Two prominent squads both coming off mediocre performances will square off Sunday, in what promises to be a match for redemption. Tony Romo will try to shake off his awful five-interception performance in Week 4 and lead his team to victory against a Baltimore team that has looked out of sync in their past two games.
The Cowboys were simply beat down and embarrassed in Week 4 against the Bears. In their home stadium, Dallas was routed by a score of 34-18 and looked awful in every facet of the game. Now they travel to Baltimore coming off a bye looking to keep pace in an always competitive NFC East division. Dallas is expected to get key nosetackle Jay Ratliff back for this contest, and it’s perfect timing for the big man as he’ll be tasked with stopping Ray Rice.
For the Ravens, their no-huddle attack has seemed to have sputtered of late. After looking confused against a brutal Browns side, the Ravens’ offense was terrible last week in Kansas City, only muster nine points through field goals. Against a Dallas side that possesses a wealth of weapons, that simply won’t get the job done. Add in the fact that their defense has struggled mightily this season, and the Ravens seem to be a misleading 4-1 side. They’ll be facing off against a well-rested, supremely motivated, Dallas Cowboys squad on Sunday, and the Ravens mediocre performances of the past weeks simply won’t get the job done. On the injury front, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is battling through a shoulder injury but all accounts suggest he’ll suit up for game-time.
Cowboys vs. Ravens Spread & Betting Odds:
Dallas Cowboys +3.5 (-115)
@ Baltimore Ravens -3.5 (-105)
Over 44 (-110)
Under 44 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Cowboys vs. Ravens Pick:
Expect the Cowboys to look a whole lot different from when we last saw them nearly two Mondays ago. After being
thoroughly embarrassed on the national stage in Week 4, the Cowboys have said all the right things in the lead-up to this clash and seem genuinely primed for a huge outing against Baltimore. Look for the Cowboys to have used their extra week to their advantage, as their offense will look much crisper coming off the bye.
One key for the Cowboys will be their utilization of running back DeMarco Murray. Dallas is a better team when Murray touches the football and in their last few weeks, that hasn’t been the case. The Cowboys have been averaging just 20 running plays per game this season, and against a fading Baltimore defense, jamming the ball down their throats will be conducive to putting points on the board.
It would seem like the days of Baltimore having a dominant defense are long gone. This has become a rapidly aging group that has struggled as their offense has adopted a faster pace to their attack with the no-huddle. Baltimore is 24th in the league thus far in yards conceded and have struggled surprisingly defending both the pass and the run. Going against a Dallas team that has had ample time to prepare for this contest will not be an easy test for Ray Lewis and Co.
Expect a lot of points in this contest. While the Cowboys seem like a decent wager on the side, it’s too tough to trust this group after some of their performances of late. But, they should be much better and much smoother on the attack Sunday afternoon. Dallas’ offense is severely undervalued currently, while the Ravens’ defense is escaping criticism on name alone. This is a tired bunch, and a unit that will be handled by the likes of Romo, Bryant, and Austin.
Conversely, the Ravens remain one of the biggest deep threat teams in the NFL. They play at a rapid pace, which meshes well for high-scoring games. Baltimore has had 30 plays go for at least 20 yards this season which tops the league, and though Dallas has a steady secondary, the Ravens will also be anxious to improve on last week’s dismal showing.
Both teams should face minimal resistance in moving the football and putting up points on the board. Dallas and Baltimore enter with something to prove offensively, and expect great days from both Romo and Flacco, while both teams’ mediocre defenses continue to be overrated.
PICK = Over 44 (-110)