San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys Betting Preview

Sunday, December 20, 2020, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 1 p.m. ET

49ers at Cowboys Betting Preview: 49ers (-3/-110), Cowboys (+3/-110)

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers (5-8) have lost two in a row to fall to the brink of playoff elimination in the NFC on the eve of their trip to Dallas on Sunday to face the Cowboys (4-9). San Francisco is coming off a 23-15 neutral-site loss to Washington, its second defeat in three outings against NFC East teams this season.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan admitted after the Washington game that he would consider changing quarterbacks this week, but nipped that idea in the bud on Wednesday when he announced that struggling Nick Mullens would remain the starter. Shanahan also considered C.J. Beathard, who has served as the chief backup ever since regular starter Jimmy Garoppolo suffered an ankle injury in Week 8.

One change Shanahan apparently will be forced into making this week is promoting Jeff Wilson Jr. to the starting running back position in place of Raheem Mostert, who injured his ankle in the Washington game. Wilson shares the team lead in rushing touchdowns this season with five despite having gotten fewer carries (68) than Mostert (90) and Jerick McKinnon (80).

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys (4-9) remain in the thick of the NFC East title chase despite residing in last place in the division with just three games remaining, including this week’s visit from the San Francisco 49ers (5-8). Last week’s 30-7 romp at Cincinnati kept Dallas’ playoff hopes alive, but it likely would need to sweep its last three games, including division matchups with Philadelphia in Week 16 and the New York Giants in Week 17

Ezekiel Elliott continued his late-season funk in the win over the Bengals, rushing for just 48 yards on 12 carries. He has totaled just 157 rushing yards in Dallas’ last three games. Elliott, who has been dealing with a calf issue, ranks seventh in the NFL in rushing this season with 832 yards after finishing fourth last season with 1,357 yards.

Andy Dalton had his first interception-free start of the season against Cincinnati, going 16-for-23 for 185 and two touchdowns. The veteran has settled into his starting role since the gruesome Dak Prescott injury, recording eight touchdown passes and three interceptions in his last four games, after just one TD and three interceptions in his first two starts.

49ers at Cowboys Betting Pick for Week 15

Two things have been disappointing for the 49ers in the last two weeks. First off, they lost a pair of games in which they were favored. Equally important, they’ve continued to lose key players, with wideout Deebo Samuel (hamstring) now out for the season and Mostert (ankle) unlikely to play this week.

The 49ers are favored again this week, which is just an indication those who set the line believe fans haven’t been paying attention to the state of their depleted roster. In a battle of backup quarterbacks, big edge to Dalton.

49ers at Cowboys Betting Pick:

Cowboys 29, 49ers 17

49ers at Cowboys Best Bet for Week 15

Some outlets are offering the Cowboys as a +140 proposition to win this game, and that seems more than generous for a matchup that, at worst, is a toss-up. Last week’s mistake-laden loss to Washington demonstrated once again that San Francisco, in its current state, might be the most overrated team in the league. This week’s line provides further proof.

49ers at Cowboys Best Bet: Cowboys to win (+140)

Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals Betting Preview

Sunday, December 13, 2020, Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1 p.m. ET

Cowboys at Bengals Betting Preview: Cowboys (-3.5/-110), Bengals (+3.5/-110)

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys (3-9) have had a disastrous initial season under Mike McCarthy as injuries have ravaged key parts of the offense, and the defense has severely underperformed within a new scheme. Dallas has lost two straight games, and dropped six of seven. Dallas has just one road win this season, in six tries, but it was their most recent victory, a 31-28 decision at Minnesota on Nov. 22.

The Cowboys most recent pair of games does not give confidence a late-season turnaround is evident, however. Washington pulled away in the second half for a demoralizing 41-16 win in Dallas on Thanksgiving. Then, with nearly two full weeks to prepare, the Cowboys appeared powerless to stop or even slow down the Baltimore Ravens’ ground-based offense in a 34-17 loss on Tuesday night. Defensively, the front seven has been porous all season; Dallas ranks last in the NFL in rushing defense (167.8 yards per game allowed) and in scoring defense (32.8 points allowed per game).

Dallas has good talent on the outside with flankers Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup, but a sub-par year from running back Ezekiel Elliott (3.9 yards per carry, four lost fumbles) and the injuries to quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle) and across the offensive line have taken away much of the Cowboys consistency week-to-week, particularly in the red zone. Andy Dalton (1,155 yards, seven TDs, six INTs) will make his first start as a member of the opposition this week in Cincinnati, where he was the Bengals’ starter the past nine seasons.

Cincinnati Bengals

Whatever early-season optimism the Bengals (2-9-1) were building, it evaporated three games ago when rookie quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury in a loss at Washington. But Cincinnati remains a potentially tough out, especially at home where the club is 2-3 with wins over Jacksonville and Tennessee. The Bengals have been tied, or held the lead, at halftime in each of the last three games, all losses.

Leading rusher Joe Mixon remains on injured reserve and quarterback Brandon Allen has been non-descript in his two starts since Burrow’s injury. Talented young wide receivers Tyler Boyd (73 receptions, 797 yards) and Tee Higgins (53-729) have provided most of the punch of late for Cincinnati, which has been held to a combined 10 points in the second half during its four-game losing skid.

Cincinnati has had a revolving door situation in the secondary for most of the season, and that continues this week. Cornerback Darius Phillips (groin) returns after a three-week stint on injured reserve, but safety Shawn Williams earned a one-game suspension from the league for stepping on offensive lineman Solomon Kindley in the loss at Miami on Sunday. The Bengals are firmly in the middle of the pack in points allowed per game (25.7), but rank just 29th in rushing defense (134.3 yards per game).

Cowboys at Bengals Betting Pick for Week 14

The Bengals are a home underdog, which might be surprising given the Cowboys’ short week of preparation and tough travel schedule. Dallas played at Baltimore on Tuesday, flew home, and then was expected to fly to Ohio on Saturday. Cincinnati, however, has been essentially stymied offensively since Burrow’s injury and Dallas — in theory — will have the best quarterback on the field in this matchup.

And while Dallas has been unable to do much against run-heavy offenses this season, the Bengals haven’t been to do much on the ground all season. Cincinnati ranks 30th in the NFL with just 91.6 rushing yards per game. The Cowboys dictated the terms for the most part at Baltimore, but were done in by red-zone failures and big plays allowed on the ground. And while Cincinnati has nothing to play for in terms of the playoffs, the Cowboys remain alive in the NFC East.

Cowboys at Bengals Betting Pick:

Cowboys 23, Bengals 10

Cowboys at Bengals Best Bet for Week 14

Dalton will be motivated, and Dallas will be in last-stand mode heading into this one. With the Bengals lacking the offensive structure to attack the Cowboys’ weakest point, Dallas should be able to find a way to get back on the winning track. It won’t be easy, and Dalton’s limitations could make it closer than the Cowboys would like, but the Bengals at this point seem unable to match anyone score for score.

Cowboys at Bengals Best Bet: UNDER 42.5 total points (-114)

Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens Betting Preview

Dallas Cowboys

The last-place Cowboys (3-8) are remarkably just one game out of first place in the NFC East due to the season-long struggles of all four division clubs. Dallas likely would be leading the division if not for the loss of Dak Prescott (ankle) as the Cowboys have gone just 1-5 without the star quarterback. Running back Ezekiel Elliott (707 rushing yards) has just one 100-yard outing this year while being held below 55 on six occasions.Receivers Amari Cooper (71 catches, 848 yards) and CeeDee Lamb (53 for 650) have been productive despite the quarterback upheaval but have combined for just seven touchdown catches. The offensive line is beat up and will be without both tackles Zack Martin (calf) and Cam Erving (knee). The defense allows a league-worst 32.6 points per game and Dallas gave up over 40 for the second time this season when it lost 41-16 to the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving.Safety Donovan Wilson (groin) was added to the injury list on Friday, and his status was uncertain. Cornerback Anthony Brown (ribs) is in jeopardy of missing his second consecutive game.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens (6-5) have been ravaged with coronavirus issues and had 13 players on the reserve/COVID-19 (12 active roster, one practice squad) as of Friday evening. Quarterback Lamar Jackson remained on the list, and he missed Baltimore’s 19-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday. It remains uncertain if he will be cleared before kickoff. Trace McSorley is being prepared to make his first career NFL start after No. 2 QB Robert Griffin III sustained a hamstring injury against the Steelers.McSorley threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown against Pittsburgh but completed only one of his other five attempts. If Jackson isn’t cleared, rookie Tyler Huntley would be promoted from the practice squad to be the backup, leaving the Ravens with two novice quarterbacks at a time in which they have lost three straight contests and four of their past five. Defensive end Calais Campbell and outside linebacker Matthew Judon — who share the team lead with four sacks apiece — are among the other Ravens on the COVID-19 list.Veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin) exited the Pittsburgh loss, and his status will be observed closely by the Ravens. Baltimore ranks third in scoring defense (19.5 points per game) and eighth in total defense (333.1 yards per game).

Cowboys at Ravens Betting Pick for Week 13

Baltimore is already out of the AFC North race and badly needs a victory in terms of its wild-card hopes, so this will be a desperate group regardless of who starts at quarterback. The Dallas defense is among the worst in the league, so it wouldn’t be stunning if McSorley starts and has a productive game.The Cowboys will breathe a sigh of relief if Jackson isn’t on the field, but his absence doesn’t make things easier. The club’s five losses without Prescott are by an average of 18.8 points, so even staying competitive has been a challenge.Cowboys at Ravens Betting Pick:Ravens 24, Cowboys 13

Cowboys at Ravens Best Bet for Week 13

Considering McSorley looks to be the most likely starter for the Ravens, the under seems the best route. If Jackson were to play, that would change the scenario, but on the other hand, he might not be able to play in top form.Cowboys at Ravens Best Bet: UNDER 45 total points (-110)

Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys Betting Preview

Thursday, November 26, 2020, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, 4:30 p.m. ET

Washington at Cowboys Betting Preview: Washington (+3/+140), Cowboys (-3/-167)

Washington Football Team

This year wasn’t supposed to be about winning for Washington, and at 3-7, it hasn’t been. Yet a mostly young team with a first-year coach, Ron Rivera, is going to get to play meaningful games down the stretch because its division is among the worst in NFL history.

If nothing else, the pressure-packed stretch run will give Rivera a better idea of who’s worth keeping when this team is good in a couple of years. And what Washington has learned is that its defense can keep it in most games, ranking ninth in points allowed, tied for third in sacks and tied for ninth in interceptions.

The offense isn’t quite as good. Although quarterback Alex Smith has authored quite a story by returning from a horrifying leg injury, there aren’t enough weapons for this unit to solve better defenses, although Dallas certainly isn’t in that category.

Dallas Cowboys

Welcome back, Dallas offense, where have you been for the previous month? Dak Prescott’s season-ending broken ankle and Andy Dalton’s frightening concussion two weeks apart rendered useless a unit with Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and a good line.

Until Prescott was hurt, the Cowboys were piling up stellar offensive numbers. And their defense was trending just as hard in the other direction. It was like watching the Air Coryell Chargers, version 2.0. You couldn’t stop them, but they couldn’t stop you.

Dallas’ defense has been a bit better the past few games, even coming up with a game-clinching stop Sunday in Minnesota after getting strafed most of the day. It must keep improving for this team to emerge from a morass of bad teams and win the weak NFC East.

Washington at Cowboys Betting Pick for Week 12

There was once a time when this matchup was the sexiest the NFL had to offer. It is far from that anymore, but the ratings will still be good Thursday, even if the football isn’t.

As for the nuts and bolts of this one, Dallas has to play much better in the trenches than it did last month, when Washington administered a beating, outgaining Dallas 397-142 in total yardage en route to a 25-3 victory. But Washington hasn’t won on the road yet, and its tendency to start slowly could prove decisive in this one.

Washington at Cowboys Betting Pick:

Cowboys 23, Washington 20

Washington at Cowboys Best Bet for Week 12

Common sense and recent trends suggest that wagering on the under might be the best play. Until Dallas’ victory over the Vikings last week, the Cowboys’ previous four games all went under, and four of Washington’s past six games have gone under.

Factor in a short prep week limiting the time for players to recover from injuries, plus the fact teams use fewer plays on a short week, and the under sure looks like the way to go.

Washington at Cowboys Best Bet: UNDER 46 total points (-103)

–Field Level Media

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Betting Preview

Sunday, November 22, 2020, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, 4:25 p.m. ET

Cowboys at Vikings Betting Preview: Cowboys (+7/-105), Vikings (-7/-115)

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys (2-7) have endured a miserable season, punctuated by the loss of injured quarterback Dak Prescott (ankle), and many of the franchise’s fans have started to think about a high pick in the draft and how it could bolster the franchise going forward. However, seven games remain in the schedule, and the Cowboys are far from eliminated in an NFC East division race that resembles more of a crawl.

Dallas expects to welcome back quarterback Andy Dalton, who missed the past two games as he went through concussion and COVID-19 protocols. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard provide a strong 1-2 punch on the ground, and wideout CeeDee Lamb (44 receptions) needs three more catches to set the franchise record for a rookie.

The Cowboys must find a way to contain the Vikings’ well-balanced offense, which is led by dynamic running back Dalvin Cook. That could be a tall task unless the offense is able to put together long drives and prevent the Dallas defense from spending most of the game on the field.

Minnesota Vikings

Don’t look now, but the Vikings are heating up and could make a second-half run at the postseason. Minnesota started the season 1-5 with a bevy of problems, but since then the Vikings have reeled off three straight wins and have a chance to climb back to .500 with a win Sunday.

Cook leads the NFL in rushing yards (954) and rushing touchdowns (12), and wide receiver Adam Thielen is tied for the NFL lead with nine touchdown receptions. The weak link in the early going had been quarterback Kirk Cousins, but he turned in a much better performance one week ago as he spearheaded a Monday night victory over the Chicago Bears.

On defense, Minnesota also has shown signs of improvement. The Vikings’ last two games have marked their lowest opponent scoring totals of the season.

Cowboys at Vikings Betting Pick for Week 11

Minnesota is brimming with confidence as it returns home to face an injury-ravaged Cowboys team. Yes, the Vikings will be on short rest, but winning is contagious and the team should find a way to keep its success going against a Dallas team that is half-focused on this season and half-focused on gearing up for 2021.

Cowboys at Vikings Betting Pick: Vikings 27, Cowboys 17

Cowboys at Vikings Best Bet for Week 11

Those who bet on the under in the Vikings-Bears contest came away with a profit last week, and it stands to reason that the under will pay off once again in Week 11. Dalton has missed multiple weeks and never showed rhythm even when he was at full health for Dallas.

Minnesota will rely on its bread-and-butter approach of putting the ball in Cook’s hands and looking for timely throws down the field. This could be another matchup in which the Vikings prioritize a victory over style points.

Cowboys at Vikings Best Bet: UNDER 48 points (-110)

2020 NFL Hall Of Fame Game Canceled, Enshrinement Postponed

First Preseason game of 2020 season scheduled for August has been canceled

It looks like we are going to have to wait longer than expected for our first football game of the 2020 NFL season. Early this morning, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that the opening game of the 2020 preseason, the NFL’s annual Hall of Fame Game, has been canceled. Also, the league announced the enshrinement ceremony for the 2020 Hall of Fame class will be postponed to next year.

Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO and President David Baker voiced his opinions on the decision. He explained that the health and safety of Hall of Famers and football fans came first and foremost when making this decision. “The health and safety of our Hall of Famers, fans and volunteers who make Enshrinement Week so special remains our top priority… the Hall will honor the Centennial Class of 2020 next August, along with what promises to be an equally spectacular Class of 2021…”

The Hall of Fame Game was scheduled to take place on August 6th, 2020. The game was supposed to be a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys. However, now that the Hall of Fame Game is no longer taking place, the Steelers and Cowboys will be expected to report to training camp like the rest of the teams in the league in late July.

The 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will now be honored next summer in 2021. Eight individuals were elected to the Hall of Fame this year. Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, and Troy Polamalu, Head Coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson, and three contributors: Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, and George Young, will now all be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame next summer with the class of 2021.

Sources: Members Of Two NFL Teams Test Positive For COVID-19

Sources tell ESPN players on the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys have tested positive for Coronavirus

Earlier today, it was reported that players on the Cowboys and Texans tested positive for COVID-19. The news was first reported by Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

Ezekiel Elliott is one of the players that has tested positive for the Coronavirus according to his agent. Zeke’s agent told the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Elliott is “feeling good.” However, Dallas could not provide any further information on the status of the all-star running back in a statement issued by the team shortly after the news was reported.

Sources say one player was reportedly feeling flu-like symptoms but is fine now. Meanwhile, sources also confirmed that another player who tested positive for the disease is currently asymptomatic. Previously, Von Miller of the Denver Broncos and Brian Allen of the Los Angeles Rams are the only other NFL players that have publicly revealed they tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Ian Rapoport, none of the players that tested positive for the disease have visited team facilities yet. Rapoport is also saying that the Texans and Cowboys are currently following all proper health protocols outlined by local health officials and the NFL.

NFL Training Camp Only Allowed At Team Facilities

League expected to make change to off-season policy by late-July

The NFL is making yet another change to the off-season schedule as the world continues to feel the impact of the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. According to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, earlier today, the league informed all 32 clubs that training camps will only be held at team facilities this season. Fans had previously been allowed to attend NFL Training camps at designated locations across the country before this season.

The purpose of the decision is to limit the amount of travel and potential exposure to COVID-19. ESPN is reporting that there are seven teams that are expecting to hold their training camps at locations different from where their training facilities are.

This afternoon, two franchises announced the cancellation of training camps held outside team facilities. It is being reported that the Panthers will not be holding their training camp at Wofford College in South Carolina for the first time in franchise history. It is also being reported that the Dallas Cowboys will not hold Training Camp in Oxnard, California this summer as originally scheduled.

ESPN is reporting that the league plans to announce the policy change soon. Also, the league reportedly has a tentative start date of late July for the beginning of camps.

Andy Dalton Joining Cowboys

Former Bengals’ QB agrees to terms with Dallas

Yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys announced they agreed to terms on a one-year deal with former Cincinnati Quarterback Andy Dalton. This means that Dalton will now be the fourth Quarterback on Dallas’ unofficial depth chart for 2019-2020. The other three QBs for the Cowboys are Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, and recent seventh-round draft pick Ben DiNucci.

Dalton was released by the Bengals on Thursday and officially agreed to a contract with Dallas two days later. The longtime Cincinnati starter was released a couple of days after the Bengals selected QB Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Andy Dalton was born in Texas and played his college ball at TCU. After playing at TCU, Dalton was picked by the Bengals in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Before coming to Dallas, he had spent his entire nine-year career with the Bengals. During his tenure in Cincy, he started 133 games and threw for over 31000 yards and 204 Touchdowns.

It will be interesting to see how Dalton impacts the Dallas offense, or if he even gets a chance to get on the field. The Cowboys currently have their franchise tag on QB Dak Prescott and hope to sign him to a new deal before the July 15th deadline.