When a 6-1 team hosts a 2-5 team, there really isn't much of a question which team is the favorite. And so it doesn't come as much of a surprise to find that the 6-1 Cowboys are 9.5-point favorites against the 2-5 Redskins. But is a 9.5-point spread too much?
Not if you listen to what some of the people getting paid for their opinions are predicting for the Monday Night Football game.
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News
||42-17||Yes, we know when these archrivals meet in prime time, you’re supposed to "throw out the records." But we’ve seen these archrivals play a lot of football so far, and we refuse to do that. The Redskins have a cute storyline of Colt McCoy, not Robert Griffin III, returning to the Lone Star State to start against the Cowboys. That’s about it. Washington might stop the run early, but it will be worn down in time. In the meantime, Tony Romo and his inside route receivers will dismantle the Redskins' secondary, which won’t have the benefit of Brian Orakpo’s pass rush anymore. Big D delivers a big blowout.|
Greg Cote, Miami Herald
||34-16||Monday stage sets up as the coronation for symbolic return of America’s Team. This is 16th MNF meeting for Cowboys-Skins; only Broncos-Raiders (17) have taken this stage more. Washington can pull a huge upset if Colt McCoy has a heroic first start in three years and if a decent Skins run-D ends DeMarco Murray’s 100-yard streak – but those are big ifs. (Rumors of an RG3 return from injury are doubtful). I’d sooner see a Dallas rout. Washers are 0-3 on road and have lost eight straight division games.|
Peter Schrager, Foxsports
||34-23||If Colt McCoy goes on Monday, I wouldn't expect him to falter. Asked why he's a different player than he was when he started in Cleveland a few years back, the former Texas star said, "I would say I'm older, maybe a little bit stronger. I think I've learned from my past experiences and watched a lot of good quarterbacks play and hopefully by doing that you naturally gain a little bit of confidence even though you're standing on the sidelines." McCoy will keep his team in this one, but I fear the defense can't stop that Dallas run game. Will DeMarco Murray be upright come December? I don't know. But in late October, he's looking unstoppable.|
|Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk||31-13||Is Colt McCoy the answer? Of course not. Stop asking stupid questions. The Cowboys will roll.|
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
||31-16||Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, it doesn’t matter. The Cowboys may cool off by the time it really counts, but they’re the hottest team in football for now.|
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com
||30-14||Dallas is 6-1 and rolling. The Redskins, meanwhile, don't know who their quarterback is just yet. Will we see Colt McCoy again? Or will Robert Griffin III return this week? Last year in this matchup, Griffin looked like a guy who had not fully recovered from knee surgery. When he has played, his footwork has been all over the place; he isn't often driving the ball. During the preseason, Griffin was not stepping into passes, instead flinging the ball across his body. I'm thinking of Browns cornerback Joe Haden sitting on an out route and watching the pass flutter right into his belly.
Washington's run game hasn't been reliable, either, as Alfred Morris simply hasn't been breaking tackles like normal. He's hovering around 60 yards per game and 3.8 per carry. DeMarco Murray is more than doubling that yardage. And as for Tony Romo? No. 9 is straight dealin' for the host Cowboys.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
||27-17||The Redskins will either have Robert Griffin III back this week or it's Colt McCoy. That's not exactly how you want to try and keep up with the Dallas offense. I also think the Cowboys defense is playing much better. Dallas easily.|
|Sam Farmer, LA Times||24-20||The Cowboys should win, but don't count out the Redskins. Their receivers can cause problems if Colt McCoy can get the ball to them. The Cowboys defense plays hard but isn't stocked.|
The national pick 'em panels below also don't leave any doubt about who the favorite for this game is.
|USA Today||7||0||.640 (32-18)|
|NFL Around The League||5||0||.600 (21-14)|
|Pro Football Focus||8||0||.559 (33-26)|
|SB Nation||7||0||.531 (26-23)|
|Dallas Morning News||9||0||.524 (33-30)|
With such overwhelming odds in favor of the Cowboys, the game would have likely ended up a nailbiter for the inconsistent Cowboys of years past. Is this year's team different, and can they put away the Redskins as quickly and as decisively as the expert opinions above suggest they will?