Last week, almost everyone had the Dallas Cowboys beating the Houston Texans. Not only beating them, but covering the huge 17-point spread in most cases. We all know how that turned out as the Cowboys had to go on a length-of-the-field, last-minute touchdown drive just to get the win by four points. Speaking of four points, that’s the exact amount the Cowboys are favored by over the Jaguars according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
That is a much more reasonable number to cover, but the Jaguars are a far superior football team compared to the Texans. Much of that is because they have a quarterback that can be dangerous in Trevor Lawrence, and the Cowboys are on the road in this one.
So how do people see this game? We went around the internet to get some predictions.
What to watch for: If there’s one stat that might decide this game, it’s this: The Cowboys are second in the NFL in terms of getting sacks (48), while the Jaguars have only 23, which is the fourth fewest in the league. The key matchup will be Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, who is tied for third in the NFL with 12 sacks, versus Jaguars tackles Jawaan Taylor and Cam Robinson. Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence said this week he has to know where Parsons is at every moment because of his ability to wreck the game. If the Jaguars can limit the damage Parsons causes, their chance at an upset increases. — Mike DiRocco
Stat to know: The Jaguars have 20 consecutive losses to NFC teams, the longest interconference losing streak since the 1970 merger and tied for the longest losing streak vs. a single conference in that time (Lions lost 20 straight vs NFC from 2007 to ‘09). The Jags’ last win vs. the NFC came in the 2018 opener against the Giants.
Moody’s pick: Cowboys 31, Jaguars 23
Walder’s pick: Jaguars 28, Cowboys 27
FPI prediction: DAL, 72.5% (by an average of 7.0 points)
We’ve got a split decision here. And that is what we’re seeing all around the internet. People are looking at the Cowboys recent great escape against the Texans, and combining it with the Jaguars stunning win on the road over the Titans last week, and concluding this game could go wither way. As for the Cowboys covering if they are predicted to win, that is also split as we will see.
Lorenzo Reyes: Cowboys 30, Jaguars 20
The Jaguars have been much improved and Trevor Lawrence is shining in Doug Pederson’s offense. Still, they are far too inconsistent on a game-to-game basis and have alternated between covering and not covering the lines in their last five games. This one feels like a bit of an overcorrection for both teams after their Week 14 performances.
Safid Deen: Cowboys 27, Jaguars 22
Jacksonville has been coming on strong in recent weeks with Trevor Lawrence’s improved play. They’ll challenge the Cowboys, who looked horrible during stretches against the Texans last week. But Dallas, a contending playoff team that has won plenty of close games this season, will ultimately prevail.
Here are two votes for the Cowboys to win, and to cover.
Jaguars beat writer
Cowboys 35, Jaguars 21
I’ve been wrong so often because the Jaguars simply don’t make any sense. So, I wouldn’t really be surprised if they pull this one off. Still, the Cowboys are perhaps the most polished team they’ve faced on both sides of the football this year and I’m not sure if Jacksonville is ready for this quite yet. I think Trevor Lawrence is the guy, and that much was solidified over the past several weeks. But, it won’t be enough. Luckily for them, their playoff hopes won’t be impacted much by losing to an NFC opponent for a record-long 21st-straight time.
Cowboys 31, Jaguars 28
The player the Jaguars should be concerned about the most is Micah Parsons. He has the ability to wreck a game with one or two plays, and that’s what happens this week. The Jaguars keep it close, though, and that sets up must-wins against the Jets and Texans if they’re going to have a shot at the AFC South title.
Here is an example of the split on the Cowboys covering. Both predictions have the Cowboys winning, but only one of them has Dallas covering the 4-point spread. This one is a tough call, but probably a slight majority have the Cowboys winning and covering the spread.
Some of our BTB staff have been picking games this season with Tallysight. See our picks for Week 15 below.