We cap off another Sunday of football with the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys have just been trying to keep it together while they await the return of Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott must sit out this week and he is eligible to return next week. The Cowboys are 7-6 in the midst of a wildcard run, so his return would be helpful.
Dak Prescott has gotten more than enough criticism during Elliott’s suspension. The moral of the story is that people are saying Prescott cannot play without Elliott. He’s shown the ability to deflect the critics and put together a couple of strong performances the last two weeks. Prescott passed for 5 touchdowns and no interceptions against the Redskins and Giants. This was after he threw 5 interceptions against the Chargers and Eagles.
He will have one more game to brush off the critics. But for the teams sake, they will be happy to get Elliott back right in the middle of a wildcard chase. It’s a big game for both of these squads, as the Oakland Raiders are trying to cling on to their AFC West chances, and the Cowboys need to win to stay alive as well. This is just about an elimination game.
With the Chiefs beating the Chargers last night, they have a firm hold on the division. For a team that lost as many games as they did in a row, it’s impressive that the Chiefs are still ahead. They were fortunate to get off to a blazing hot start to the year. Perhaps found their mojo again and are ready for a strong push in the playoffs. The Chiefs did themselves a massive favor in the last two weeks by beating the Raiders and Chargers.
The Raiders are going to need a lot of help to reach the playoffs, but they aren’t dead in the water just yet. All the Chiefs will need, though, is to win one more game or a loss from the Raiders and Chargers. So, yeah, you could say their backs are up against the wall. At the end of the day, the Raiders don’t belong in the playoffs. I think they lost that privilege last week when they lost to the Chiefs.
They’ve basically lost against good teams, and taken advantage of lesser competition. Their last three wins came against the Dolphins, Broncos, and Giants. The best win came on October 19th against the Chiefs at home, and Week 1 against the Titans, yikes. They could get a decent win against the Cowboys tonight. Head below for our free Cowboys vs. Raiders pick.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Oakland Raiders Betting Odds:
vs. Raiders +3(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cowboys vs. Raiders Pick:
Derek Carr isn’t having a bad year in Oakland, it’s just that he hasn’t had much help around him. Whether it’s been injuries, or receivers dropping balls, it’s been a frustrating year for the offense. He could certainly be better, but there are others who haven’t been pulling their weight. Amari Cooper will miss another week. However, even before he got injured, Cooper was dropping more balls than he should be. The Raiders’ offense looked inept last week against the Chiefs, as they put up 15 points in a 26-15 loss. Carr has thrown 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the year.
Overall, the Raiders are 19th in the NFL with 329.4 yards per game. That’s not exactly what most people predicted with a healthy Derek Carr coming back. Also, the addition of Marshawn Lynch got plenty of people hyped up. Lynch has been good in spurts, and I didn’t believe he was going to have a monumental impact anyway. He has only one 100-yard outing. If anything, he’s been more of a distraction.
The Cowboys on the other hand have been hot and cold. They were in a coma for three weeks after the Elliott suspension, but have responded with 68 points the last two weeks. Dez Bryant looked like vintage Dez Bryant in those two weeks. They are 15th in the NFL with 338.3 yards per game, which supports a theory of them being hit and miss.
The Cowboys and Raiders have truly been two of the most inconsistent teams in football. The potential is there, but the potential has come through when it wants to. The last two weeks, the Cowboys have looked like a playoff team. But they’ve fooled us once or twice before. I could see a step back in production from the Cowboys here as the get just a bit too comfortable. They’ve been on fire their last two games, but it’s hard to side with them as favorites on the road out west in California. This is a must-win for both teams, and I see the Raiders finding a way to scrape a victory out. They’ll be amped to beat the Cowboys at home in primetime.
PICK: RAIDERS +3 (-110)