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Posts tagged with "Cowboys"

The Los Angeles Rams (3-1) have to be considered the biggest early-season surprise in the NFL so far considering they lead the NFC West by one game over the Seattle Seahawks (2-2) and Arizona Cardinals (2-2), the preseason favorites to win the division.

This Sunday, the Rams will host the Seahawks as small home betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com and try to make a serious statement with another victory.

Los Angeles has split its first two home games, routing the Indianapolis Colts 46-9 as 3.5-point favorites in the season opener and then dropping a 27-20 decision to the Washington Redskins the following week as 3-point chalk. The Rams are coming off an impressive 35-30 win over the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday as 5-point road underdogs.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks woke up in the second half last week in the Sunday Night Football matchup to blow out the Indianapolis Colts 46-18 after trailing 15-10 at halftime.

Seattle improved to 2-0 at home but has gone 0-2 on the road both straight up and against the spread. Seattle has won 18 of the past 24 meetings with the Rams but has failed to cover three of the last four, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

A bit later on Sunday, the Cowboys (2-2) will be looking to rebound from their loss to the Rams when they host the Green Bay Packers (3-1) as small home favorites in a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round playoff game. The Packers won the last meeting 34-31 in overtime as 5-point road dogs, and they are hoping to win their third in a row following their lone loss of the season to the Atlanta Falcons back in Week 2.

The Dallas defense was disappointing in the loss to Los Angeles and will need to improve quickly in order to hold Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense in check. Rodgers carved up the Cowboys in their playoff win with 355 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Rodgers threw for a season-low 179 yards but a season-high four touchdowns last Thursday in a 35-14 victory against the Chicago Bears. The Packers have won six of the past seven meetings with the Cowboys SU, going 5-2 ATS at sports betting sites in those games.

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Looking for insight on who to pick in the Week 5 games? We’ve got the answers.

Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

This week the oddsmakers see a strong weekend for the home teams, as 10 of the 14 Week 5 games have the home teams as favorites. Our panel of BTB writers is not quite as optimistic for the home teams, only picking them in eight of the 14 games.

But all of the above ranks a distant second to the key question Cowboys fans are asking themselves this week: Will the Cowboys beat the Packers?

“Of course they will,” say 10 of 11 BTB writers. And without further ado, here are our picks for Week 5, 2017.

Cole Dave Danny Joseph Manik Michael OCC RJ Strawn Tom VaFan BTB Consensus
Season W/L 40-23 42-21 36-27 42-21 38-25 42-21 39-24 35-28 32-31 40-23 33-30 40-23
NE (-5.5) @ TB NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE
LAC @ NYG (-3.5) LAC NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG LAC NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG
BUF @ CIN (-3) BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF
NYJ @ CLE (-1) NYJ NYJ CLE NYJ CLE NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ
JAC @ PIT (-8.5) PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT
TEN (-3) @ MIA MIA TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN MIA TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN
SF @ IND (-1.5) IND IND IND IND IND SF IND IND SF IND IND IND
ARI @ PHI (-6.5) PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI ARI PHI PHI
CAR @ DET (-2.5) DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET CAR DET DET DET
SEA @ LAR (-1.5) SEA LAR LAR LAR LAR SEA LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR
BAL @ OAK (-2.5) BAL BAL OAK OAK OAK OAK BAL OAK OAK OAK BAL OAK
GB @ DAL (-2) DAL DAL DAL DAL GB DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL
KC (-1.5) @ HOU KC HOU KC KC KC KC KC KC KC HOU HOU KC
MIN (-3) @ CHI CHI CHI MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN

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When the Cowboys visit Arizona of late, it’s provided quite the show. The last three times, it’s been decided at the very end.

* In 2008, the game goes to overtime, and the Sean Morey blocks a punt, with Monty Beisel recovering in the end zone for a 30-24 win;
* In 2010, on Christmas night, the Cardinals blew a 21-3 lead and then got a Jay Feely field goal with five seconds left for a 27-26 win;
* In 2011, Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey misses a 49-yard field goal on the final play of regulation and the game went to overtime. LaRod Stephens-Howling then grabbed a Kevin Kolb dump pass and raced 52 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

Whether we’ll see that kind of drama Monday night is unlikely, but you can’t really know. This is a game where you figure to get a much better read on the Cardinals. No early start time to gum up the works, no road game. If the Cards are going to show more than they have, this is the time and place.

“The Cowboys are apparently ‘America’s Team’ so there will be a lot of eyes on this matchup,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said.

In a weekend in which I’m guessing a lot of eyes will be everywhere on the NFL after the President’s comments and the league-wide reaction to them, Cardinals-Cowboys will cap what will likely be an emotional weekend all around. A win would do wonders for the Cards’ emotion too.

— I like the concept from Frostee Rucker about the Cardinals staying together one way or the other when it comes to potential protest. The idea that sports can stay separate from where we are as a country, though, that’s long past.

— As expected, John Brown is going to sit again (so will D.J. Humphries), and so J.J. Nelson becomes important again. Not ideal that he’s listed as questionable, or that your speed merchant is dealing with a hamstring. If I had to guess, I’d think Nelson plays, but if he was limited all week, there has to be concern with how much he can do.

— It looks like the Cards finally get Deone Bucannon back. As for the questionable Mike Iupati, after the job Alex Boone did last week, if you aren’t sure, it makes sense to me to stick with Boone again.

— Speaking of Boone, there was some learning-on-the-fly last week. “I’m not even kidding, there was a play where I was like, ‘I have no idea what’s going on,’ ” Boone said. “Carson (Palmer) looked at me and told me and was like ‘SET, GOOOO!’ Hey man, trial by fire, right?”

–All this talk about offensive line play – the Cardinals certainly have had their share – there was a great quote by Browns stud left tackle Joe Thomas this week.

“As offensive linemen, we consider ourselves mushrooms because we get thrown in the corner of a dark room and people pile poop on us and then expect us to grow,” Thomas said. “So that is why we are mushrooms.”

I have not had a chance to run the mushroom analogy past any of the Cards’ linemen.

— One lineman who actually played tight end this week was rookie guard Will Holden, who played 15 snaps at tight end last week because Jermaine Gresham was hurt and he was a better blocking option in heavy packages than Ifeanyi Momah. Holden said he’d never played tight end before. Ever. In college, he came in for similar heavy packages but he played inside while they had another offensive lineman be the tight end.

“I felt fine,” Holden said. “It’s a little different view of the defense because you’re wider out and it’s a little harder to hear. But once you settle into the game, you’re just playing football.”

Holden said he was happy with his play, although he was willing to allow, smiling, that how well he did was “up for debate.” OL coach Harold Goodwin said Holden needed to finish blocks better. Holden probably won’t be needed this week now that Gresham is back, but it’s an option going forward.

— The last time the Cardinals hosted the Cowboys on “Monday Night Football” was 1995, when Larry Centers made his incredible leap, Buddy Ryan left before the game was over and cameras were capturing footage later used in the movie “Jerry Maguire.”

“Everybody loves Jerry Maguire,” Larry Fitzgerald said. “ ‘Show me the money.’ It’s what Monday night is all about.”

(Speaking of Maguire, it makes you think back to Rod Tidwell, right?)

— Bruce Arians, after the win in Indy, now has 42 victories as Cardinals head coach. It ties him with Don Coryell for second-most in team history (Ken Whisenhunt has the top mark with 49.) B.A. was asked what he thought of that.

“It was a bad team for a long time,” Arians deadpanned. Seriously, though, “to be even mentioned with Coach Coryell, that’s mind-boggling to me,” Arians added. “He was one of my great idols and watching that team play.”

— A random tidbit Fitz revealed this week, of which I have no recollection: He played special teams as a rookie. He was on punt return, as an outside blocker taking on the opposing gunner.

“I played hold-up guy,” Fitzgerald said. “I was pretty good at it too. Me and Nate Poole, we held it down out there.”

Poole, if you remember, was on the receiving end of the famous McCown-to-Poole TD pass in the last game of 2003 to knock the Vikings out of the playoffs and send the Cards from the No. 1 overall pick to No. 3. Probably got them Fitzgerald in the first place. Now that’s drama.

See everyone Monday night.

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Some moments are as good as they get

Eric from Kenosha, WI

So, Mike, what word will you ever so subtly slide into each of your responses today?

I focus less on words and more on truth, which would be a great line if I actually took myself that seriously.

Justin from Powhatan Point, OH

I think we could see Crosby do a Lambeau Leap with a game-winning field goal as time expires! No 40-second clock. That would be a spectacular sight to see.

His teammates would have to let him get down there. A scene like the one in Dallas last January would make it difficult. But as long as he wouldn’t pull a Gramatica, I’m all for it.

Otis from St. Cloud, MN

Mike/Wes, I was 9 years old when I first moved to this country. Like most immigrant students, during recess I went to the wrong football station. My question is, why didn’t Marwin Evans try to score after his pick? I don’t think he was down by contact. The ref even delayed his whistle a bit to give him a chance to run.

I thought he was ruled down by contact, having collided with the receiver in midair as he was intercepting the pass. But no worries, you’ve found the right football station now.

Matt from Dixon, IL

Watching the PGA Championship I just couldn’t get into it like I used to. Is golf missing a relevant Tiger Woods?

Having to work Sunday took me out of any chance to view the PGA, unfortunately. I normally enjoy watching the final rounds of the majors, but duty called.

Isaac from Springfield, MO

If Elliott appeals do you think that they will shorten it? And if they do, do you think that it will be to four games instead of six? Because the Packers play the Cowboys in Week 5.

I’m not ruling it out.

Josh from Lexington, KY

Nancy from NY wins the award for best use of “Dead Poets Society” in a football setting. If you were to stand up on a desk and say, “O captain, my captain,” to whom would you be speaking?

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Rise Up, See Red and get ready for some Arizona Cardinals football with the podcast.

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals open up their 2017 season with the Hall of Fame Game tonight.

Yet, that may not even be the biggest news of the week, as we found out that Jared Veldheerwas contemplating retirement.

What about training camp?

Who has stood out? Who has disappointed?

Jess Root and I had to talk about all of this and take a look at the Cowboys vs Cardinals in the Hall of Fame Game on this weeks episode of the Rise Up, See Red podcast.

As always, Jess is nice enough to give you some timestamps on the topics, so you can fast forward to our discussion on Blaine Gabbert in the preseason opener and why he should look like the best player on the field.

Don’t miss a minute of it.

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Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

There are many that question the idea of an Arizona Cardinals return to the playoffs, lamenting the growing age of some of their key offensive players.

This is all relevant and not overlooked, but one thing that seems to be or maybe just is disregarded by those expecting a fall is… the Arizona Cardinals, on paper, have a really, really easy schedule in 2017

Warren Sharp of Rotoworld took a look at it:

“Any schedule analysis for the Cardinals must consider the boost they get by playing the Ramsand 49ers twice. It works wonders for any average strength of schedule. However, the Cardinals play just four top-10 games this year (Seahawks twice, Cowboys and Titans) and three of those four are at home.”

The Cardinals have, again on paper, the fourth easiest schedule in the NFL.

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THE MOMENT YOU REALIZE THAT BY BEATING THE COWBOYS

THE MOMENT YOU REALIZE THAT BY BEATING THE COWBOYS..

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 11: Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the New York Giants scores a 61 yard touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Who are the NFC East favorites going into the 2017 season? Well, if you were to ask Adam Schein of NFL Network, he’d tell you it’s the Dallas Cowboys and not the New York Giants.

Schein argues that, despite the departure of several key defensive backs and diminishing talent on that side of the ball, the Cowboys are just too talented offensively and can not be stopped.

“Even with the departure of a bevy of defensive backs, the Cowboys’ offense is too much. And conventional wisdom says both Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott should be even better as sophomores, which is incredible for Dallas, considering their iconic neophyte seasons at quarterback and running back, respectively. They now have experience and know they can dominate, yet will come back with a chip on the shoulder after losing their playoff opener. Plus, Dez Bryant is still just 28 years old — don’t be surprised when he puts up his first 1,000-yard season since 2014. And despite some attrition, the Dallas offensive line remains imposing, with a trio of first-team All-Pros (Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick) leading the way.”

If last season is any indication, there are precious few offenses that are “too good” for the Giants’ defense, including the Cowboys, who were dropped twice by Big Blue.

Ultimately, however, Schein believes the team’s issues along the offensive line will be their undoing in the divisional race.

“New York has a terrific defense — it was the second-stingiest unit in the NFL last season. And the Giants’ explosive passing attack got even more dangerous with the savvy pickup of Brandon Marshall to be the wingman for Odell Beckham Jr. Eli Manning now has the best receiver tandem in the entire league — and Sterling Shepard’s certainly no slouch in the slot. The Marshall move secured the Giants as a playoff team to me, but I can’t have them leap-frogging Dallas until they shore up the O-line and get a legit starting running back.”

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FRISCO, Texas — For the third time since 2010, the Dallas Cowboys will play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game with owner and general manager Jerry Jones getting inducted that weekend.

The result of that contest against Arizona will be meaningless, and though the game might be something of a nuisance, what matters more to the coaches will be the practice time. The Cowboys will get a two-week head start on training camp with a possible reporting date to Oxnard, California, coming on July 18 and practice a day or two later.

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NEW YORK (AP) — With the best record in the NFL at 10-1, the Dallas Cowboys are closing in on a playoff berth.

The Cowboys have won a franchise regular-season record 10 games in a row and play for the second consecutive Thursday when they travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings.

The Cowboys can clinch a playoff spot in Week 13 with a win of their own and a loss by Washington or with a win of their own and a loss or tie by Tampa Bay.

The Cowboys also remained in the No. 1 spot in the latest AP Pro32 poll , which was released Tuesday.

Dallas received 11 first-place votes for 383 points from balloting by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

“Dak Prescott did his part in an important Thanksgiving Day win over Washington, but the rookie quarterback masked what could be the team’s only problems: a leaky defense that can’t rush the quarterback. That could be an important factor down the stretch,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

The Patriots received the other first-place vote and moved up a spot to No. 2 with 369 points.

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