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Chiefs @ Cowboys expert picks: “High-octane game” expected in Dallas

A look at what some national pundits are predicting for the game.

Ed. Note - These predictions were made previous to the news that Ezekiel Elliott will be able to play this Sunday. We’ll still publish them for entertainment purposes, but note that most reference his absence, which makes their focus out-of-date.

Sunday game will feature the Chiefs' No. 3 scoring offense (29.5 points per game) versus the Cowboys' No. 5 scoring offense (28.3 points per game). Neither team has consistently impressed with its defensive abilities so far, so there's a good chance we'll see a shootout between these two teams.

Vegas agrees it could be a hot night in Dallas: The over/under for the game currently sits at 51, the highest value of Week 9.

So should we expect a shootout in Dallas?

Miami Herald (Cote): Cowboys 34, Chiefs 31

Betting line swung from Chiefs by 1 to pick-'em to Cowboys by a point – trending Dallas despite the fact that Ezekiel Elliott (finally) will begin serving his six-game suspension Sunday, pending yet another delay on appeal. That means ex-FAU Owl Alfred Morris is in the wings as starting RB for 'Boys. I don't see a huge dropoff, oddly enough. Chiefs will be a bear of a challenge for Dallas' defense to stop led by Alex Smith, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt, but Dak Prescott has ample weaponry, too, even sans Elliott. Should be a fun, high-octane game between quality teams.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Dulac): Cowboys 33, Chiefs 29

The Chiefs ended their two-game slide by beating the Broncos at home, but it appears the Steelers have shown other teams how to defend them. The Cowboys have bounced back with a pair of impressive road victories, outscoring the opponent, 73-29

CBS (Prisco): Cowboys 30, Chiefs 17

The Cowboys have won two straight games and have righted their team, but now will likely be without Ezekiel Elliott for six games. That won’t matter in this one as the Chiefs have issues stopping the run. Darren McFadden and/or Alfred Morris will be just fine. The Chiefs are also playing on a short week on the road. That’s never good.

Cleveland Plains Dealer (Manoloff): Cowboys 27, Chiefs 24

Skinny: Chiefs TE and Northeast Ohio's Travis Kelce can't prevent Cowboys from prevailing in final minute.

New York Times (Hoffman): Cowboys

Elliott’s six-game suspension, which was initially announced this summer after a lengthy investigation into domestic violence accusations, has finally happened, so the Cowboys (4-3) will see what Prescott can do absent one of the N.F.L.’s best pure running backs.

Still, Dallas was a top-10 running team in each of the two years before Elliott arrived, largely because of stellar offensive line play. If Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris can provide 70 percent of Elliott’s production, Prescott should be able to make up the rest.

On defense, the Cowboys have more long-term concerns, but the Chiefs (6-2) have cooled off considerably in recent weeks. An offense that has been relying on its kicker for a large portion of its scoring is not a good bet to keep up with Prescott, regardless of who is at running back.

La Times (Farmer): Chiefs 31, Cowboys 23

With or without running back Ezekiel Elliott (suspended), the Cowboys are not the same team as last season when they finished the regular season 13-3. Chiefs are rolling and have too much speed.

Pro Football Talk (Smith): Chiefs 27, Cowboys 17

With or without Ezekiel Elliott, I like Kansas City because I don’t see the Cowboys’ defense holding the Chiefs’ offense in check.

Pro Football Talk (Florio): Chiefs 27, Cowboys 20

Dallas has blown double-digit leads in each of their last two home games. The Cowboys won’t have to worry about that this time, especially if they don’t have Ezekiel Elliott.

Sporting News (Steele): Chiefs 27, Cowboys 23

The courts have pulled Ezekiel Elliott out and then inserted him back in before. The Cowboys have dealt with the midweek uncertainty since training camp. They have yet to actually play without him, though … and they now go through the uncertainty while preparing for a Chiefs team that is hard to beat in any phase. Whoever’s lined up with him, Dak Prescott will have to avoid mistakes against a defense whose specialty is forcing mistakes.

NFL (Harrison): Chiefs 27, Cowboys 24

With the Cowboys looking like they will indeed be without Ezekiel Elliott's services, I think the Chiefs will have an advantage, not only in the running game (Kareem Hunt will also make hay on the Cowboy LBs in coverage) but in terms of how they play schematically. They could use the help ... Kansas City's D ranks 30th in yards per game and yards per play allowed. With no Elliott, Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton can add another defender in the secondary, a unit which has largely contributed to the mushrooming yardage.

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