The Dallas Cowboys hit the road looking to end a two-game losing streak when they take on the winless New York Jets on Sunday. Dallas started the season by winning its first three games but has lost to New Orleans and Green Bay in back-to-back weeks since that point. New York has started the season 0-4 but has to feel it has a new beginning with the return of quarterback Sam Darnold this week.
The two straight losses have Dallas in a tie with the Philadelphia Eagles atop the NFC East, with a date with the Eagles looming next weekend. The Jets are well behind first-place New England in the AFC East, with the Patriots’ win on Thursday night keeping them one of two undefeated teams in the league.
The moneyline for this contest has the Dallas Cowboys -370 and the New York Jets +300. Dallas is favored by seven points on the road, while the over/under for this contest has been set at 45.
Dallas’ offense rolled over its first three opponents, averaging 32.3 points, but the Saints and Packers have held the Cowboys to a total of 34 points in the last two games. Last week, Ezekiel Elliott was held to just 62 yards on only 12 carries, and the Cowboys became one-dimensional. Dak Prescott wasn’t able to respond to the added responsibility, throwing three interceptions in the loss. On the season, Prescott has thrown six interceptions, with four of them coming in the last two games.
Defensively, the Cowboys haven’t been giving up a lot of yards — they rank total defense, allowing 321.8 total yards per game — but turnovers have been hurting them, as in the lack of turnovers forced by the defense. The Cowboys are tied for 27th in the league with just four takeaways this season, which is allowing teams to sustain drives. The linebacker duo of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch is as good as there is in the league, with the duo leading the Cowboys in tackles with 45 and 41, respectively.
Darnold’s agent might want to try to renegotiate his contract about now, considering the Jets managed to score just seven more points in the three games that the second-year quarterback was out with mononucleosis than they scored with him as the starter in Week 1. One player who will definitely be happy to see Darnold back is Le’Veon Bell, who has faced defenses stacked against the run without the threat of Darnold throwing the ball. Bell has averaged just 2.9 yards per carry thus far, but he could have more holes to run through with his signal-caller back in the lineup.
The Jets’ defense has gotten progressively worse as the season has gone wise as far as scoring goes, though they’ve faced some high-powered offenses in Cleveland, New England and Philadelphia in their last three games. New York must get more pressure on the quarterback, as the Jets have just six sacks this season. Linebacker Neville Hewitt has a team-high 31 tackles and two sacks, but he needs help.
Dallas Gets Back On Winning Track
The Cowboys seemed to find a little something offensively in the late going against Green Bay, and they have to have this game if they’re going to contend in the NFC East considering their upcoming schedule. The Jets just have too many holes for the return of Darnold to be a significant change in their fortunes. I’m taking Dallas -7 to win and cover in this one.