Everybody knows that the Seahawks will beat the Cowboys on Sunday. At least that's what our selection of experts believe, as they almost unanimously favor of Seattle.
In fact, the mere suggestion that the Cowboys could come away with an upset win draws derisive sneers not just from non-Cowboys fans.
But the accuracy of the experts in predicting the outcome of Cowboys games has been spotty at best so far this season. Over five games, the pick 'em panels we regularly monitor have a 185-136 record (.576) of accurately predicting Cowboys games. If you had simply picked the Cowboys to win every game, you'd be batting .800 right now, and any accusations of homerism would bounce off of you like a pebble thrown at Ayers Rock.
Upsets happen every week in the NFL, why not on Sunday in Seattle? And if not an upset, perhaps a close game? Our divisional friends from the Giants SB Nation blog Big Blue View like the Cowboys' chances of covering the spread:
Clearly the Seahawks are one of the best teams in the league, and nearly unbeatable at home, but the Cowboys are a solid team too, not only that both teams have dangerous running games, and when the running games get going it can chew through the clock a lot faster and shorten the game. Shorter game could mean less points and more likely the Cowboys cover the spread. Of course I could be over thinking this, but I don't think the Seahawks offense is so great that it'll take advantage of the Cowboys weakest squad, but I do think the Cowboys have enough firepower to keep the game close.
The published opinions polled below leave no doubt whatsoever about the outcome of the game.
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News
||31-27||When Tony Romo throws often to his left to Dez Bryant, guess who won’t be on the Cowboys’ most dangerous receiver? The chance to get Bryant on Byron Maxwell, plus Dallas’ offensive line holding ground against Seattle’s pass rush, will allow Romo to make a few big plays here. As long as he doesn’t hold for field goals again, the mistakes should be limited — there’s nothing like away-friendly AT&T Stadium to prepare him for a hostile road environment.
That sets up a shootout in which the Seahawks’ offense will be the bigger problem for the Cowboys. Big D has done a lot of bending without breaking, but Marshawn Lynch is the type who can break them. It’s a short week, but you can bet Russell Wilson is ready to get back out there and dazzle after his Monday night masterpiece. Much like Cowboys-Broncos last season and Seahawks-Broncos this season, this is a Sunday classic.
|Sam Farmer, LA Times||31-24||The Cowboys aren't going to be able to run on Seattle the way they've trampled some teams. Hard to pick against the Seahawks at home. Russell Wilson is an elite playmaker and shows it each week.|
|Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk||31-20||The Cowboys are a lot better than anyone expected, but they’re not good enough to win in Seattle. The Seahawks’ defense isn’t playing quite as well as last year, but the offense is even better.|
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com
||28-17||This game will be extremely close early on, with the host Seahawks pulling away late in the third quarter. Look, Seattle is a great team, there's no doubt about it. But the defense will have its hands full with that Cowboys offensive line, which is a far cry from the Redskins unit the Seahawks faced last Monday. Dallas left tackle Tyron Smith isn't backing down against anyone; neither is Travis Frederick or Zack Martin. I freaking love ProFootballFocus.com, but I think the site's rating of the Cowboys' O-line is low. League-leading running back DeMarco Murray ain't league-leading running back DeMarco Murray without that group.
Murray's Seattle counterpart, Marshawn Lynch (ranked No. 1 by ProFootballFocus.com), has been awesome despite working with less stellar play up front, as has quarterback Russell Wilson. Thinking the Cowboys have trouble, personnel-wise, stopping the read option, as well as Wilson's keepers.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald
||27-23||Seattle has won 19 of its past 20 home games, and by an average margin of 15.6 points. Richard Sherman vs. Dez Bryant is this game’s marquee matchup, but how the ‘Hawks run-D limits DeMarco Murray may steer the result even more. Murray is first RB since O.J. Simpson in 1975 to start a season with five straight 100-yard games, but doubt he reaches six. Respecting NFL’s best home-field advantage here, but also hunching ‘Boys keep it close.|
Peter Schrager, Foxsports
||27-23||I love what the Cowboys are doing this year, can’t get enough of their offensive line’s dominance in the trenches, and think Rod Marinelli is making opposing offenses look foolish with his looks and schemes. But I can’t pick against the Seahawks in Seattle. Not when Russell Wilson is playing the way he’s playing and not when this team is seemingly healthy across the board. How good are the Seahawks? They committed 13 penalties on Monday night and I still left FedEx Field thinking they were one of the most disciplined, balanced teams I’ve ever seen. It’s a game Sunday, yes. But it’s a Seahawks win.|
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
||27-17||Russell Wilson did some impressive things against the Redskins on Monday night, and Seattle is even better at home. The Cowboys have a top offense, but the problem here will be on defense. Seattle should be able to move the football. Can Dallas keep up? Not in this one.|
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
||27-13||The process of the Cowboys returning to earth begins . . . . now. All the things that have been working against other teams in other venues suddenly won’t be working so well against the Seahawks in Seattle.|
Jarrett Bell, NFL Columnist for USA TODAY Sports and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, is the only member of the 65-strong pick'em panels below to have picked the Cowboys. Monster bragging rights await Bell if the Cowboys should win.
|NFL Around The League||0||5||.680 (17-8)|
|USA Today||1||6||.666 (24-12)|
|Pro Football Focus||0||8||.610 (25-16)|
|SB Nation||0||7||.543 (19-16)|
|Dallas Morning News||0||9||.533 (24-21)|
With the exception of Bell, the pundits all agree that the Cowboys have no chance on Sunday. Do you? Or is it "any given Sunday" for every team in the league except Dallas?