Patriots vs. Cowboys NFL Preview – Free Pick
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Posted on 10/13/2007 10:19:02 PM
NFL Online Betting Odds: Patriots at Cowboys
Bet On This Game At our top Sportsbook – We won’t call this one a Super Bowl preview yet (don’t want to offend Colts fans), but on Sunday the New England Patriots travel to Texas Stadium to square off against the Dallas Cowboys in a matchup of undefeated teams. Many were calling the Cowboys’ Monday Night game in Buffalo a trap game and that proved to be entirely accurate with Dallas barely escaping with a last second win. Tony Romo tied a team record with six interceptions, but still managed to show enough late-game poise to put kicker Nick Folk in a position to boot the winning field goal. The Bills are always a pesky opponent at home and it’s a good thing Romo got the bad game out of his system before facing New England. The Week 6 line has the Cowboys tagged as home dogs (+6 ½) bracing to face their toughest opponent to date.
The New England Patriots have looked invincible this year on the field thanks to the spectacular play of quarterback Tom Brady. The Spy Gate scandal could have hurt the team’s momentum but Brady seems to have taken it upon to erase any doubt that they are far and away the best team in the league. He has thrown 16 touchdowns with only two interceptions, completing 74 percent of his passes with a stellar 128.7 passer rating through five games. The Patriots have dominated opponents winning by 17 points or more in each game, but there’s no question Dallas represents its stiffest challenge so far.
It looks like the Pats will have Laurence Maroney back for Sunday’s tilt which restores the full complement to New England’s backfield. Sammie Morris filled in admirably in Maroney’s absence posting two 100-yard games. Dallas’ defense is only giving up 80 yards a game on the ground, so they should be able to limit New England’s rushing attack with their aggressive 3-4 defense. The problem for the Cowboys will be finding a way to disrupt a quarterback that’s almost impossible to rattle while matching up with all the Pats offensive weapons. One key is the ability of DeMarcus Ware to beat Matt Light and put the heat on Brady (Ware leads team with 4.5 sacks and has had a sack in each of the last three games). The Cowboys defense has only given up one touchdown in the last three games.
Randy Moss had provided Brady with the big-play receiver he didn’t have last season and Moss has delivered. Cowboys’ corner Terrence Newman finally looked healthy last week and he should be able to limit Moss, but with Anthony Henry out, inexperienced left corner Jacques Reeves will be left to contend with Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth. If the Cowboys use a safety to help Reeves, tight end Ben Watson will school them (last week he had six catches for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns). The Patriots are going to put points on the board, the question is whether the Cowboys can answer against the Pats 2nd ranked defensive unit.
Apart from Tony Romo’s debacle in Buffalo on Monday he has shown the poise, intangibles and big-play ability to lead the Cowboys to a 5-0 mark. He’ll need to avoid any costly mistakes against New England or this game will be over quickly. Terrell Owens will match up against talented corner Asante Samuel, but you get the feeling that safety Rodney Harrison will make his presence felt early on. Romo will need to rely on play-action, screens and throwing on the run to break down the Patriots secondary while looking for reliable tight end Jason Witten and receiver Patrick Crayton who is starting to produce.
The real key for the Cowboys on offense is how well they’ll be able to run the ball to open up the passing game for Romo. The tandem of Marion Barber and Julius Jones has the ability to pound the ball, but the Cowboys offensive line will need to do a better job than they did last week. The Patriots have stuffed the run limiting opponents to 74.2 yards a game and one rushing touchdown.
The Patriots are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games as a road favorite of 3 ½ -10 points while the Cowboys are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as an underdog of 3 ½ -10 points – one of these trends comes to a halt on Sunday. This game will be a good test for both teams and the Cowboys will keep it close at home in Texas Stadium.
NFL BETTING FREE PICK: COWBOYS AT -6 ½
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