(CBS DFW/CBS Local) — The Dallas Cowboys’ preparations for the 2019 season were overshadowed by the holdout of star running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys offense would look very different without the League’s leading rusher in two of the last three seasons lining up in the backfield. Then, with the season looming, Elliott signed his record deal.
Despite missing all of preseason, Elliott was ready to go for the team’s Week 1 matchup with the NFC East rival New York Giants. He split touches with Tony Pollard — each logging 13 carries — and picked up 53 yards and a touchdown. It ultimately didn’t matter much, as the Cowboys demolished the Giants, 35-17. The final score suggests the game was semi-competitive. It wasn’t, as the 35-10 score at the start of the fourth quarter confirms.
Dak Prescott carried the Cowboys’ offense, going 25-32 for 405 yards with four touchdowns, each to a different receiver. Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper both topped 100 yards receiving. On the other side of the ball, the defense had a little trouble with Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who racked up 120 yards on 11 carries. One of those went for 59 yards, but even subtracting out that carry leaves Barkley averaging over six yards per carry. Eli Manning topped 300 yards passing.
The Cowboys head to Washington in Week 2 for another NFC East matchup, this time with the Redskins. Washington jumped out to a first-half lead on the strength of a couple big plays, before the Philadelphia Eagles settled down and took over. The Redskins will be looking to play a complete game in their home opener this week.
CBS 11 sports anchor Bill Jones breaks down Sunday’s game. “I think it’s going to be a close game, and it typically is when the Cowboys and Redskins get together, especially when they play on the Redskins’ home field.”
Prescott is coming off a career day, and Ezekiel Elliott should enjoy an increased workload. “The Redskins are missing Derrius Guice, their starting running back, also Jonathan Allen, defensive lineman. Those are big losses for Washington.” But Adrian Peterson, a healthy scratch in Week 1, should fill in capably. It won’t be enough, as the Cowboys look to be rounding into form.
Jones says, “I’m going to pick the Cowboys in a close game.”
The Cowboys face the Redskins Sunday @ 12:00 CT.