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Giants @ Cowboys Expert Picks: "Don't Eat The Cheese."

We take a look at what some of the people getting paid for their opinions are predicting for the Cowboys' first divisional game of the year.

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Last night, the 4-2 Patriots were 9.5-point favorites at home over the visiting 1-5 Jets. 295 of 300 participants in our weekly Pick 256 Contest picked the Patriots over the Jets. Yet the Patriots needed a blocked field goal attempt on the final play of the game the secure a 27-25 win over the lowly Jets.

The Cowboys are 6.5-point home favorites against the Giants on Sunday, and as you'll see further below, almost everybody is picking the Cowboys for the win. But just like the heavily favored Patriots found out against the Jets, you can't take anything for granted in the NFL - especially not a divisional matchup.

Bill Parcells used to say "Don't eat the cheese," when things were going well and he didn't want his players to take their success for granted, or to read about their success and get overconfident.

The Giants have always been a tough matchup for the Cowboys, irrespective of each team's record and irrespective of where each team was ranked in that particular week's power rankings, as this tweet by David Helman from shows:

More often than not, winning in the NFL comes down to a few plays, and there's a good chance we could see that happening on Sunday as well

"It’s not easy to win football games," says Peyton Manning of the 4-1 Denver Broncos. "I learned long ago to never take winning for granted. It’s tough to win in the NFL."

Warnings about cheese notwithstanding, here's what some of the people getting paid for their opinions are predicting for the Cowboys' first divisional game of the year.

Pick Score Comment
Peter Schrager, Foxsports
Dal_medium 30-17 Rashad Jennings will miss another game on Sunday, as he's already been ruled out for this one. DeMarco Murray, meanwhile, continues to roll. I'm not sure why a guy like Joseph Randle, making nearly $500,000, would shoplift cologne and underwear, but I'm also not one to judge. I don't see that situation serving as a distraction and I don't see this Cowboys resurgence slowing down anytime soon.
Elliot Harrison,
Dal_medium 30-26 This feels like a game that the Giants can win; after all, Eli Manning has thrown multiple touchdown passes in four of his five starts at JerrahWorld. That said, we're choosing to trust Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, whose unit -- which allowed the Seahawks to gain all of 206 yards in last week's win -- has surpassed all expectations this season
Sam Farmer, LA Times Dal_medium 28-14 The Cowboys are playing with as much confidence as anybody in the league. Rookie Odell Beckham could have a good game for Giants, but losing Victor Cruz really hurts this team.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Dal_medium 27-17 The Giants are 4-1 at Jerryworld. The Cowboys are 5-1. But these aren’t the same old Cowboys who have dropped four of five at home against their rivals from New York. And these Giants aren’t the team that recently won three in a row, especially with Victor Cruz done for the year and Rashad Jennings gone for now.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald
Dal_medium 27-23 Dallas hit a high last week by winning at Seattle, while NYG hit a low with a shutout loss in which the line gave up eight sacks and top WR Victor Cruz was injured. Expect a leveling here, a meeting in the middle. Cowboys won’t be as good as last week, or Giants as bad. DAL is off to its best start since 2007 and swept this division series last year but both games were close, and I expect the same.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Dal_medium 27-24 This is huge for both teams. The Cowboys are riding high after beating the Seahawks last week. The Giants are coming off a horrible loss and are in their second consecutive road division game. That's tough and they'll keep it close, but come up short.
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News
Dal_medium 24-20 There will be a tendency to think the Giants will have no chance in another division road game. After all the Cowboys just beat the mighty Seahawks in Seattle and the Giants lost an ugly shutout and top wide receiver Victor Cruz in Philadelphia. But no matter what’s been around Eli Manning, they always are dangerous in AT&T Stadium — where they were 4-0 before losing last season. He tends to save his best for Dallas week when New York needs him to dig deep. That said, even if Eli and Tony Romo play to a draw, the Giants’ reeling run defense won’t be the one to slow down DeMarco Murray. They fight not to fall further back in the race, but the game will just look closer than it really will be.
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk Dal_medium 20-10 The Cowboys’ defense is far from great, but it’s much improved from last year, and it should be able to shut down the Giants, whose offense is struggling. DeMarco Murray will have another big game as the Cowboys play ball control in the second half.

The national panels have had a very hard time picking Cowboys games correctly, collectively not even breaking .500 in their pick accuracy. That does not compare favorably to the BTB writers panel, which is breezing along with a .833 prediction accuracy.

Site Cowboys Giants Cowboys Season
Pick Accuracy
USA Today 7 0 .581 (25-18)
NFL Around The League 4 1 .567 (17-13)
ESPN 12 1 .500 (39-39)
Pro Football Focus 8 0 .490 (25-26)
CBSSports 6 2 .480 (24-26)
Foxsports 2 2 .455 (10-12)
SB Nation 7 0 .452 (19-23)
Dallas Morning News 9 0 .444 (24-30)
Yahoosports 2 0 .333 (4-8)
Total 57 6 .489 (185-193)

Last week, the prediction from these same panels was 64-1 in favor of the Seahawks, but that didn't help the Seahawks very much. There's a lesson in there somewhere ...

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