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.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (hamstring) is unlikely to suit up for Thursday Night Football against the Washington Redskins in Week 8. The 29-year-old seems to think he is capable of playing, but the Vikings will likely rest their ailing star against a mediocre opponent on a short week. In his absence, rookie Olabisi Johnson will likely serve as the WR2. Johnson, who had 40 yards and a touchdown in Week 7, is a viable streaming option for fantasy managers that are desperate for a receiver in Week 8.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller is expected to miss several weeks with a significant hamstring strain, per Ian Rapoport. Fuller suffered the injury against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7. With Fuller sidelined, Kenny Stills becomes a must-add asset in almost all formats. The 27-year-old produced 105 yards on four catches against the Colts after Fuller exited the game. Stills can be considered a mid-tier WR3 against the Oakland Raiders in Week 8.
Seattle Seahawks S Bradley McDougald (back) sat out of practice all week after suffering from back spasms and was unable to play in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens, but head coach Pete Carroll told reporters during his postgame press conference that he believes McDougald will be able to make it back for Week 8 versus the Atlanta Falcons.
Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen only hauled in 4-of-11 targets for 61 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Despite having a positive pass-catching game script, Allen and Philip Rivers failed to connect on several deep balls. Luckily, due to the Chargers' uninspiring defensive unit, the game script is almost always positive for the passing attack. Allen remains a mid-tier WR1 against the Chicago Bears in Week 8.
Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints CB Eli Apple (knee) likely suffered a hyperextended knee late in the team's Week 7 game versus the Chicago Bears, although more tests are scheduled to determine the extent of his injury Monday, Oct. 21.
Updating previous reports, Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss 'several weeks' after suffering 'a rather significant hamstring pull,' according to a source via NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Fantasy Spin: Fuller hasn't come close to playing a full season in four years in the NFL, so fantasy owners can't exactly be shocked by this development. While the Texans will miss his ability to stretch the field, Fuller's lack of durability was probably one of the biggest reasons Houston made sure to land Kenny Stills in the Laremy Tunsil trade this summer. Stills should be able to fill in nicely and serve as a high-upside WR3 for however long Fuller is sidelined.
Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins S Montae Nicholson (ankle) was seen walking around in a boot Monday, Oct. 21, after injuring his right ankle in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Free-agent CB Kayvon Webster (Saints) worked out for the New Orleans Saints on Monday, Oct. 21.
Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry caught six passes for 97 yards during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. The 24-year-old has seen 17 targets over his past two games. Now fully healthy, Henry is unquestionably a top-tier tight end for the remainder of the season. He has a tougher matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 8, but he is still an undisputed TE1 for the contest.
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert pulled in just two receptions for 10 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. The veteran has been a huge fantasy disappointment this season, and with rumblings of a trade before the deadline, Eifert's days in Cincy may be over soon. He has the potential to produce, and if you're able, he is worth a stash in deeper formats, at least for now.
Cleveland Browns RB Kareem Hunt (abdomen) has been cleared by the NFL to rejoin the team and begin practicing with them Monday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: Hunt has been sidelined all season recovering from sports hernia surgery and serving an eight-game suspension for domestic abuse for an incident that occurred during his time with the Kansas City Chiefs. The former rushing champion is not eligible to return to game action until Week 10, so Nick Chubb will serve as a team's featured back for at least two more weeks. It's expected Hunt will serve as the change-of-pace back when he returns.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler only produced seven rushing yards on five carries in Week 7, but he salvaged the day by catching seven passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Melvin Gordon had 16 carries in the contest despite being outplayed by Ekeler, but the Chargers continue to let Gordon dominate the ground game. Nevertheless, Ekeler's ability as a receiver continues to give him value as a fantasy asset. He is an above-average flex option against the dominant Chicago Bears' defense in Week 8.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate finished with three catches (six targets) for 65 yards against Jacksonville in Week 7. After getting 11 looks from quarterback Andy Dalton against the Ravens in Week 6, Tate's production was yielded by Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight receptions for 137 yards on the day. With A.J. Green (ankle) expected to return soon, Tate will likely be relegated to backing up Green and Tyler Boyd moving forward. Keep an eye on Green's status for Week 8 and plan accordingly.
Updating previous reports, Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (hamstring) is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, Oct. 21, but he faces the 'real possibility' of not playing in Week 8 against the Washington Redskins.
Fantasy Spin: While everyone around the team believes the injury is not serious, the Vikings play on Thursday, making it an almost impossible turnaround for Thielen. In theory, Minnesota should not need him against the Redskins, but the Vikings' passing attack is not so deep and talented that it can just assume it will thrive without Kirk Cousins' favorite receiver. If Thielen sits, it will be the first game he's missed in his NFL career. Fantasy owners should feel free to bump up Stefon Diggs in their weekly rankings as well.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon produced 32 yards on 16 carries during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. While he caught a one-yard touchdown pass, he also lost a fumble at the goal line in the final seconds of the game to drop the Chargers to 2-4 on the season. The 26-year-old continues to be outplayed by Austin Ekeler, but Gordon continues to get the majority of the touches. As long as he remains the workhorse in the offense, he is a worthy RB2 in fantasy formats. Unfortunately, he has a tough matchup in Week 8 against the daunting Chicago Bears Defense, which likely makes him a flex play at best.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd finished with five receptions for 55 yards against Jacksonville on Sunday. With 14 targets on the day, which was tied with Alex Erickson, who hauled in eight catches for 137 yards, Boyd wasn't able to get anything going against a Jaguars Defense that was all over quarterback Andy Dalton. A.J. Green (ankle) is expected to return within the next week or so, and while it may decrease Boyd's looks, Green's presence back in the lineup may open things up for 24-year-old moving forward.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 24 of his 38 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns during a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 7. Rivers has now thrown for over 300 yards in a game five times this season and has also had five games with multiple passing touchdowns. Despite the notable production, Rivers is a tough fantasy asset to trust in Week 8 against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. He is only an option in two-quarterback leagues for that contest.
Free-agent RB Spencer Ware (Colts) is working out for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 21.
Free-agent WR Eli Rogers (Steelers) is working out for the Houston Texans Monday, Oct. 21.
Free-agent RB Jay Ajayi (Eagles) is working out for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, Oct. 21.
Fantasy Spin: Ajayi has been training and preparing to sign with a team for a few weeks. He's definitely worth stashing in deeper leagues and would be a flex option in the right situation.