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Through the first two weeks of the preseason, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans have each found success in various ways splitting the contests. The third game of the preseason will also see some extended action from their starters in the game. This sets the stage for an intriguing matchup on Saturday night.
Texans hoping to build off strong preseason start
Coming off a resurgent campaign, the Texans have their eyes directed on taking another step forward in 2019 after reaching the playoffs with them winning the AFC South division title. However, this will start with them having to venture through the preseason with much success on the field coming in the way of their offense. Houston has elected to roll through the preseason with their starters on the sidelines for much and that has provided more playing time for the backups. The Texans are coming off a strong performance in their Week 2 win over the Detroit Lions edging them 30-23. It was led by their offense putting up 410 total yards with 22 first downs while converting 2-of-4 trips in the red zone. They had much balance offensively with them garnering 168 yards with running back Buddy Howell rushing for 84 yards with 15 carries along with a touchdown.
In a shocking turn of events, Deshaun Watson's first preseason TD of the year goes to . . . DeAndre Hopkins 🤷♂️
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 18, 2019
Meanwhile, the Texans did have a strong showing in limited action from their starters against the Lions with Deshaun Watson completing 5-of-7 passes for 60 yards along with a touchdown. This saw him complete a four-yard touchdown with star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who finished with two catches for 17 receiving yards and that touchdown. Watson and Hopkins could see more action this upcoming week and that could allow them to put forth another strong showing in their limited action. The Texans will face a tough challenge against the Cowboys’ stiff defense that could set the tone for a lower-scoring affair. Meanwhile, backup Joe Webb had a strong showing where he completed 14-of-25 passes for 186 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The tide of the game may lay on the shoulders of Webb’s ability to lead the offense the way he has over the first two games of the preseason.
Cowboys struggling to find offensive stride in preseason
Through much of the preseason and training camp, the focus around the Cowboys has been centered on the holdout from star running back Ezekiel Elliott that doesn’t appear to have any end in sight in the near future. The team has also been clouded by the pending contract extension situations involving quarterback Dak Prescott and star wide receiver Amari Cooper. While this has continued to be the case, the Cowboys have been limited offensively in the preseason having scored 23 points in their first two games. Granted, the Cowboys have played largely without the services of their starters, primarily Elliott, so the team has struggled to get any type of footing on that side of the ball. Prescott got his first action of the preseason against the Los Angeles Rams last Saturday, where he was effective completing 5-of-5 passes for 64 yards including a 31-yard connection with second-year wide receiver Michael Gallup.
Watch Hangin' With The Boys LIVE from Ford Center at the Star in Frisco as training camp continues. https://t.co/vUSZG1tQNT
— Hangin With The Boys (@HWTB) August 22, 2019
However, the Cowboys didn’t get much production as they recorded just 14 points with 251 total yards, went 3-of-13 on third-down conversions and averaged 4.1 yards per attempt while committing a pair of turnovers. The team did receive some strong play from rookie running back Tony Pollard, who had 42 rushing yards on five attempts with a touchdown along with one reception for nine yards. Pollard had shown much of the promise that the Cowboys have been praising him during the preseason and training camp with Elliott still being out of the mix. He had shown big-play ability to break loose for a couple of long runs while showing to be a viable option in the passing game. However, if the Cowboys hope to push past the Texans on Saturday, they will need their offense to pick up at home in order to have a chance to secure their second win of the preseason.
- Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
- Cowboys are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four Saturday games.
- Under is 4-1 in Texans last 5 games on fieldturf.
Updated on Aug 24 at 8:20am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The game has gone from Dallas -2.5 down to a pick, which is pretty consistent with the fact that the Texans have gotten 76% of the bets so far.
Injury / Weather Report
Houston’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: OT Tytus Howard, Center Greg Mancz, WR Keke Coutee, QB AJ McCarron, and LB Brennan Scarlett.
Out: OT David Steinmetz and OT Matt Kalil
Dallas’ Impact Injury Report
Questionable: OG Zack Martin and LB Luke Gifford
Out: OT Brandon Knight, OG Cody Wichmann, DE Randy Gregory, and Ezekiel Elliott.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cowboys have had a strong showing defensively, but it has been their utter lack of offense when the starters are out of the game that has been telling. This should be the case once again against the Texans, who shown to have strong production from their backups. It won’t be a high-scoring affair, but Houston will have the edge.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Texans have had much success offensively so far in the preseason, but they are set to face the Cowboys’ stout defense. That will set the tone as they have allowed just 27 points in their first two games combined into Saturday’s contest. The starters may be getting a bit more playing time with the start of the season around the corner, but it will be a game dictated more so by the defenses.