Cowboys @ Redskins Expert Picks: Who's Picking The Cowboys?

Rob Carr

A sampling of picks made for Sunday's game shows that public opinion favors the Cowboys slightly. But will it really be the high-scoring game some of the experts suggest it will be?

The Cowboys are 3-point favorites on Sunday against the Redskins in Washington. You'd think that most experts would side with the Cowboys with those odds, but that's not the case. Of the 11 experts we regularly poll in this space, five like the Redskins for the win.

Jerry Jones said today that he anticipates a high-scoring game Sunday in Washington. In Jones’ words, “We better plan on some points going up.” The over/under for the game is set at a relatively high 53.5, the second highest highest value on Sunday, indicating that a fairly high-scoring affair is expected. Of course, that just makes it more likely that the exact opposite will happen. Such is the way of the expert predictions this season with regards to the Dallas Cowboys.

Here's what our panel thinks will happen on Sunday afternoon:

Name (Cowboys accuracy)
Pick Score Comment
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk
(10-4)
Dal_medium 34-20 Dallas’s D is terrible, but Washington is terrible on offense, defense, and special teams. Advantage: Cowboys.
Don Banks, SI.com
(10-4)
Dal_medium 34-24 Fun times in D.C. and Big D. Somebody get a picture of Mike Shanahan and Jason Garrett together in the pregame, because you just don't know if they'll both be around for another installment in this once-storied NFC East rivalry.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports
(9-5)
Was_medium 34-27 The Dysfunction Bowl! I know Washington's lost seven of their last eight games, but I can't take the Cowboys on the road in December with any sort of conviction. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 4,345 times, shame on me.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
(9-5)
Was_medium 35-31 The Cowboys are coming apart, and the Redskins have nothing to lose. Especially since they’ve already lost their first-round draft pick, which belongs to the Rams. Kirk Cousins riddles the Dallas defense and London Fletcher lifts the Washington defense in his final home game.
The Other ESPN Guy (9-5) Was_medium 27-24 This is the first time in a while I've picked the Redskins and am only doing so because the Dallas defense is really bad right now. If the Redskins don't turn it over -- and Cousins needs to prove he can play full games without doing so -- then they'll be fine. The Redskins' defense typically does well against Romo.
Sam Farmer, L.A. Times (9-5) Dal_medium 28-24 Although they’re coming off a crushing defeat, the Cowboys still have an ad-vantage in terms of incentive. Now they need their lousy defense to hold up against a talented Kirk Cousins.
Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas (9-5) Was_medium 24-20 There's just too much negative vibes for the Cowboys entering this game. The defense can't stop anybody and will be facing a backup quarterback for the fourth straight game. The offense should be better and more consistent but has not been able to produce much versus Jim Haslett over the years. And Dwayne Harris, who basically won the first meeting with his returns, is not expected to play. So the Redskins will be able to continue the Cowboys misery.
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News
(9-5)
Dal_medium 26-23 Kirk Cousins woke up the Redskins’ offense, but it still didn’t add up to victory in Atlanta. Let’s hope the running game (no fumbles) and defense give him a little better support here, given they have the chance to keep the hated Cowboys out of the playoffs. Dallas, however, is due for a big rebound after a big meltdown, as usual, and matches up well with Washington across the board. The offenses may play to a draw, but there’s a huge edge on special teams.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
(8-6)
Dal_medium 35-30 This will be the Redskins' Super Bowl. They would like nothing more than to knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs. It will be up to Kirk Cousins to do it. He had a good game last week, and the Cowboys are bad on defense. But I see Tony Romo quieting his critics here. Cowboys win a shootout.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com
(8-6)
Dal_medium 30-24 Maybe offensive coordinator and play-caller Bill Callahan won't let his apparent disdain for DeMarco Murray surface; maybe he'll actually hand the guy the rock in the second half. Of course, that's all fine and good -- until the defense starts giving up gobs of yards to the Redskins' offense. Some might debate me on this, but Kirk Cousins -- turnovers or no -- is a better passer than Robert Griffin III. Now, the question is, how effective will Washington's Alfred Morris- and Roy Helu-led ground game be? With Sean Lee not likely to be manning the middle for the Cowboys, the Redskins' running backs versus the Dallas front seven is the key matchup to watch
Greg Cote, Miami Herald
(7-7)
Was_medium 34-27 Dallas somehow wins the sad NFC East if it finishes 2-0, but how can a team that blows a 26-3 halftime lead to Green Bay deserve such a thing? Cowboys have allowed a league-worst 35.2 points over the past five games. Redskins have lost six in a row and lost first game to Dallas, 31-16, but I’m rolling with Kirk Cousins and a home-’dog upset.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/20/3828604/greg-cotes-week-15-nfl-picks.html#storylink=cpy

Many sites publish their picks without providing any specific commentary. The picks on those sites favor the Cowboys a lot more:

Rank (LW) Site Cowboys Redskins Cowboys Season
Pick Accuracy
1 (1) Yahoosports 2 0 .750 (21-7)
2 (2) Pro Football Focus 8 0 .714 (80-32)
3 (3) USA Today 5 2 .684 (67-31)
4 (4) Dallas Morning News 5 3 .675 (77-37)
5 (5) ESPN 8 5 .667 (130-65)
6 (6) CBSSports 7 2 .618 (76-47)
7 (7) NFL Around The League 5 0 .594 (41-28)
8 (8) Foxsports 1 1 .589 (33-23)
9 (9) Inside the NFL 2 1 .531 (17-15)
- - SB Nation 5 1 - -
Total 48 15 .655 (542-285)

Overall, the Cowboys look like the favorites on Sunday, but will the game really be the high-scoring affair Jerry Jones and some of the experts suggest it will be?

Weigh in with your opinion in the comments section.

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