Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Rick Carlisle said it's too early to know whether Dirk Nowitzki will travel with the team for Sunday's game in Houston. The Mavs were optimistic earlier Friday that Nowitzki would overcome his illness enough to play tonight. "This must be something that does not come around very quickly or very well," Carlisle said. "He just does not miss home openers."

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Dirk Nowitzki will not play against the Rockets due to an illness.

ESPN Stats & Info

Cowboys favored in NFC East showdown

Dallas has shredded good defenses so far, and both our Cowboys and Eagles reporters see that continuing Sunday night. FPI favors the Cowboys to make it a two-game lead in the NFC East. Week 8 predictions (Insider)

AP Photo/Michael Thomas

Look for Jefferson to lead Texas D

Can Texas knock off unbeaten Baylor, the AP's No. 8 team? Brett McMurphy thinks so, citing Texas' D -- led by LB Malik Jefferson - -as having improved drastically in recent games. Upset makers (Insider)

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Zeke pounds between the tackles

Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for 130-plus yards in four consecutive games. Per ESPN Stats & Info, over that span he leads the NFL in rushing yards up the middle (200) while averaging 7.7 yards per rush on such attempts, best among qualified RBs.

Stats and Info

Baylor seeking statement victory

Baylor is a top-10 team with the 114th-ranked schedule so far. So, how good are the Bears? They are favorites against Texas and possess a better defense than others give them credit for. Week 9 top games (Insider)

Todd Archer ESPN Staff Writer 

After taking part in portions of practice on a Wednesday and Thursday, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was not in the field for the portion of Friday's practice open to the media. Coach Jason Garrett said Romo looked good in his work Thursday, which included some scout-team seven-on-seven work. "I thought it was a good step," Garrett said.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Dirk Nowitzki missed shootaround due to a stomach illness. "We think he's going to be OK to play tonight," Rick Carlisle said.

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

J.J. Barea on importance of making James Harden work on defense: "Whoever he's guarding has got to be aggressive."

Tim MacMahon ESPN Staff Writer 

Harrison Barnes is ready to greet fans for his Dallas home debut.

Mitch Sherman ESPN Staff Writer 

No divisions for the Big 12 as championship game returns in 2017.

Omar Epps says 'it's a wrap for Romo' (1:07)