Cowboys vs. Eagles: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

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Cowboys vs. Eagles: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
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When the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles square off this late in the season, it's usually with playoff implications on the line. That holds true in Week 10 of 2012, but not with the kind of expectations we're all used to.

The Cowboys and Eagles both sit at 3-5. Losses to playoff-caliber teams have left both teams in a must-win situation, and also left both head coaches on the hot seat. Although both franchises seem committed to finishing the season with Jason Garrett and Andy Reid, this is a game that could be the deciding factor in keeping a coach around versus firing him.

This matchup is also a duel of turnover-prone QBs. Tony Romo and Michael Vick have been the talk of the NFL all season; Romo leads the league with 13 interceptions while Vick has been fumble-happy behind a spotty offensive line. 

Facing a must-win type atmosphere in Philadelphia, the Cowboys will have to do something they haven't done just once since opening week—win on the road. Meanwhile, the Eagles are also facing more pressure to succeed with this talent-laden roster, still feeling the ramifications of Vince Young's "dream team" comments.

Here's a complete look at what to look for on the betting front, the fantasy front and more. I'll get things rolling with a troubling stat for both franchises, courtesy of ESPN's Stats and Information.

 

When: Sunday, November 10 at 4:25 p.m. ET

Where: Lincoln Financial Field; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Watch: FOX

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket

Listen: Cowboys Radio Network; Eagles Radio Network

 

Spread: Dallas -1.5 (according to Bovada)

It's a virtual pick 'em game for both teams this weekend. Since Dallas is on the road and the traditional three points is given to the home team, the smart money would be to take the 'Boys.

The Cowboys have been good at covering the spread as an underdog, not as a favorite (see Seattle, Carolina). In that situation, it's tough to bet on them with any sort of overwhelming confidence.

I'd stay away from this game as a bettor. Too much at stake to take a clear winner. If you do bet, take a more straight-up look towards this game.

 

Over/Under: 45 (according to Bovada)

Both teams can fill it up in bunches, but turnovers have clouded the potential of each offense to have that breakout game in the scoring department.

I'm taking the over in this matchup, simply because both offenses have too much talent to not succeed. Dallas and Philly have both broke the 25-point barrier several times this season, and this game has enough speed on offense and injuries on defense to warrant big numbers.

 

Injury Report—via CBS Sports (as of 11/8/12)

Dallas

WR Dez Bryant Hip   Probable
LB Dan Connor Neck   Questionable
S Matt Johnson Hamstring   Questionable
RB Felix Jones Knee   Probable
DL Sean Lissemore Ankle   Questionable
RB DeMarco Murray Foot   Doubtful
NT Jay Ratliff Ankle   Questionable

 

Philadelphia

S Nate Allen Hamstring   Probable
WR Jason Avant Back   Probable
CB Brandon Boykin Toe   Probable
WR Mardy Gilyard Hamstring   OUT
LB Akeem Jordan Groin   Probable
RB LeSean McCoy Illness   Probable
RB Chris Polk Toe   Questionable
S David Sims Foot   Questionable

 

Fantasy Impact

Dallas: Start TE Jason Witten

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Witten has found his stride after missing most of the preseason with a spleen injury. He got off to a slow start, but now has 38 targets in his last three games. He's also got the Cowboys' career reception record in the process.

It hasn't resulted in the touchdowns fantasy owners want, but he's a guaranteed 10-point play at the TE position as a re-installed Romo security blanket. Make sure he's your No. 1 option if on the team.

 

Philadelphia: Sit WR DeSean Jackson

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Jackson's had good and bad games against Dallas, but he's never had to contend with quality corners like Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne every snap.

With Vick unable to step up in the pocket to unload the deep ball, Jackson's specialty, he's been an average fantasy performer so far. The deep threat is always there, but combine Dallas being 7th in fantasy football to opposing wide receivers and all the problems on the offensive line, this one spells trouble.

Key to Dallas Win: Avoid Turnovers

The offense has looked great at times, while other times it's looked like Romo and Dez Bryant have never practiced together and the running backs have molasses on their shoes. Dallas has turned the ball over in a position to score more times than Valley Ranch wants to count.

It's simple—don't turn the ball over, win games. There's no more time for excuses from anyone on this team about this subject.

Key to Philadelphia Win: Avoid Turnovers

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Same goes for Philly. It's safe to infer that save some miracle at the end of the game, the team with less turnovers is going to be the victor.

Vick and Co. have as much talent on offense as anyone in the NFL. Look for them to pound the rock with LeSean McCoy and avoid the temptation to leave the ball in Vick's hands long enough for something bad to happen.

Prediction

Dallas has played better against common opponents Baltimore and Atlanta, even though Philadelphia escaped with a late win in Week 2 against the former. I like Dallas to turn the ball over less, and to come away with a win that keeps them floating for at least another week.

Could this be Andy Reid's last week in Philly?

Dallas 31, Philadelphia 24

 

Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team.


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