Will the Cowboys' wide receivers again have reason to celebrate on Sunday?
The Cowboys are three-point favorites on the road in Seattle, with the over/under set at 41.5. We already know who the BTB writers think will win the game, what's left is to check what the experts - and I'm using this word loosely - predict for Sunday's game against the Seahawks.
The Cowboys are well rested after opening last Wednesday. That will help for this trip. Dallas really impressed against the Giants, and now must go on the road again. But the rest helps ease that. The Seahawks looked good on defense in their opener, and will present a challenge for the Cowboys. But I think the Dallas front will pressure Russell Wilson, forcing a turnover or two.
Much more after the break.
The Miami Herald's Greg Cote has the Cowboys edging the Seahawks: Cowboys 24 - Seahawks 18.
Waiting 11 days to play again might not be a great thing for Dallas after that emotional win at NYG. Plus Seahawks tend to be appreciably different (better) at home, so give ’em a very large upset shot here. I can’t find the trigger, though. I like Dallas beating that SEA offensive line and living in the pocket of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
Peter King picks the Cowboys 24-13 over the Seahawks.
In the first crack in the Russell Wilson mania sweeping Seattle, here's an interesting note from former NFL quarterback Hugh Millen on KJR in Seattle, from Millen's study of the all-22 tape: Of Wilson's 34 passes at Arizona last week, eight times he definitely threw to the wrong receiver (by Millen's estimation), and on six additional passes he thinks most offensive coordinators would say Wilson made the wrong decision. So that's 14 of 34 throws Millen believes Wilson chose the wrong target. Not good. Dallas' pass rush and improved secondary won't help this week.
NFL.com's Albert Breer also has the Cowboys ahead in a low-scoring affair: Cowboys 19 - Seahawks 13
The Seattle Seahawks' defense is, like the unit in Arizona, better than most realize and will give Tony Romo fits. But the Dallas Cowboys' corners will make things tough on Seattle's receivers and Russell Wilson.
Profootballtalk's two writers both like the Cowboys.
Michael Smith's pick: Cowboys 21, Seahawks 6: Russell Wilson struggled against the Cardinals’ defense, and he’s going to struggle again against an athletic Cowboys defense that can limit Wilson’s mobility. The fans in Seattle may be calling for Matt Flynn soon.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 24, Seahawks 13. Tony Romo returns to Seattle for the first time since he fumbled the snap on a field goal that would have secured a win in his first career playoff game. This time around, the defense will be the difference, especially since the Seahawks’ receivers are banged up.
What If Sport's simulation engine has the Cowboys favored in this matchup:
No matter the dexterity of the defense, the onus of the team's destiny will fall on Tony Romo and the offense. After succumbing to several high-profile collapses last year, Romo looked hell-bent on erasing those nightmares, submitting one of his best games in his career by hitting 22-of-29 targets for 307 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Helping his cause were the contributions from running back DeMarco Murray (20 rushes, 131 yards) and receiver Kevin Ogletree (eight catches, 114 yards, two touchdowns), but if Romo can display comparable composure in the pocket in 2012, the sky is the limit for Dallas.
So who wins this skirmish in Seattle? According to the award-winning WhatIfSports.com engine, the Cowboys win 68.1 percent of the time by an average score of 22-16. For the rest of this week's projections, check below:
Sam Farmer from the LA Times predicts a Cowboys win: Cowboys 23 - Seahawks 18.
Tony Romo makes first trip to Seattle since botching hold in 2007 playoff loss. Cowboys riding high after beating Giants and have had extra time to scheme for rookie QB Russell Wilson.
The New York Times' Fifth Down Blog, likes the Cowboys.
All of the drama of whether Jason Witten would be available proved irrelevant when Tony Romo targeted him just three times in a win over the Giants. Romo spread the ball around but largely focused on Kevin Ogletree, who garnered 11 targets, catching eight passes and taking two in for touchdowns. It was enough to make Cowboys fans forget Laurent Robinson ever left.
There could be more where that came from against the Seahawks, who were unable to beat the Cardinals last week and will not only have to face Romo but also running back DeMarco Murray. Of the five rookie quarterbacks who started in Week 1, Russell Wilson of the Seahawks was not nearly the worst, a distinction that went to Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden, but he did little to justify his preseason hype.
After the 12-man (and two projections) panel of national ESPN experts unanimously picked the Giants to win last week, they are crowding the Dallas bandwagon right now. Only Mark Schlereth and Cris Carter are picking the Seahawks this week, so the tally here is 12-2 in the Cowboys' favor.
The seven USAToday panelists have the Cowboys as unanimous favorites.
Yahoosport's three columnists favor the Cowboys 2-1, and the Yahoo users like the Cowboys as well.
Pro Football Focus is 7-1 in favor of the Cowboys.
Foxsport's writers also like the Cowboys 3-1.
For the ''Inside The NFL' crew, Phil Sims and Cris Collinsworth both predict a Cowboys win.
The ESPNDallas crew, after favoring the Giants 9-3 last week, come down a unanimous 12-0 in favor of the Cowboys.
Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram sees the Cowboys taking this one 28-10.
So there you have it. Of the predictions polled, 60 like the Cowboys for the win and only 9 like the Seahawks. And our own eight-man BTB writers panel adds another eight votes for the Cowboys. Is this just a little too much bandwagoning?
Interestingly, of the eight experts above who predicted a specific score, six stay below the over/under of 41.5, which of course makes it pretty likely that the exact opposite will happen.
What's your prediction for the game?