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Cowboys @ Giants Expert Picks: Cowboys Comfortable As Underdogs

Can the Cowboys get back to their winning ways against the Giants? Divisional games tend not to adhere closely to any set of rules and predictions, but we take a look at what the experts are predicting for Sunday's game anyway.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are slight underdogs heading into the Sunday afternoon game against the Giants. The oddsmakers have the Cowboys as 3.5-point underdogs in New York, which isn't really that much, given that the oddsmakers generally start with a base 3-point advantage for home teams in the NFL. The over/under is set at a moderate 45.5, indicating that about a half dozen touchdowns are to be expected, but perhaps not a blowout.

But divisional games have a way of taking on a life of their own, so pre-game predictions may not mean all that much. Whether or not the experts have a good feel for what will happen on Sunday remains to be seen, but here's what those experts are predicting for the game:

Name (Cowboys Accuracy)
Pick Score Comment
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com (4-1)
28-20 Dallas is currently 2-0 in the NFC East, yet staying undefeated will be awfully difficult, given the Cowboys' QB situation and the fact that the Giants will be highly motivated, fresh off a blowout loss.
Sam Farmer, LA Times (3-2)
31-24 Jerry Jones says that new Cowboys quarterback Matt Cassel will take some chances that Brandon Weeden didn't take. That sounds like a recipe for turnovers. Go with the up-and-down Giants.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk (3-2)
27-20 The Cowboys need this one badly, badly enough to perhaps risk bringing back Dez Bryant before he’s ready. The Giants don’t have the offensive line to buy Eli Manning the time to avoid looking like Peyton.
Michael Smith, Pro Football Talk (3-2)
27-20 Brandon Weeden is out and Matt Cassel is in for the Cowboys, but it won’t make much of a difference, and the Giants will bounce back from an ugly Monday night game to earn an NFC East win.
David Steele, Sporting News (3-2)
33-20 Matt Cassel gets his chance to hold the fort until Tony Romo returns. Expecting him to be better than Brandon Weeden seems logical, but that shouldn't be assumed with this team right now. Good luck guessing which Giants team will show up on any weekend; last Monday in Philadelphia, they showed up for just one possession. This won't raise the prestige of the NFC East much.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald (3-2)
24-20 Tony Romo is out at least another month or so. Dez Bryant is closer but not back yet. But ’Boys should get a lift from veteran QB Matt Cassel (72 career starts) stepping in for Brandon Weeden, who was 0-3 subbing for Romo. Dallas also enjoys the edge of coming in off a bye here, while the Giants played (and badly) Monday night. Cowboys have beaten Biggies five in a row, including Week 1 this year, have won seven consecutive division road games and are 4-1 at NYG under Jason Garrett. "Also, Giants can’t cover Jason Witten," notes the Upset-Bird.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/greg-cote/article41114430.html#storylink=cpy
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (3-2)
30-21 The Giants looked terrible Monday night losing to the Eagles, while the Cowboys are coming off a bye. The Cowboys will turn to Matt Cassel at quarterback to try and spark the offense. I don't think there's much of a change. The Giants will get back to taking care of the football, and Eli Manning will win it with some big throws.
Peter Schrager, Foxsports (2-3)
27-22 The NFC East isn't the best division in football, but it might be the most interesting. Everyone always says Eli Manning "owns" the Cowboys. That's wrong. He's 3-7 in his last 10 against Dallas, and I think Matt Cassel finds a way, here, on Sunday. That's with or without Dez Bryant.

In addition to the selection of experts above who provide a rationale for their picks, many other experts don't provide any specific commentary, and are summarized in the table below:

Site Cowboys Giants Cowboys Season
Pick Accuracy
SB Nation 3 4 .714 (25-10)
NFL Around The League 1 4 .692 (18-8)
Bleacher Report 2 6 .659 (27-14)
CBSSports 2 6 .650 (26-14)
Foxsports 3 4 .622 (23-14)
ESPN 3 10 .615 (40-25)
Dallas Morning News 5 5 .608 (31-20)
NJ.com 2 5 .600 (21-14)
USA Today 2 5 .571 (20-15)
Total 23 49 .633 (231-134)

Overall, the Cowboys are the underdogs in the court of public opinion, a role that has suited them well in the past.

How do you think the game will turn out? Weigh in with your opinion in the comments section below.