I don't know about you, but I took the opportunity during the bye week to look at the teams still remaining on the Dallas Cowboys schedule and what chance they have at possibly making a push for the playoffs. Taking into consideration how up-and-down the Cowboys have been this season, I think they still have a chance to sneak in the playoffs if a few things fall into place.
We still don't know what the Dallas Cowboys will look like after acquiring Wide Receiver Amari Cooper, so that makes it a little bit difficult to predict how they will perform moving forward. I decided to take the optimistic approach though and it really impacted my outlook on how the Cowboys could close out this season. Continue to read below to see my predictions of the remaining games on the Cowboys schedule.
Week 9: Cowboys Vs. Titans
Out of all the teams remaining on the Dallas Cowboys schedule this season, the matchup against the Tennessee Titans might just be the most winnable. Nothings guaranteed in the NFL, but it's pretty obvious the Cowboys are the more talented team across the board.
I believe the defense will shut down the Marcus Mariota led offense and Dallas' offense will be able to have their way with the Titans defense. This will also be the first opportunity we get see how Wide Receiver Amari Cooper can help open up the offense and established himself in the passing game. This game could be the confidence booster the Cowboys need to make a playoff push.
Prediction: Cowboys, 27-10
Week 10: Cowboys @ Eagles
On paper, the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles are pretty evenly matched. Both teams are really talented, but inconsistencies in all phases of the game have kept them from playing up to that talent.
Since both teams are so evenly matched, I think this game will come down to the wire. With the way the Cowboys have played on the road this year and the fact the Eagles not only will have extra time to prepare coming off their bye week, but also home-field advantage, this game ends up favoring Philadelphia a little too much for my liking.
Prediction: Eagles, 23-20
Week 11: Cowboys @ Falcons
This matchup has revenge written all over it for the Dallas Cowboys. It was against the Atlanta Falcons when things started to fall apart for Dallas last year and I'm sure they will be looking for some payback this season. This time they will have Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott and that will make a huge difference.
Luckily, this isn't the same Falcons team they faced a year ago. They are still a talented offensive unit with plenty of playmakers who can cause some trouble for the Cowboys defense, but defensively they are decimated with injuries. I think the Cowboys defense can slow down the Matt Ryan led Falcons offense enough for QB Dak Prescott and his teammates to put more points on the board.
Prediction: Cowboys, 27-17
Week 12: Cowboys Vs. Redskins
The last time these two teams faced off against one another should be fresh in our minds still. It ended in a controversial snap infraction penalty and a missed field goal for the Dallas Cowboys, allowing the Redskins to narrowly escape with the 20-17 victory. You can bet Cowboys players are looking forward to a rematch and I think that will make a big difference.
After being on the road for two consecutive games, the Cowboys get to come home to play in front of their fans and prove to them why they should be sitting atop the NFC East division, not the Redskins. I think will see an entirely different Cowboys team this time around than we saw in the previous matchup. I don't think the Redskins defense can contain Ezekiel Elliott again and I believe he will absolutely dominate.
Prediction: Cowboys, 24-17
Week 13: Cowboys Vs. Saints
Watching the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints play on Thanksgiving day makes for some must watch TV. Playing a Thursday night game doesn't leave much time for preparation in a short week for either team, so whoever executes better will likely be the victor in this primetime matchup.
You may disagree with me, but I think these teams are pretty evenly matched. Having said that though, I think the Saints know how to get the best out of their talent and that will be the difference in this matchup. I think they probably have too much firepower on offense and are good enough defensively to keep the Cowboys from putting more points on the board. I don't believe it's going to be a blowout, but I also don't think Dallas' offense can outscore QB Drew Brees and his talented playmakers.
Prediction: Saints, 30-20
Week 14: Cowboys Vs. Eagles
Unlike in the first matchup between these two teams this season, the Dallas Cowboys are the ones with a little extra time to prepare and the ones with home-field advantage. Those two advantages were the reason I gave the win to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10, but this time the script flips in favor of the Cowboys.
Dallas plays like an entirely different team at home this season as opposed to when they're on the road. I think that will be the difference in this matchup. It will definitely be another slugfest, but I think the Cowboys will provide the knockout punch in the end. This game will have huge implications as to who wins the NFC East division and earns one of those coveted playoff spots.
Prediction: Cowboys, 17-13
Week 15: Cowboys @ Colts
There are very few games left on the Dallas Cowboys schedule this season in which I believe they should absolutely win, but this one against the Indianapolis Colts is one of them. Anything can happen of course, but even considering how poorly the Cowboys have played on the road in enemy territory, this should be an easy win.
QB Andrew Luck has been improving as the season progresses, but he still doesn't look quite like his old self. The Cowboys defense should absolutely dominate this game because Luck doesn't have a lot of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. Dallas should control the game offensively as well. I don't believe the Colts defense can stop Ezekiel Elliott, which plays right into the hands of what the Cowboys want to do on offense.
Prediction: Cowboys, 27-13
Week 16: Cowboys Vs. Buccaneers
The matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has "trap game" written all over it. The Cowboys could be in playoff contention by this point in the season and could be a little overconfident when squaring off against a Buccaneers team they should probably be able to beat pretty easily. That overconfidence could get them in trouble though.
The Buccaneers are just talented enough to pull off the upset on Dallas' home turf. The Cowboys coaching staff has to express the importance of this game to the players to get them locked in and focused instead of looking ahead. If they do that, the Cowboys should absolutely dominate this game both offensively and defensively.
Prediction: Cowboys, 24-13
Week 17: Cowboys @ Giants
Can the Dallas Cowboys sweep the New York Giants two years in a row? I think they can, especially considering QB Eli Manning might be seeing his time as the starter coming to an end. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Giants have a new QB being evaluated these last few games of the season, which should only help the Cowboys close out the 2018 regular-season with a victory.
As of now, I don't know if the Cowboys will have secured a playoff spot or need this game to do so, but I don't see any reason why they shouldn'd be playing to win. Luckily, the Giants already look like a team who are ready to lay down and die, and that should only continue to get worse as the season progresses. This should be a relatively easy win and something to build off of heading into the playoffs if my predictions are correct.
Prediction: Cowboys, 21-13
I know I'm being a little optimistic with my predictions considering how up-and-down the Dallas Cowboys have been this year, but I do believe they have a chance to go 7-2 in their final nine games of the 2018 season. That means they finished the year 10-6 and have a real shot at not only winning the NFC East division, but securing a playoff spot. Wouldn't that be something after how frustrating things have been so far?
What do you think the Dallas Cowboys win/loss record will end up being?
Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most impressive win of the season, keeping playoff hopes alive on the road with a 27-20 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the hostile home of the defending Super Bowl champions with three previous road losses already on their record, the Cowboys performance on Sunday night was truly about getting back to their roots. In their second week with Marc Colombo as the Offensive Line Coach, the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards and protected Dak Prescott very well. It was revealed after the game that Frederick was on a coaches headset with Colombo and his new assistant Hudson Houck.
Travis Frederick just told @BenRogers on @1053thefan that Marc Columbo has him on a coaches headset now helping him and Hudson Houck. That's a smart move from Columbo. Smartest guy on the line
The anchor of the Cowboys offensive line since being drafted in 2013, Frederick is regarded as the smartest linemen on the team. It's his mental edge that's made up for a slight lack of size at the position, regarded as one of the worst first round picks in his draft because of this oversight.
Not only is Frederick a welcome addition to the Cowboys brain trust at offensive line, but he did receive some great news on his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that's kept him out this season. Frederick was placed on injured reserve on October 6th, announcing publicly his GBS diagnosis on August 22nd.
Frederick has a long way to go before he's playing football again, not eligible to do so until week 14 at home against the Eagles. Regaining feeling in his hands is about the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee getting as healthy as possible away from football. If a return to the Cowboys is possible through his recovery, the team would of course welcome Frederick.
Travis Frederick regains sensation in his hands: "There is some light at the end of the tunnel" https://t.co/wvQhB6KUQp
What Frederick has gained in upper body strength, he must remain patient for in the lower body. While pointing out that over 95% of patients make a full recovery from GBS, Frederick is still waiting to feel sensations in his feet.
The Cowboys have been optimistic that Frederick's condition was caught early enough for a full recovery to be probable.
Dallas' schedule doesn't get any easier following their uplifting win. Returning to the site of last year's demoralizing loss at the Falcons, Frederick likely wishes he could make a miraculous return just a bit more this week.
To make matters worse, Left Tackle Tyron Smith did not practice on Wednesday due to back spasms. It's unknown if rookie Connor Williams will reclaim his starting left guard spot on Sunday, or if Xavier Su'a-Filo has earned another opportunity.
Despite the patchwork nature of a Cowboys offensive line once regarded as the best in the league, and still vital to the entire team's success, Dallas has an abundance of hope that Sunday in Atlanta can be much better than 2017. This starts with Frederick's strength to fight GBS and attempt to rejoin his teammates, wisely given some added game day influence on them by Colombo.
If elevating their level of play up front was all it took for the Cowboys to play up to their potential and pull off an upset on prime time last week, the NFC East is certainly still within reach for a team that must now sustain the level of play on offense to match what this defense has given all season.
Cowboys Playoff Scenarios; Week 11 Impact Games
We've reached Week 11 and the playoff picture is continuing to be unveiled. Most of the NFC has seven games to go, and there's still a lot of ways each week can impact the overall landscape.
The Rams and Saints are the clear runaway teams in the conference this year. After them, though, a lot of up for grabs both in division races and the Wild Card spots.
We're not including Detroit and Tampa Bay, both 3-6, given the strong unlikelihood that they will turn things around. Detroit is the worst team in a stacked NFC North and will likely keep losing, and a head-to-head loss to the Cowboys will be tough to overcome. The Bucs can't decide on a quarterback right now and are going nowhere.
If the season ended today, these would be your NFC playoff standings:
- Los Angeles Rams (9-1)
- New Orleans Saints (8-1)
- Chicago Bears (6-3)
- Washington Redskins (6-3)
- Carolina Panthers (6-3)
- Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)
- Green Bay Packers (4-4-1)
- Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
- Seattle Seahawks (4-5)
- Dallas Cowboys (4-5)
- Philadelphia Eagles (4-5)
- The Bears are ahead of the Redskins thanks to a better record against NFC opponents.
- The Falcons are ahead of the Seahawks and Cowboys thanks to a superior record against NFC opponents.
- The Seahawks are ahead of the Cowboys thanks to a head-to-head victory.
- The Cowboys are ahead of the Eagles thanks to a head-to-head victory.
- The Eagles' tiebreaker loss to Dallas, because it occurs within the division, drops them below the other 4-5 NFC teams automatically. Their head-to-head win over the Falcons this year is invalidated.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how winning the NFC East would likely be Dallas only road to the playoffs. That is still the case; the Cowboys are three games behind the Panthers (they lose in a tie because of their head-to-head loss) and two games behind the Vikings for the Wild Card spots.
It will be much easier for Dallas to catch Washington, who are more lucky than good with their 6-3 record, than either Carolina or Minnesota. The Cowboys can still hang a loss on the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day, plus Washington has both games with the Eagles left to play.
Those opportunities are further down the road, though. For now, let's see how the Week 11 schedule can help improve the Cowboys playoff positioning:
Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks
With a head-to-head loss to Seattle this year, Dallas needs the Seahawks to keep losing. Both teams are currently 4-5, and the Cowboys don't need that tiebreaker hanging over them at the end of the year.
But a Seattle loss means a Green Bay win, and that doesn't do much to help the Cowboys either. The Packers's tie gives them a slight edge on the 4-5 teams, and that advantage could keep them ahead of Dallas the rest of the way.
You could argue that the Packers are a team more likely to make a late-season push than the Seahawks, so a Green Bay loss here could ultimately benefit the Cowboys more than Seattle. It really comes down to which team, between the Packers and Seahawks, you have more faith in the rest of the way.
Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons
This is obviously a huge game for both teams. Both are 4-5 and trying to stay in the conversation, and a loss here could be a death knell for either. It would also create a head-to-head tiebreaker for the winner over the loser; essentially a two-game swing.
The Cowboys won their first road game all season last week in Philadelphia. They have some good vibes and momentum headed into Atlanta, who are coming off an ugly loss to the Browns.
Will Dallas ride their positive wave for another week, or will the Falcons be hungrier and enjoy returning home? The answer could be season-changing for both teams.
Houston Texans @ Washington Redskins
The Texans have won six straight and the Cowboys hope they can keep it going. A Washington loss, coupled with a Dallas win in Atlanta, would narrow the gap between them to just one game. It would also make next week's Thanksgiving matchup in Dallas a chance for the Cowboys to pull even for the NFC East lead.
As I said before, the Redskins aren't as good as their 6-3 record indicates. They have only a +1 point differential in 2018, having scored just one point more than their opponents all year. Comparatively, the Cowboys are a +10 despite the losing record.
A few weeks ago, the Redskins got pounded 43-19 by the New Orleans Saints. The Texans are arguably the next-best team they've played this year. Hopefully, we'll see a similar result.
Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions
The Panthers' slipping would be nice for the Cowboys, though they'd have to fall hard the rest of the way for Dallas to catch up in the standings. With the Cowboys having a head-to-head win over the Lions, a Detroit win here wouldn't hurt us nearly as much as a Carolina loss helps.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints
New Orleans appears set on being one of the top two seeds in the NFC this year, which puts them well out of Dallas' range. As such, an Eagles loss is clearly better for the Cowboys in terms of our own playoff positioning.
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
The Packers and Vikings are both slightly easier to catch than the Bears. The best scenario for Dallas is for Chicago to keep winning and take the NFC North, hanging losses on their division rivals on the way and making things easier for the Cowboys in the Wild Card hunt.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Rams
This one is almost irrelevant from Dallas' perspective. The Rams will probably clinch their division soon and should have a first-round bye. But the Chiefs are in the other conference, so there's absolutely nothing to be gained by them losing.
#ATLvsDAL: Betting Preview, Trends, And Prediction
This week's gambling preview focuses on the Cowboys week 11 opponent, the Atlanta Falcons. Dallas beat the now 4-5 Eagles last Sunday to improve their own record to 4-5. Atlanta lost on the road to Cleveland last week to drop their record to 4-5 on the season.
It's an 8-8 league, isn't it?
Dallas returns to the scene of the 2017 crime this Sunday, traveling to Atlanta where Chaz Green and Dak Prescott were destroyed almost exactly one year ago. Let's take a look at the line and the quality of these teams to see which way it could go.
Cowboys +3, O/U 48 points.
Dallas saved their season on the road last Sunday night, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles and getting right back in the thick of things in the NFC East race. Still, we can't simply ignore what the other 8 games of data have told us about the Cowboys and their offensive quality.
The addition of Amari Cooper has clearly helped the offense, opening up the passing game a bit and allowing for Dak Prescott to have a reliable "number one" receiver. The team's results overall have been mixed the first two games of the Cooper-era, but he has been consistently good in both match-ups.
Defensively the Cowboys continued to impress last week, though "cornerback opposite of Byron Jones" is quickly becoming a potential need. Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith stole the show last Sunday, and both the present and the future of the Cowboys' linebacking corps is strong. It could be argued the Cowboys have yet to see a passing attack like the one Atlanta brings, however, making Sunday a big test for them defensively.
Similar to the Cowboys, Atlanta has been very much up-and-down this season. In a way, though, they are just the opposite-day Cowboys, with their offense putting up insane numbers most weeks and their banged up defense often letting them down.
Though it looked like they were turning it around in recent weeks, Atlanta had probably their most disappointing loss in quite some time, losing at Cleveland to the young Browns. Still, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones lead a prolific passing attack which can strike fear in any defense.
Byron Jones and company will have their hands full with the Falcons' cast of skill players on Sunday, and as usual, stopping their passing attack will all begin up front with the pass rush. Hopefully Randy Gregory can build on his week 10 performance to produce even more results this week.
- Surprisingly, the score total has now hit the over 4 of the Cowboys' last 6 games.
- The Cowboys are 2-5 against the spread their last 7 games against the Falcons.
- The Cowboys are also 2-4 against the spread their last games at Atlanta.
- Dallas is just 1-4 straight up on the road this season.
- The score total has gone over 4 of Atlanta's last 5 home games.
- The Falcons are just 2-5 against the spread their last 7 games.
Who the hell knows, man.
This team is incredibly difficult to project week to week, probably about as volatile as they've been since all those 8-8 seasons. This line started at Cowboys +4.5 and has since moved down to just +3, meaning they are valued as a pick 'em on a neutral field.
Given how inconsistent, yet talented, both teams are this line feels exactly right. I'll take the Cowboys and the points because why not? I expect this to be a tight game throughout, and could come down to the kicking game in the fourth quarter.
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