With both the Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys being 3-4, this is a pivotal week for both teams as to whether they will be able to compete for a playoff spot moving forward or not. Both teams are coming off of a bye week, so both should be rested, prepared and relatively healthy. Coming into this game, the Titans have lost 3 games in a row, including a 20-19 loss to the Chargers in week 7. For the Cowboys, they are coming off of a 20-17 loss to the Redskins in week 7. The Cowboys will be happy they are hosting at AT&T Stadium, as they are undefeated at home while being winless on the road. Kickoff for this one is scheduled for 8:15 pm ET.
The point spread comes in with the Dallas Cowboys being 4.5-point favorites at home. The over/under on total points scored is paltry 40 points.
By The Numbers
While their offenses have been a little inconsistent, both of these defenses have been solid this year. The Dallas Cowboys rank 3rd in the NFL, allowing only 313.7 yards per game to opposing offenses. The Titans come in at 11th, allowing 338.7 yards. The two teams rank second and third in points per game as the Cowboys are allowing 17.6 points per game while the Titans are allowing 18.1.
Offensively is where these two have struggled throughout the year. The Cowboys are only managing 320 yards total (good for 28th in the NFL) while the Titans are only managing 280.9 (good for 30th in the NFL). This is reflective in their total points scored per game as the Cowboys are only averaging 20 points (26th in the NFL), and the Titans are scoring just 15.1 (30th).
Titans Look To End Cowboys’ Home Win Streak
The Titans would love to give the Cowboys their first home loss, but they are going to need their offense to step up. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has had a very disappointing season thus far. He is 99 for 150, good for just 1,030 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. He has also taken 19 sacks to date. His leading receivers thus far have been Corey Davis (30 catches, 395 yards, 1 touchdown) and running back Dion Lewis (29 catches, 199 yards). Speaking of Lewis, he and Derrick Henry have been splitting the carries in the backfield. Lewis has 277 yards rushing and a touchdown on 73 carries while Henry has 273 yards and a touchdown on 84 carries.
As mentioned earlier, the defensive unit for Tennessee has been stout. Jayon Brown leads the team with 34 total tackles. He also is second on the team in sacks with 3. Jurrell Casey leads the team with 3.5 sacks. Adoree’ Jackson leads the Titans with 2 interceptions.
Cowboys Looking To Move To .500
Like the Titans, the Cowboys really need their offense to step up. Luckily for them, they tend to play better at home (they average 28.6 points at home) and they have a new weapon to play with in Amari Cooper. Cooper may be somewhat limited given that this will be just his first game for the Cowboys, but it at least gives quarterback Dak Prescott another weapon, something they have been short on ever since the departure of Dez Bryant. On the season, Prescott is 128 for 206 for 1,417 yards, 8 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. Prescott has also added another 236 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. His leading receivers thus far have been Cole Beasley (33 catches, 350 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Ezekiel Elliott (25 catches, 175 yards, 1 touchdown). Speaking of Elliot, he has been leading the way on the ground for the Cowboys with 619 yards and 3 touchdowns on 132 carries.
Defensively, the Cowboys have been relying on stat leaders Leighton Vander Esch (42 tackles), Demarcus Lawrence (5.5 sacks) and both Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods with an interception each. If the defense can hold down Mariota, the Cowboys are hoping the offense can do enough to get the win.
Cowboys Win And Cover
This will likely be a low scoring game, something highlighted by the fact that the over/under is set at just 40 points. Still, the Cowboys perform much better at home, and I think they are going to be able to put up at least some points on Tennessee’s defensive unit. Look for Ezekiel Elliott to have a nice game after flopping in his last one (15 attempts for just 33 yards in week 7). At home, he has been averaging 112 yards. All things being considered, I have the Cowboys winning this one and covering the 4.5-point spread.