MONDAY HUDDLE: C.J. Stroud continues to amaze with Joe Burrow, Bengals on deck

Longhorns continue to win without Ewers, Cowboys in hole in NFC East race

Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) avoids a tackle by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Yaya Diaby (0) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.

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Stroud sets another record in Texans win

More and more, NFL fans are wondering what the Carolina Panthers were thinking when they drafted Bryce Young instead of C.J. Stroud with the No. 1 overall pick of last spring’s NFL Draft.

Stroud is doing more than showing he is the runaway favorite for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He’s shown he might be a top-10 quarterback in the league already.

Stroud set a rookie record by throwing for 470 passing yards to go along with five touchdowns and no interceptions in a 39-37 win over Tampa Bay.

Even better was that Stroud capped off the performance by leading the Texans on a game-winning drive in the final minute.

Taking over at their own 25-yard line with just 46 seconds remaining, the Texans marched down the field and won the game on Stroud’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Tank Dell with six seconds remaining.

It was magical performance typically produced by some of the game’s best veterans, not a rookie who already looks like a franchise quarterback.

On Sunday, Stroud will have his first head-to-head matchup with what might be the NFL’s gold standard at quarterback, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow.

Longhorns continue to hold down fort without Ewers and schedule lightens up

Somehow, someway, the Texas Longhorns are weathering the storm without Quinn Ewers. Playing for the second week in a row without Ewers — who is nursing a shoulder injury — the Longhorns jumped out to a big lead and then held on for dear life to earn a 33-30 overtime win over a ranked and red-hot Kansas State squad.

Backup Maalik Murphy wasn’t great by throwing two interceptions and completing 19-of-37 passes, but threw for 248 yards and was good enough to help Texas score enough points.

The best news for Texas is that the schedule lightens up. The last three games of the regular season will be games at TCU, at Iowa State and at home against Texas Tech.

Cowboys fall behind Philadelphia in NFC East race

The Dallas Cowboys fought valiantly and with some better luck in the final two minutes, they might have been able to win at Philadelphia on Sunday.

But it wasn’t meant to be, and Dallas suffered a 28-23 loss to the Eagles that clearly puts them in a hole in the NFC East race.

Dallas is now two games in the loss column behind the Eagles (Philadelphia hasn’t had its bye yet) as the season enters its second half, so there’s a lot of catching up to do if the Cowboys want to be avoid playing a road wild card game in the first round of the playoffs.

The good news for Dallas is the upcoming schedule is soft with games against the Giants, Panthers and Commanders upcoming.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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