Dallas Cowboys Collide With Seattle Seahawks
It’s hard to believe that just one game separates the Dallas Cowboys and Seattle Seahawks, but that’s the case as they meet Sunday afternoon in Big D.
Oddsmakers certainly believe there’s a big difference in talent with Dallas listed as an 11½-12 point favorite at Don Best. The NFL betting total is 44 points and FOX will broadcast from Cowboys Stadium at 1:00 p.m. (ET).
The Cowboys (3-4 straight up, 3-3-1 against the spread) were considered ‘tough-luck losers’ earlier in the season with their three defeats to the Jets (27-24), Detroit (34-30) and New England (20-16) all by four points or less.
That tag was thrown out the window last Sunday night in Philadelphia, a 34-7 blowout as 3-point ‘dogs that was over at halftime. The most shocking statistic was the Dallas run defense allowing 239 yards after previously being top-ranked (69.7 YPG).
Owner Jerry Jones said that fans shouldn’t "dwell" on last week’s defeat and there’s still time for a run with the schedule considerably easier the next five weeks. The team also returns home where it last beat St. Louis 34-7 as 14-point favorites, its first home cover in three tries. It did help that Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was out and replaced by A.J. Feeley.
Dallas found a new weapon against St. Louis in rookie running back DeMarco Murray. He exploded for 253 yards and then had 74 yards on just eight carries against Philly. He should continue to be the featured back, especially with Felix Jones (ankle) questionable to miss his third straight game.
Murray will get his touches rushing the ball, but the big advantage this week is in the passing game. Dallas has very good weapons in wideouts Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Laurent Robinson, plus tight end Jason Witten. The Seattle cornerbacks have been decimated this season with the current starters Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
Quarterback Tony Romo will have guys open and just needs to deliver the ball and not turn it over. His subpar 18-of-35 effort (51.4 percent) for 203 yards last week will be a big motivating factor.
The ‘under’ is 3-0 in Dallas’ last three games and 2-1 at home this year. The ‘over’ was a perfect 8-0 at home for the Boys last season.
Dallas is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games as a home favorite (1-2 ATS this year).
The Seahawks (2-5 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) are in an apparent rebuilding season as a young team, jettisoning veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and others in the offseason as it looked towards the future.
The future has looked very iffy the last two weeks after losses at Cleveland (6-3) and home to Cincinnati (34-12). Charlie Whitehurst started both games at quarterback and proved he’s a backup for a reason. The 137 total yards of offense against Cleveland was an utter embarrassment.
Tarvaris Jackson (chest) came into last game in the second quarter and threw for 323 yards, even if it did take him 40 attempts. That Cincy game was actually a 17-12 margin in the fourth quarter before a field goal, plus a punt and interception return for a touchdown.
Jackson will be back as the starter this week and could give Dallas trouble with both his arm and legs. Seattle has two good receivers with Sidney Rice and rookie Doug Baldwin. They could have success on the outside with Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins (hamstring) out. Key inside linebacker Sean Lee (wrist) is also out and his speed will be missed in the middle of the field.
Seattle has committed 60 penalties on the year, fourth-most in the league. That needs to be cleaned up by Pete Carroll, but it will be hard with the team youth and his often too relaxed coaching style.
The Seahawks are 1-3 SU and 1-2-1 ATS on the road this year. They did have a stunning 36-25 win at the Giants as 10-point ‘dogs on October 9. However, they scored just 6.7 PPG in the other three road games.
These teams last met in 2009 with the Cowboys winning 38-17 at home. They’re 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings overall (3-2 SU).
Showers are projected on Sunday with temps reaching the lows 70. Dallas would close the roof under that scenario.