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Texans' Watson out quickly, Cowboys roll 34-0 in preseason

Sat Aug 24 10:28pm ET
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Jason Witten, Joe Webb, Brett Maher, Lamar Miller, DeAndre Hopkins, Dak Prescott, Duke Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Deshaun Watson, Tony Pollard, Michael Gallup

Houston Texans staff check on running back Lamar Miller (26) after he suffered an unknown injury in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)


Houston Texans' Deshaun Watson (4) walks along the sideline in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)


Dallas Cowboys' Joe Thomas (48) recovers a blocked Houston Texans' Trevor Daniel (8) punt-attempt in the end zone for a Cowboys touchdown in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)


Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) is carted off the field after suffering an unknown injury in the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)


Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass under pressure from Houston Texans outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett (57) in the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Deshaun Watson didn't get the longer preseason look he wanted against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Houston Texans couldn't get their quarterback off the field fast enough, especially after running back Lamar Miller was injured on the second play.

Watson didn't return for a second series after getting dropped twice in three plays. The first play wasn't a sack because of defensive holding, the second was and resulted in a fumble , the first of four Houston turnovers in a 34-0 exhibition loss to the Cowboys on Saturday night.

Miller was carted off after defensive tackle Maliek Collins slammed into his left leg at the line of scrimmage in what figures to be Miller's only carry of the preseason. The eighth-year back didn't play in the first two exhibitions. There was no immediate update on Miller's status.

Dak Prescott scrambled and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup while playing the first two series for Dallas. Prescott was 2 of 5 for 22 yards, the three incompletions his first of the preseason.

Tony Pollard, the starting running back with Ezekiel Elliott holding out, stayed an extra series, when the rookie had a 20-yard run to finish with 26 yards on six carries. Alfred Morris, the primary replacement during Elliott's six-game suspension two years ago, had a 1-yard TD run.

Pollard nearly reached the end zone by running 24 yards on a screen, but it was negated by an illegal block penalty on Jason Witten. The tight end, poised to set the Dallas record with a 16th season, was playing at home for the first time since coming out of retirement after a year in broadcasting.

Taco Charlton had both the hits on Watson, causing and recovering a fumble on the sack that counted to set up Gallup's touchdown. Charlton got a second sack against Joe Webb III, and Kerry Hyder added a pair. The Cowboys had eight sacks.

The night got worse for Houston's offensive line when versatile starter Zach Fulton was carted off in the first half. Last year's right guard has also played center and left guard in previous seasons.

Joe Thomas blocked a punt for Dallas, kicked the ball toward the goal line while trying to pick it up and ultimately recovered it in the end zone for a 14-0 lead. He almost had an interception return for a touchdown on a pass from Webb that went through his outstretched hands.

IT'LL HAVE TO DO

Watson was hoping for more than the single series he got in last week's 30-23 win over Detroit. His only other appearance was productive, though. Watson was 5 of 7 for 60 yards with a 4-yard touchdown to DeAndre Hopkins. Since he couldn't get a pass off in two dropbacks against the Cowboys, those will be his preseason numbers.

TRUE AND THROUGH

Dallas kicker Brett Maher had his best night in what's been a shaky preseason. Last year's surprise replacement for Dan Bailey made field goals of 36 and 23 yards and all four extra points.

HOUSTON'S BACKS

If Miller is out for an extended period, the focus will turn to Duke Johnson, acquired from Cleveland in a trade this month. Johnson hasn't played for the Texans yet. The other two backs who got carries against the Cowboys are undrafted rookies: Karan Higdon Jr. (13 carries for 28 yards) and Damarea Crockett (three for 27).

UP NEXT

Preseason finales for both teams Thursday, both at home. Houston plays the LA Rams. Dallas plays Tampa Bay.

Player Notes
Alshon Jeffery Sep 23 1:43pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (calf) stands a good chance of playing in Week 4 after missing Week 3 with a calf injury, according to comments made by head coach Doug Pederson.

Fantasy Spin: Before his fantasy owners celebrate, the Eagles play Thursday night on the road against the Green Bay Packers, meaning he has less time to heal up and a difficult matchup. Nevertheless, Philadelphia needs the playmaking ability he provides, especially after losing the last two weeks. Consider him a WR3 this week if he can go.

From TheHuddle

Malik Hooker Sep 23 1:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts S Malik Hooker (knee) is expected to miss four to six weeks with a torn meniscus in his knee, according to a source via ESPN's Adam Schefter.

From TheHuddle

Saquon Barkley Sep 23 1:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) is expected to be sidelined anywhere from four to eight weeks - with the longer timeline being the more likely of the two outcomes - with the high-ankle sprain he suffered in Week 3 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Fantasy Spin: ESPN's Adam Schefter speculates Barkley could return after the team's Week 11 bye in order to play the last six games of the season. Wayne Gallman is the only running back on the roster at the moment, meaning he will likely see the bulk of the workload for the immediate future even in the likely event New York adds a running back in the near future. However, he'll likely be little more than a flex option most weeks.

From TheHuddle

Darius Slay Sep 23 12:53pm ET

Detroit Lions CB Darius Slay (hamstring) left the game for good early in the third quarter with a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He offered only a 'we'll see' when asked if he'll be able to play in Week 4 versus the Kansas City Chiefs, according to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.

From TheHuddle

Jalen Ramsey Sep 23 12:43pm ET

Updating previous reports, Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (illness) will not practice due to an illness Monday, Sept. 23. A source told ESPN's Josina Anderson that Ramsey is actually sick and not trying to force the team's hand in regards to his recent trade demands.

From TheHuddle

Mike Daniels Sep 23 12:43pm ET

Detroit Lions DT Mike Daniels (foot) was spotted in a walking boot following the team's Week 3 game versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

From TheHuddle

Cam Newton Sep 23 12:33pm ET

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (foot) will not play in Week 4 against the Houston Texans. 'What Cam needs right now is time and rest for his foot. We want him at 100 percent when he's ready, so there's no exact timetable for his return. At this point, we're going to go forward with Kyle (Allen) as our starter,' head coach Ron Rivera said.

Fantasy Spin: Allen was brilliant in his place in Week 3, throwing for four touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals. Rivera immediately shot down any speculation Newton will not remain the starter when he's healthy, although the jury remains out on when that will be. Allen will remain on the streaming radar in Week 4.

From TheHuddle

Keanu Neal Sep 23 12:23pm ET

Updating previous reports, Atlanta Falcons S Keanu Neal (Achilles) will miss the remainder of the 2019 season after tearing his Achilles tendon in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.

From TheHuddle

Saquon Barkley Sep 23 12:03pm ET

Updating previous reports, New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (ankle) is expected to miss several weeks due to his high-ankle sprain, according to sources.

Fantasy Spin: It's not a surprise, and it's going to sting all Barkley owners. Wayne Gallman is expected to take over for Barkley, but he is not the answer in fantasy and won't be much more than a flex option in good matchups. Look for the Giants to find someone to bring in from the outside to at least share the work.

From TheHuddle

Jalen Ramsey Sep 23 11:13am ET

Updating an earlier report, Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (illness) will be examined by team doctors Monday, Sept. 23.

From TheHuddle

Julian Edelman Sep 23 10:43am ET

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (ribs) will have more tests done, and he may have an MRI Monday, Sept. 23.

Fantasy Spin: Edelman has a positive outlook for Week 4 unless something more severe is found. He's a good WR2 universally.

From TheHuddle

Jalen Ramsey Sep 23 8:43am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (illness) will not practice Monday, Sept. 23, or maybe all week, due to illness.

From TheHuddle

T Y Hilton Sep 23 8:33am ET

Updating previous reports, Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) aggravated the quadriceps injury he had coming into the game Sunday, Sept. 22. Hilton re-injured it a couple of plays before he scored a touchdown, but he didn't want to leave the game before the drive was over because he knew he wasn't coming back. He'll have tests done for re-evaluation.

Fantasy Spin: If he's able to recover in time for Week 4, he'll have a great matchup against the Oakland Raiders. More will be known later in the day after tests are done.

From TheHuddle

Dante Pettis Sep 23 3:33am ET

San Francisco 49ers WR Dante Pettis caught four of his five targets for 20 yards and a touchdown in Week 3 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fantasy Spin: Sadly, all of those marks are season highs. Pettis was quiet for most of the game, but his TD catch with 1:15 remaining was the game-winner and very much a "trust throw" from Jimmy Garoppolo as he split two defenders from about five yards away. It seems likely Pettis will eventually find his way back into head coach Kyle Shanahan's good graces and be fantasy relevant again soon, but he should be on waivers in most normal-sized leagues now. He'll have a chance to prove himself again after the team's Week 4 bye.

From TheHuddle

Matt Breida Sep 23 3:13am ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida ran 14 times for 68 yards and hauled in two of his three targets for 20 yards in Week 3 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fantasy Spin: Breida's 16 touches are a season high, but his upside is capped by sharing touches with Raheem Mostert outside the red zone and losing goal-line work to Jeff Wilson. The frustrating thing for fantasy owners is San Francisco is averaging nearly 40 rushing attempts and unable to make any one of its three backs anything more than a flex option. Breida has the most consistent role of the bunch, and he figures to remain a high-end flex when the 49ers return from their bye to meet the Cleveland Browns in Week 5.

From TheHuddle

T.J. Watt Sep 23 3:13am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers LB T.J. Watt had an interception and a fumble recovery against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3. Watt added two tackles, two passes defensed and two quarterback hits.

From TheHuddle

Will Dissly Sep 23 3:00am ET

Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly was on the right end of a reception once again as he was the chosen one for the team's final garbage-time touchdown of the game on Sunday. Dissly was targeted seven times, caught six passes, and tallied 62 yards in the game, exact copies of his season stats coming into the matchup. The rainy conditions seemed to make Dissly more appealing to quarterback Russell Wilson, and it looks like he trusts that Dissly is a solid release valve when he finds himself in trouble. Be wary of Seattle's knack for letting certain receivers go to rot quickly after they look great, but for now, Dissly could be a real part of the offense moving forward.

From RotoBaller

James Washington Sep 23 2:53am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington accounted for 14 yards on two receptions in the team's Week 3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Fantasy Spin: With Donte Moncrief inactive there was hope that Washington would step up, but Pittsburgh's passing game flailed around outside of a pair of long TD connections. While there's still some long-term upside with Washington, he's only worth stashing in larger leagues.

From TheHuddle

George Kittle Sep 23 2:53am ET

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle caught six of his eight targets for 57 yards in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Fantasy Spin: Kittle opened the season with consecutive 54-yard outings. It's a bit of an anomaly that a big-play threat like Kittle hasn't enjoyed a huge day or scored a touchdown yet, but his time is coming; he's had a bit of bad luck this season after having a lot of good fortune in 2018. The 49ers will go on a bye in Week 4, but he'll remain an elite TE1 option when he returns to action in Week 5 against the Cleveland Browns.

From TheHuddle

JuJu Smith-Schuster Sep 23 2:53am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster caught three passes for 81 yards and a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: Seventy-six of Smith-Schuster's 81 receiving yards came on a long touchdown, salvaging an otherwise unimpressive first game post-Big Ben. Week 4 presents a tasty matchup with the Bengals, which means Smith-Schuster should remain in your starting lineup.

From TheHuddle