The Cowboys - Texans game on Sunday has already been dubbed the 'Battle of Texas' in some quarters. Obviously, it's an important game for the Cowboys. We already know who the BTB writers think will win the game, now we look at who other news outlets and blogs pick to win the game.
The battle of Texas is a survival game for the Cowboys. They can't afford to go to 0-3. That will make them the more hungry team here. Is it enough against a good Houston team that proved a lot in coming back from 17 down to win at Washington? I say the Cowboys get it going. They will outscore the Texans to get their first victory.
USAToday's Panel of Pigskin Pundits favors the Cowboys 6-3.
Profootballtalk's Harbingers of Havoc in Houston have the Cowboys 2-0. Mike Florio's pick: Cowboys 24, Texans 20.
Last year, the Cowboys carried a two-game losing streak into a showdown with the undefeated Saints. Few thought the Cowboys could win, but win they did. This year, the Dallas trip to Houston has a similar "correction" feel, with the Cowboys' desperation pushing the coaching staff and the players to reach a level of performance that allows them to get put a "1" where a "0" now resides. Meanwhile, the Texans could be in line for a letdown after Sunday's dramatic, exhausting, and to a certain extent lucky win over the Redskins.
Gregg Rosenthal, one of the other guys at PFT, picks the Cowboys over the Texans 30-28.
America must still love the Cowboys because Dallas is only three-point underdog to the 2-0 Texans. I must love the Cowboys too based on this pick. This is the perfect matchup for Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Dallas can't make adjustments, but they won't need to against a Houston secondary that's been overmatched. Dallas' pass rush can get after Matt Schaub with left tackle Duane Brown suspended. While prone to brain farts, this remains a veteran Cowboys team that knows it can't afford to lose another game.
This is a very, very intriguing match-up. Everybody's 2010 darling, the historically inept Texans, are 2-0; and here comes to town the glitzy cross-state club called America's Team, the 0-2 Cowboys, everybody's favorite whipping boy so far this season.
We actually believe this shapes up as a bad match for the Texans. Dallas is desperate to get its offense in order, and Houston provides just the recipe to make it happen. While everybody is fawning over the Texans, we pointed out this week that they have a critical, gaping flaw in their game: a brutal pass defense (113.4 Defensive Passer Rating). They're also very bad at pressuring quarterbacks, forcing a Negative Pass Play on just 5.0 percent of dropbacks (30th).
Dallas, meanwhile, has suffered just one sack and has averaged a respectable 6.51 Passing YPA, while Romo has thrown two picks in 98 attempts. That's a pretty good protection. The Cowboys will struggle to run the ball, but Romo and the offense break out of their funk and win a shootout.
ESPN's Epiphany Experiencing Experts are split 4-4.
Wade Phillips has been on the hot seat in Dallas since before even taking the job in 2007. The guy I’m wondering about, though, is wunderkind offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The $3 million man completely abandoned the run in Sunday’s loss to the Bears, passing the ball close to 75 percent of the time, despite never trailing by more than 10 points. Unfortunately, the passing attack isn’t clicking. The Texans are playing out of their minds right now. Get ready for a fun bye week filled with Wade Phillips press conferences, screaming talking heads and rumors galore coming out of Dallas. How ‘bout ‘dem Cowboys?
The DMN's Crystal-ball Conjecturing Collective give the Texans a 5-4 edge. Cowlishaw, Fraley, Moore and JJT just scored bonus points in my book for picking the Cowboys.
But don’t take it from me; heed the words of safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who told reporters Monday, ”We look like a circus, like a bunch of clowns out there. Something tells me that, given the obvious stakes, the Cowboys will come out more like evil clowns on Sunday and do everything they can to disturb the mood at Reliant Stadium. I believe this because [...] they've got to win this game.
Desperation will be big motivation for the Cowboys at the home of their intrastate rivals, and they'll come through with a big enough offensive day.
Peter King: Texans 27, Cowboys 24.
Toughest game of the week to call, in part because of the suspension of left tackle Duane Brown of the Texans. Imagine you're Rashad Butler, and you're starting your first NFL game at left tackle, and though you're going to get some help, you've got DeMarcus Ware with the fast-twitch movements coming around the corner for three hours. Yikes. But I'm counting on Arian Foster to eat up the clock and make Ware play run defense more than he'd like.