When a good organization has a bad season they often have a good one the following year.
Example of this is the Dallas Cowboys. Last year, even before Dak Prescott was injured, their defense was a sive and they struggled even against bad teams. Then, Prescott got hurt, and the team fell like an anvil from the top of a skyscraper.
Then, on schedule, in his second season as head coach, Mike McCarthy benefited from low expectations and a motivated group of players. Today, Dallas is the only team in the National Football League that has not lost a single point spread decision and they have won their last six games straight-up. Their only loss of the year was an opening day two point defeat to the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida.
Last week, the Cowboys comeback season notched another tribute to their resurgence with a win in Minnesota while playing without Prescott, who had a calf injury that the team thought better to let heal than risk further damage. That was so smart. The last thing this team wants to do is have another injury plagued season by their star quarterback. Resting him last week following a bye the previous week, allowed Prescott nearly three weeks away from game combat.
The Cowboys also have the advantage of playing out of the NFC East Division, where no team, other than Dallas, has even a winning record. The Cowboys have already won nearly as many games as the Redskins did last year in winning this division. Washington won the NFC East in 2020 with a 7-9 record; the Cowboys are 6-1 this year.
The move to rest Prescott last week put in jeopardy the Cowboys extending their five game winning streak. Dallas went from a 2 point favorite to a 2½ point underdog when Prescott was declared out, and the public action on the Vikings had them kickoff as a 4½ point favorite.
Then, in a surprise to most with Dallas resting their starting quarterback, the Cowboys notched not only their seventh straight point spread win but also a late touchdown drive by fill-in signal caller Cooper Rush provided McCarthy and company a victory.
Rush was a 2017 free agent signing by the Cowboys and had never started a game and thrown only three passes in his pro career before last Sunday night in Minnesota. Then with an inspired Dallas effort to compensate for Prescott’s absence, the Cowboys defense and solid play by Rush got Dallas a 20-16 road win.
This week, the Cowboys return home to meet the Denver Broncos, a team that opened the season with three wins against weak opposition and then lost four straight games before getting a victory over Washington last Sunday.
The Broncos victories have come against the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets and Washington. Their losses compiled against the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns.
What can we see by those results?
Denver has four wins this season, but none against a team as talented as the Cowboys. In fact, it can be argued that Dallas is the best team they have played this year with only the Ravens arguably as good as the Cowboys.
So, take the Cowboys this Sunday at home to drill the Broncos and extend their winning streak to seven games and remain perfect against the point spread?
No, and no.
Dallas has responded to their dismal 2020 season, but after last week’s win over the Vikings without Prescott and a nearly insurmountable lead in their division Dallas has nothing left to prove.
Which is a bad thing if you are a Cowboys fan.
This week, the Broncos began building for the future, sending Super Bowl MVP Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams for a pair of draft choices. The move indicates that Denver is aware that this is not going to be their season to win it all, and they are ready to reload for future success. But, before you write them off this season, know this, that often when a team begins to unload players in search of future considerations the players on the team take it personally and play their best in the wake of the deals.
So, we have the Cowboys with nothing left to atone for, and the Broncos players determined to not let this season, which started so well with three victories, fade to black.
Whether the Cowboys extend their winning streak is in question, but the chances of them winning an eighth straight point spread decision is highly unlikely.
Qoxhi Picks: Denver Broncos (+10) over Dallas Cowboys