Cowboys vs. Packers Expert Picks: A 50-Burger In Dallas?

Ronald Martinez

A sampling of picks made for Sunday's Packers @ Cowboys game suggests the Cowboys are strong home favorites, but will it be the high-scoring game many observers expect?

According to Football Outsiders' DVOA rankings, Green Bay is the second worst defense in the league. But that's no consolation for the Cowboys defense, which ranks just one spot ahead of the Packers in the 30th spot. Here's how Football Outsiders rank both teams in all three phases through Week 14:

Team Offense Defense Special teams
Dallas 8th 30th 8th
Green Bay
10th 31th 21th

Two top ten offenses matched up with two of the worst defenses in the league? That smells distinctly like a 50-burger is on the menu on Sunday afternoon in Dallas. If these numbers are anything to go by, special teams may make the difference in a high-scoring contest.

The eleven experts we poll below aren't so sure. Seven see the combined score exceeding 50 points, four don't see that happening. Here's what our panel thinks will happen on Sunday afternoon:

Name (Cowboys accuracy)
Pick Score Comment
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk
(10-3)
Dal_medium 31-28
The Packers are pessimistic about Aaron Rodgers‘ chances, and that makes me pessimistic about the Packers’ chances. Although the Cowboys’ defense is bad enough that a Matt Flynn-led Packers offense can score some points on them, the Packers’ defense is every bit as bad, and a Tony Romo-led Cowboys offense will score more.
Don Banks, SI.com
(10-3)
Dal_medium 27-17
I would have gone with Green Bay in this near elimination game of NFC playoff hopefuls if the signs pointed to Aaron Rodgers finally returning from the broken left collarbone he suffered in Week 9. But No. 12 still seems to be a long shot to be cleared medically in time for the game.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports
(9-4)
Dal_medium 34-23
The Cowboys used to always give Brett Favre fits. He'd win everywhere else then come to Big D and get slammed. Like clockwork. Every year. Well, Matt Flynn is not Brett Favre and this Cowboys defense isn't starring Charles Haley, Jim Jeffcoat, or Ken Norton, Jr. But I like Tony Romo to get the best of the Packers in this one.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
(9-4)
Dal_medium 27-14
Jerry Jones said there’s no one he’d rather have running his defense than Monte Kiffin. Maybe Jones meant to say he’d rather have no one running his defense than Kiffin. Anyone could coordinate the Cowboys defense to hold down the Packers, if they again don’t have Aaron Rodgers.
The Other ESPN Guy (9-4) Dal_medium 30-23
Everyone watched the Bears' backup quarterback torch the Cowboys on Monday night, which has to make Matt Flynn feel good if he starts again for Aaron Rodgers. But considering the Packers have exactly one victory without Rodgers, it's awfully hard to imagine them going on the road and beating a playoff contender unless he plays.
Sam Farmer, L.A. Times (9-4) Dal_medium 28-20
Both teams are desperate for a win. If Aaron Rodgers can’t play, Matt Flynn will be hard-pressed to pick up a win in Dallas, even against the bottom-of-the-barrel defense of the Cowboys.
Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas (9-4) Dal_medium 33-27
The Cowboys are 5-1 at AT&T Stadium and had put up more than 30 points in five of those games. They were "held" to 27 in the other. If the Cowboys don't score 30 in this one, I can't see them winning. Not the way the defense has performed. Look for Tony Romo to bust out and have a big day as the Cowboys stay in the chase.
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News
(9-4)
Dal_medium 24-17
The Packers just don’t win at Dallas, and any chance of turning that tide is lost with Aaron Rodgers set to miss another game. Although the Packers got their first non-Rodgers win of the season vs. Atlanta, Dallas, even with its defensives issue, is an excellent home team, only losing in the Denver shootout. The Cowboys still aren’t quite lighting it up to better protect that D, but the newfound commitment to running DeMarco Murray pays off here. If Rodgers fill-in Matt Flynn can’t lean on a healthy Eddie Lacy, that will make Tony Romo’s job even easier.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
(8-5)
Dal_medium 38-35
Will it be Aaron Rodgers under center for the Packers? If it is, and I think it will be, I like the Packers to score a bunch. But the Cowboys will get theirs as well. This will be an offensive shootout. Cowboys take it in a close one.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com
(8-5)
Dal_medium 34-27
If Matt Flynn plays well, this could be Green Bay's game. But don't get us wrong: Tony Romo, who has been outstanding, can keep Dallas in it, as long as the line picks up blitzes and Terrance Williams fights for the ball when it counts. Romo also will have the advantage of facing the NFL's 25th-ranked run defense with a healthy and confident DeMarco Murray. And there's your difference in this all-important contest.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald
(7-6)
Dal_medium 31-27
Game was off betting boards into Thursday because of the questionable status of Pack QB Aaron Rodgers, who seemed more and more likely to sit out once again, meaning more Matt Flynn in a game with large playoff ramifications on both sides. Give Cheesers a big chance wih the way Dallas' defense has played lately, but make it a venue pick. Cows are 5-1 at home; Gee Bees 2-4 away. Pack's only other game in Dallas' new stadium was a Super Bowl win Feb. 6, 2011. They won't leave as happy this time.

That's a unanimous vote in favor of the Cowboys, and our pick'em panels are equally strong in declaring the Cowboys the favorites for this game.

Rank (LW) Site Cowboys Packers Cowboys Season
Pick Accuracy
1 (1) Yahoosports 2 0 .808 (21-5)
2 (3) Pro Football Focus 6 2 .750 (78-26)
3 (2) USA Today 7 0 .736 (67-24)
4 (5) Dallas Morning News 6 2 .708 (75-31)
5 (4) ESPN 11 3 .702 (127-54)
6 (7) CBSSports 7 2 .649 (74-40)
7 (8) NFL Around The League 5 0 .641 (41-23)
8 (6) Foxsports 4 0 .635 (33-19)
9 (9) Inside the NFL 3 0 .586 (17-12)
- - SB Nation 4 2 - -
Total 55 11 .695 (533-234)

In the five home games in Dallas this year, the combined score has reached 50 or more points three times, and the Cowboys have put up at least 27 points in each game. The line is currently set at 49 points, would you take the Over or the Under in this game?

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