This season's business of constantly jumping on and off the Cowboys bandwagon is getting very tedious. Last week, every single voter on the many panels and pick 'ems we regularly review in our weekly "Expert" post had the Cowboys winning over the Redskins - as did most fans. But that didn't happen, and now we sort through the rubble to figure out if here are any opinions out there worth anything, because the Experts we review have had a really hard time predicting the outcomes of Cowboys games better than a flip of the coin can.
Let's see what they have in store for the Cowboys this week.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald (6-2)
||28-23||A Game of the Week nominee, this matchup is the Cards’ best shot in a while to end their 14-game losing streak in Dallas. Medium-large upset shot. That’s especially with questions about Tony Romo’s back, although the pick here assumes he’s fine and starts. Romo would play in a full body cast to get at a Cacti defense giving up 303 pass-yards a game, most in the league. Predicting DeMarco Murray’s run of 100-yard games ends, though.|
Peter Schrager, Foxsports (5-3)
||27-22||If the playoffs were to start today (note to readers: THEY DON'T), the Arizona Cardinals would be the No. 1 seed in the NFC, with a bye in the wild card round and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Monday night was bad for the Cowboys. Not only did they see Tony Romo's on the ground, but they lost starting linebacker Justin Durant for the season with a torn biceps. Durant, the team's leading tackler, had been one of the main reasons the defense has been so good, despite losing linebacker Sean Lee in camp. Folks might not think the Cardinals are ready for the big stage, but I can't pick against them. Not with that defense, and not with what we saw from Romo in Monday night's final few drives.|
Vinny Iyer, Sporting News (5-3)
The Cowboys could run the ball more than usual with DeMarco Murray, but also should be aware Arizona is pretty good at stopping it. They got away from ball control and play action against Washington, and it cost them. They should be better prepared for the blitz, and they need a better Dez Bryant to work over a struggling Patrick Peterson.The Cardinals, however, should like their chances to move the ball just as well with speedy Andre Ellington and their trio of big-play receivers — Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd. They have been the cleaner team and other than the Broncos, the best team in the league. The red-hot Cards keep the Cowboys in the cold for another week before the latter’s trip to London
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (4-4)
||30-28||The Cowboys are coming off a bad loss Monday night against the Redskins. Plus, there are now questions about Tony Romo's back. That's not a good thing readying to play Todd Bowles and his blitzing defense. The Cardinals have the best record in the NFC. They will leave that way too. Cardinals take it.|
Sam Farmer, LA Times (4-4)
||24-21||The Cardinals have a defense that can slow down the run enough to beat Dallas, and Tony Romo won't be at 100% mobility-wise. Cracks starting to form in Cowboys defense.|
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk (4-4)
||21-17||The Cardinals haven’t gotten nearly the respect they deserve. That ends here. Despite the injuries, the suspension, the defections, and the Super Bowl hosting jinx, the Cardinals keep winning. With or without Tony Romo, the Cardinals will be ready to do something they haven’t done since the 1998 playoffs — outscore the Cowboys in Dallas.|
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com (3-5)
||26-23||Can Carson Palmer put together four productive quarters for the Cardinals? Can Tony Romo stay upright for four quarters for the host Cowboys? Romo was walking around between plays during overtime of Monday's loss to the Redskins like that Spartan who switched sides in "300" ... Gollum looked more mobile. And, like Aaron Rodgers with a tweaked hamstring, Romo was doing his best Tim Wakefield impression. If Romo can't get any juice on his fastball, the club must turn to Brandon Weeden. And maybe run DeMarco Murray until the De falls off and he's just Marco Murray. Thinking Dallas' nickel and dime coverage will have trouble with Arizona receiver John Brown. You can expect Cards back Andre Ellington to get 20 touches after what Alfred Morris did against the Cowboys on Monday (85 total yards and a touchdown).|
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk (3-5)
||21-20||I wish I knew for sure when picking this game whether or not Tony Romo will play, but even if Romo can’t play I lean toward the Cowboys controlling things offensively thanks to their great offensive line and MVP candidate DeMarco Murray.|
John Breech, CBS Sports (3-5)
||27-20||The two quarterbacks in this game have something weird in common: They're No. 1 and No. 2 in NFL history when it comes to most losses by a quarterback who throws for 400-yards or more in a game. Carson Palmer has lost six games where he throws for 400 or more yards while Tony Romo has lost five of those games. Obviously, one of the quarterbacks in this game is going to throw for 400-yards and that quarterback is going to lose. I'm guessing Palmer hits the 400-yard mark|
Not really sure what to make of this. The most accurate Cowboys results predictor, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, as well as the worst three predictors all favor the Cowboys, the others like the Cardinals for the win. Perhaps we can get more clarity from our selection of pick 'em panels:
|USA Today||2||5||.561 (32-25)|
|NFL Around The League||2||3||.525 (21-19)|
|Pro Football Focus||7||1||.493 (33-34)|
|SB Nation||4||3||.464 (26-30)|
|Dallas Morning News||3||6||.458 (33-39)|
Summing up all the predictions we've polled above, the Cowboys look like underdogs at home, even though the Vegas line favors them by -3.5 points.
So what? Anything can happen when the Cowboys play. When they are overwhelming favorites, they lose a close game against Washington; when nobody gives them a chance, they travel to Seattle and win; when they're underdogs at home, they beat the Saints by 21 points.
(Published) public opinion slightly favors the Cardinals in a close game, so I'm expecting a blowout. What does your crystal ball tell you about the game?