cowboys, who waived him to make room for Quinn.
ANOTHER SCARE FOR HURNS
Miami receiver Allen Hurns had to be taken off the field after a jarring play at the home of the Cowboys, just as he did in the playoffs last season when he broke his ankle on a gruesome-looking play against Seattle when he played for Dallas. A woozy Hurns left the field on his own, but was ruled out with a concussion.
Miami cornerback Xavien Howard, still looking for his first interception after tying for the NFL lead with seven last season, was ejected in the fourth quarter following a personal-foul penalty.
Dolphins: LA Chargers at home next Sunday.
Cowboys: At New Orleans next Sunday.
The Washington Redskins Defense will head to Minnesota on Thursday night to take on a Vikings team that has averaged 36 points a game over the last three weeks. Minnesota's recent offensive success directly coincides with its newly established willingness to air the ball out from the arm of Kirk Cousins, who has averaged 325 yards per game and thrown 10 total touchdowns in this span. Adding fuel to the grease fire that is Washington's fantasy outlook for Week 8, the Vikings also have a running back by the name of Dalvin Cook who just so happens to lead the NFL in rushing yards per game at 103.6. Even with Adam Thielen in danger of missing this game for the Vikings, there is no conceivable reason to deploy the Redskins defense in fantasy lineups this week.
Washington Redskins tight end Jeremy Sprinkle will presumably start for the fourth consecutive week on Thursday night against the Vikings, but that starting role has yet to yield any positive fantasy results. Vernon Davis has missed Washington's last three games, a time frame in which Sprinkle has caught a total of six passes for 54 yards. Even a visit to the endzone can't necessarily save him from a usage rate that low. The Vikings are allowing double-digit PPR production on average to tight ends, but the last thing you want to do is needlessly roll the dice on a risky Thursday night player and have it go up in flames. Whether Davis (who is currently listed as doubtful) unexpectedly suits up or not, there are safer and more proven options at tight end than Sprinkle for Week 8.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Paul Richardson has a relatively favorable matchup on his hands Thursday, but has done nothing this season to convince fantasy owners he can capitalize. The Vikings are allowing an average of 15 receptions and 159 yards per game to opposing receivers, along with 11 total touchdowns. Richardson hasn't caught a pass for two straight weeks, and Terry McLaurin is a productive target vacuum in Washington's offense, so the reliability scale tips in the latter's direction. As much as the Redskins would probably like to involve someone other than McLaurin and diversify their attack, Richardson simply cannot be trusted as a fantasy play in any format based on his output to this point in the season.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Trey Quinn has totaled seven catches for 56 yards in his last three games. His only double-digit PPR outing came all the way back in Week 1 when he happened to score a garbage-time touchdown. With a short week to prepare for Thursday night's game and a Redskins offense that hasn't looked any good for pretty much the entire season, Quinn's outlook remains grim even against a Vikings Defense that has been somewhat friendly to wide receivers. If he miraculously has a productive night against Minnesota after catching three or fewer passes in four consecutive weeks, it unfortunately needs to happen on the waiver wire.
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin should be in line for a ton of targets in Thursday night's game at Minnesota, making him the only reasonably safe fantasy option among his teammates. The Vikings have allowed the most receptions to wide receivers of any team in the league, for 1,116 total yards and a league-high 11 touchdowns. McLaurin's well-established rapport with Case Keenum through the first half of the season suggests he should be the pass-catcher tasked with exploiting Minnesota's secondary. Game flow figures to work in his favor as well, as the Vikings could reasonably be expected to jump out to an early lead. McLaurin's volume keeps him in flex territory for WR-needy fantasy teams.
Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum will look to bounce back from Sunday's 9-0 loss in which he threw for under 100 yards, but a date with Minnesota doesn't provide him with much more fantasy appeal. This should be interpreted more as a lack of faith in Washington's offense than a vote of confidence in the Vikings' relatively exploitable pass defense, but the point remains. The Redskins are averaging 12.9 points per game on offense, and they could be without both of Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson in the backfield. The hope here from a fantasy perspective is that Minnesota's suddenly explosive offense puts the Redskins up against a massive early deficit, thus forcing Keenum to air it out. Even if the Thursday night game unfolds as such, fantasy owners would be putting a ton of misguided faith in pass-catchers like Paul Richardson and Trey Quinn by starting Keenum in fantasy lineups. The reward does not outweigh the risk.
Washington Redskins running back Wendell Smallwood might be the starter by default in Thursday night's game at Minnesota. Adrian Peterson is questionable with a high ankle sprain, while Chris Thompson continues to nurse a toe injury that held him out of last week's contest. Considering the short week, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Redskins err on the side of caution regarding Peterson and Thompson. They don't have much to play for, and it wouldn't be worth risking further injury to either if one or both are not at 100% health. If Smallwood does have the backfield to himself, volume doesn't outweigh the unfavorable matchup. The Vikings are giving up 3.8 yards per carry to opposing backs, and have surrendered just one rushing touchdown to the position. Smallwood will have to turn in his fantasy value in the receiving game, which is not worth banking on. He is best avoided unless you find yourself in desperate need of a PPR flex.
Houston Texans CB Phillip Gaines (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injury list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
New York Giants LB Keion Adams (knee) was released from the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Oct. 21.
Baltimore Ravens LB Pernell McPhee (triceps) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Chicago Bears DE Jonathan Harris was released Tuesday, Oct. 22; the move cleared a spot for the signing of DL Brent Urban.
Cleveland Browns RB Elijah McGuire was released from the practice squad Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley was listed as the No. 2 receiver on the version of the Falcons' depth chart released following the trade of WR Mohamed Sanu Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley was already Atlanta's second-most productive receiver behind Julio Jones, but he stands to gain at least a few extra targets per game without much depth behind the top two wideouts for the Falcons.
Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Houston Texans RB Duke Johnson out-snapped RB Carlos Hyde 39-to-26 in the Week 7 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Oct. 20.
Fantasy Spin: Johnson received a total of nine touches and racked up 56 yards. It was his first start of the season but Carlos Hyde still had more carries. Johnson has the higher ceiling in PPR formats, but Hyde is the safer option in standard leagues.
New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) said Tuesday, Oct. 22, he's confident he'll return to the field soon. 'Oh, I'll be back out on the field,' Shepard said. 'It's just whether it's gonna be this week or next week.'
Fantasy Spin: Shepard has been limited to four games this season, but he has been able to rack up 25 receptions on 34 targets for 267 yards and a touchdown. The more experience QB Daniel Jones acquires while Shepard is out of the lineup will only boost the receiver's production upon his eventual return. He's a solid buy-low candidate.
Free-agent DE Kasim Edebali (Eagles) signed an undisclosed contract with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent LB Nate Orchard (Dolphins) worked out for the Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with free-agent DL Shane Ray (Ravens) and DE Quinton Bell (Raiders).
Free-agent DT Willie Henry (Ravens) worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles Tuesday, Oct. 22.
Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Buccaneers) worked out for the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Oct. 22, along with fellow free agents S Marcus Gilchrist (Raiders) and DE Joel Heath (Texans).