Sun Aug 18 1:36am ET
By KALANI TAKASE
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver JoJo Natson (19) is congratulated by center Aaron Neary (72), offensive guard Jamil Demby (64), and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver JoJo Natson kneels after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Blake Bortles throws a pass during the first quarter of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, center, celebrates his touchdown with teammates during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass during the first half of the team's preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
HONOLULU (AP) Dak Prescott appears ready for the regular season, with or without Ezekiel Elliott.
The Dallas quarterback completed all five of his pass attempts in his only series of work as the Cowboys came away with a 14-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday night.
Prescott dropped back to pass seven times, completed passes to five different receivers, had one short completion negated by an ineligible lineman downfield penalty and was sacked once.
Prescott's only drive covered 97 yards in 12 plays, took more than six minutes and culminated with Tony Pollard's 14-yard touchdown run.
It marked the first Dallas touchdown in a preseason game since Aug. 18, 2018. Dallas was held to three field goals in last week's 17-9 loss at San Francisco to open the preseason.
With starting quarterback Jared Goff among the large number of Rams' starters that did not make the trip to Hawaii, Blake Bortles got the start and finished 7 of 11 for 62 yards. His 7-yard scoring pass to JoJo Natson capped Los Angeles' second drive - which was extended by a fumbled punt return by Dallas return man Reggie Davis and recovered by rookie Jake Gervase.
Los Angeles (0-2) took its only lead on Greg Zuerlein's 29-yard field goal in the second quarter. Zuerlein attempted a 56-yard field goal just before halftime, but missed wide left.
Dallas (1-1) pulled back ahead late in the third quarter, when third-string quarterback Cooper Rush found Devin Smith for an 8-yard touchdown.
Pollard, who started in place of Elliott, finished with five rushes for 42 yards. Elliott, a two-time league rushing champion, missed his second preseason game while he continues his holdout. Alfred Morris, who signed with the team during training camp, saw his first action of the preseason and carried three times for 6 yards, all before halftime.
The teams met in the NFC Divisional round of last year's playoffs. The Rams won 30-22 en route to an appearance in the Super Bowl.
Veteran tight end Jason Witten made his preseason debut Saturday after coming out of retirement - and the broadcast booth - last year. Witten was targeted just once - on a third-down pass from Prescott - on the penultimate play of the first Dallas possession. Witten's 10-yard reception moved the chains and set up Pollard's 14-yard TD run for the game's first points.
''It felt really good. I was very anxious to get out there and play,'' said Witten, a 16-year veteran and 11-time Pro Bowler. ''It is just the next step in the comeback. I worked really hard to get back in shape.
''I hold myself to a high standard, so I can say it was not perfect. I got a little antsy early but had a big third-down conversion on an option route.''
Witten retired following the 2017-18 season and served as color commentator on ''Monday Night Football'' last year.
Cowboys second-year linebacker Chris Covington went down with an undisclosed injury while covering the opening kickoff. He was attended to by Dallas' training staff for a few minutes, but was able to walk off on his own.
Cowboys: Return home to face the Houston Texans on Saturday on Aug. 24.
Rams: Host Denver in their next-to-last preseason game on Aug. 24.
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 3
Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott has an excellent matchup against a struggling Cincinnati Bengals run defense in Week 3, but is still not a recommended fantasy starter in most formats. Scott ran clearly behind starter Miles Sanders in Week 2, even though Sanders was just coming off a hamstring injury that kept him out of Week 1. Scott is still worth rostering because he'd clearly take over if Sanders went down, but his standalone value is not significant with Sanders on the field.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Corey Clement is not a Week 3 fantasy option in almost any formats. Clement got some unexpected action in Week 1 with Miles Sanders (hamstring) out and Boston Scott (undisclosed) missing time. With both running backs now healthy, Clement is likely to be on the field only as a member of special teams. Clement does not need to be rostered in standard 12-team leagues.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders has an excellent Week 3 matchup and could be one of the top fantasy running backs for the week. There were concerns around Sanders in Week 2 mostly based on usage as he was coming off a hamstring injury that kept him out of Week 1, but he was on the field plenty and did well enough to end up as the overall RB12. With a Week 3 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals Defense, Sanders could end up as a top-five fantasy performer at the position. The Bengals have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing running backs through the first two weeks of the season.
The San Francisco 49ers signed pass-rusher Ziggy Ansah on Wednesday and promoted defensive lineman Dion Jordan to the active roster after they placed defensive ends Nick Bosa (knee) and Solomon Thomas (knee) on Injured Reserve. San Francisco is bringing in some replacements with Dee Ford (back) also out for Week 3 against the Giants. Ansah and Jordan will try to pick up the slack alongside Arik Armstead, DJ Jones and rookie Javon Kinlaw, but the Niners defense lost the heart and soul of their pass rush with Bosa. It'll make them a little less attractive in season-long leagues, but the 49ers Defense is still worth trotting out there in fantasy lineups this Sunday against a Giants offense now missing Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard, arguably their two best offensive weapons.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has a great matchup on paper in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the Eagles offense has been such a mess this season that it's hard to trust him as anything more than a mid-range QB2. Wentz will have more upside than most other quarterbacks in that range, but fantasy managers in standard 12-team formats may find safer starting bets on the waiver wire this week. It stands to reason that the Eagles offense won't be this bad all year, but it's hard to predict when things will come together for them. They've struggled to the point that the artificial crowd noise actually booed Wentz in Week 2.
It's unlikely that Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor (lung) will be 100 percent healthy for the Week 3 game against the Panthers. Taylor experienced chest pain from a pregame injection for his ribs before the Week 2 game against the Chiefs and was taken to the hospital, paving the way for rookie Justin Herbert to make his first NFL appearance in the overtime loss to Kansas City. Herbert could make his second start this Sunday after looking strong in Week 2. Doctors have advised Taylor not to play "indefinitely" after he suffered a punctured lung from his pain-killing injection. If Herbert plays well again this weekend against a shaky Carolina defense, he could take over the starting gig moving forward. Consider the rookie from Oregon a low-end QB2 option in superflex leagues if he gets another start.
The New York Giants placed wide receiver Sterling Shepard (toe) on Injured Reserve on Wednesday. Shepard will miss at least the next three weeks with his turf-toe injury. It was a rough Week 2 for the G-Men, as they lost Shepard for at least three weeks and star running back Saquon Barkley (knee) for the rest of the year. Darius Slayton, Golden Tate and tight end Evan Engram will be quarterback Daniel Jones' top three receiving targets until Shepard is healthy enough to return. Damion Ratley and CJ Board will compete for No. 3 receiver duties, but they can be ignored for fantasy purposes. Jones seems to like targeting Slayton, so he should be the preferred flex play over Tate.
New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman, who signed a one-year deal worth up to $3 million on Tuesday, will officially sign his contract Wednesday morning and then practice with the team, and he could play as soon as this Sunday against the 49ers. Freeman reportedly turned down more money elsewhere because he like the opportunity with the Giants the most. He'll try to help replace Saquon Barkley (knee), who was lost for the year in Week 2. The 28-year-old should be a high waiver priority this week for those that lost Barkley or another running back last week, but he may be slow to get going as he learns this offense. The matchup against the Niners isn't the greatest, either. Expect to see more of Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman this week.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller, who had 12 catches on a whopping 16 targets for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Monday night win over the Saints, had at least one reception from all four skill-position alignments. The breakdown was as follows: Fourteen routes at tight end (six catches, 44 yards and a TD), 12 routes from the slot (four catches, 37 yards), two routes as a wideout (one catch, 13 yards) and one route out of the backfield (one catch, nine yards). More than 52 percent of his 1,145 receiving yards in 2019 came after the catch, too. Only George Kittle had more yards after the catch. Waller has 586 receiving yards since Week 13 of last year. He's the real deal and is a must-start, high-end TE1 in fantasy. "It's been a long time since we've seen a guy like this," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. "He's definitely more than a receiver playing tight end." The Pats will look to contain Waller in Week 3.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said he's "not really" surprised that tight end Rob Gronkowski has just four targets in the first two games of the season. His lone target in the Week 2 win over the Panthers was intercepted. "We're not throwing the ball 50 times to the tight ends. That's what we have receivers for, that's the way our offense is built. Gronk's playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I'm not concerned with his pass catches or his targets," Arians said. The 31-year-old is competing with a lot of aerial playmakers in Tampa, so he won't see close to the target share he saw in his prime with Tom Brady in New England. And as long as Gronk continues to block well, he may only get a handful of looks per game. He's become a low-end TE2 that's droppable in shallow leagues.
Free-agent DBs Blake Countess (Jets), Mark McLaurin (Giants), Obi Melifonwu (Patriots), Tyvis Powell (Broncos) and Abraham Wallace (Bills) tried out for the Indianapolis Colts Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Updating a previous story, free-agent RB Devonta Freeman (Falcons) officially agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million with the New York Giants Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Fantasy Spin: It may take Freeman a couple weeks to get fully up to speed but he should eventually control the bulk of the touches out of the Giants' backfield. His dual-threat abilities should allow him to be a FLEX option most weeks.
Tennessee Titans LB Daren Bates, WR Cameron Batson, PK Tucker McCann and QB Trevor Siemian were designated as protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR Deon Cain, LB Jayrone Elliott, DE Henry Mondeaux and RB Wendell Smallwood were named as the team's protected practice squad players for Week 3 Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Kansas City Chiefs DB Chris Lammons and RB DeAndre Washington were named as protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Cleveland Browns QB Garrett Gilbert, RB Dontrell Hilliard, PK Matthew McCrane and OT Greg Senat were placed on the team's Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Dallas Cowboys DB Deante Burton, DE Ron'Dell Carter, DB Rashard Robinson and OT Eric Smith were named to the Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Houston Texans C Greg Mancz, DB Jonathan Owens, RB C.J. Prosise and WR Devin Smith were named to the Week 3 protection list Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Atlanta Falcons QB Kurt Benkert, P Cameron Nizialek, LB Edmond Robinson and WR Chris Rowland were named the team's protected practice squad players Tuesday, Sept. 22.