Thanksgiving Thursday in the United States and what a great day for a triple-header of NFL football action. It also helps when the games are intriguing, as the middle one will be tomorrow when the undefeated Carolina Panthers travel to Dallas to take on a revamped Cowboys team now with Dez Bryant and Tony Romo healthy. Even though Jason Garrett’s team enters with a 3-7 record, the NFC East is abysmal and they’re currently the best team in the division. Despite their lofty goal of still qualifying for the post-season, Dallas knows their margin for error is slim, and winning out could be a necessity. All of this intrigue should make for a thrilling affair on Thanksgiving Thursday between two NFC giants. Read on below for a detailed breakdown and an official selection for Panthers/Cowboys.
Panthers vs. Cowboys Betting Odds:
Carolina Panthers +1 (-115)
@ Dallas Cowboys -1 (-105)
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Panthers vs. Cowboys Pick:
With Tony Romo’s return last week, you could feel that this was suddenly a very different Dallas Cowboys team. While there was some rust on Romo, it was still a drastic improvement over what had been seen in recent weeks from the quarterback position from Jason Garrett’s team. Romo gave the Cowboys exactly what they needed, a victory. Now, they’ll need to string together 5 or 6 more in order to take a legitimate run at the NFC East crown. It’s not going to be easy however going against an undefeated Panthers squad. Their defense has been excellent so far in 2015, and Josh Norman will prove to be a worthy test for Dez Bryant. If Dallas is to move the chains here, they will need to really rely on the likes of Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams to make some plays. On the ground, the Panthers are stingy as well, but Darren McFadden has undoubtedly been solid of late. It’s not going to be easy against Carolina, but Romo and Bryant possess the kind of talent that can definitely put pressure on this Panthers’ stop unit.
On the other side of the football, the Panthers offense enters on a definite hot streak. It dominated Washington last week, however Week 12 will be quite different against the Cowboys. Dallas puts ample pressure on opposing quarterbacks, led by the maligned Greg Hardy. Newton has had a good year, but expect the Cowboys to give him some unfamiliar looks and be sure to get in his grill early and often. On the ground, Jonathan Stewart has been solid of late and should be able to find some holes in Dallas’ 21st-ranked run defense.
Overall, expect a very tight, back-and-forth affair. The Cowboys are back, and will be playing like many predicted them to at the outset of this season. But will it be enough? The money here says yes, it will be. This Dallas squad is rejuvenated under Romo and sense a real opportunity to pull off something magical as they seek an NFC East divisional title. They’ll need some good fortune, but look for this week to be all about hard work and grinding down a very good opponent. We’ve seen supposedly flawless teams fall in recent weeks and Carolina will be the next on Thursday. Dallas is a desperate team right now, and while I could see either team emerge victorious, there are more arguments to be made for the Cowboys. Roll with Romo on Thanksgiving Thursday.
PICK = Cowboys -1 (-105)