|-1.5 DAL (-109) @ Betamerica|
8* Take Dallas (#107)
The Cowboys were 3-9 after getting bombed by Baltimore to open December, a huge disappointment for a squad that opened the season as the favorite to win the division and one of the favorites from the NFC to win the Super Bowl. That was then, this is now.
Dallas has won three straight, with the Andy Dalton led offense putting up 30+ in all three games. There’s a confidence level here that didn’t exist a month ago. Dalton: “We just had to push through some tough stretches we had this season. At the end of the day, you want to be playing your best ball in December going into January. For us, it seems like we’re doing that right now……It’s not always the team with the best record in the regular season – it’s the hottest team.” Zeke Elliott: “If you gave up five, six weeks ago, we wouldn’t even want you on our side. We’re competitors. The whole team is. We weren’t out of it. Gotta win (this) week and need a little help from the guys we just played.”
The Cowboys defense, too, has played their best football in recent weeks. Anthony Brown and Trevon Diggs picked off passes last week. Jaylon Smith recovered a fumble. Randy Gregory is healthy again, and coming off a 1.5 sacks/3 forced fumbles/2 QB hurries and a pass deflection effort last week. This was a hopeless defense a month ago. Last week, it looked like a playoff defense!
The Giants are trending in the other direction. Since their four game winning streak was snapped, they’ve lost their last three; all by two TD’s or more. This offense hasn’t gotten to 20 points in any of their last five games. Daniel Jones is all beat up; taking another six sacks last week. Wayne Gallman’s production at running back has declined precipitously and the Giants offensive line is a sieve these days. They played two rookie tackles for extended stretches last week; likely to do so again here. And a Giants defense that was capable of winning games by themselves mid-season has worn down thanks to all the offensive futility; not a trustworthy unit against this surging Cowboys offense. Cheap pointspread to lay here for the better team in better current form with a playoff spot on the line. Take the Cowboys.