For a number of different reasons I believe the value in this contest is on the “under”:
Dallas is favored to win the NFC East; it enters its fourth year under head coach Wade Phillips who got the monkey off his back last season by actually winning a playoff contest.
Tony Romo is the starting QB; RB’s Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice will look to batter their opponents. Barber led the Cowboys with 932 yards in 2009; Jones had nearly 700 and had his best game with a 148-yard effort in last years wild-card playoff victory over the Eagles.
Romo has a talented group of receivers to throw to in 2010 including TE Jason Witten, Roy Williams and Miles Austin.
I believe Dallas has a legitimate shot at matching or bettering its mark of 11 victories in 2009.
On the other side of the field: Unlike the Cowboys, Cincinnati needs to work a few things out in the pre-season.
It’s going to need to get T.O. involved in the offense; expect to see him get some touches in the first quarter.
But most of all, this team is anxious to have its backup RB position filled; expect to see a heavy dose of running as both Bernard Scott and Bryan Leonard get touches throughout this one.
Bottom line: Dallas is clearly the more talented team; but this is the pre-season and obviously we won’t be seeing much, if any of the starters in this one.
Cincinnati will look to control the tempo of this game, and with no distinct home field advantage whatsoever, I believe we’re getting excellent value on the “under” in this situation.