Andy Dalton is 0-1 as the Dallas Stars starting quarterback after replacing the injured Dak Prescott. Dalton had one TD pass and two interceptions in a 38-10 loss to Arizona in Week 6. Photo from @RiffRamTCU (Twitter).
- With Dak Prescott on IR and a beat up offensive line, the Dallas Cowboys (2-4) are 1-point underdogs against the Washington Football Team (1-5) in Week 7
- Sunday Betting Record: 1-5-0, -4.10 Units
- See the game odds, spread and total as well as a preview below
The Dallas Cowboys thought their situation couldn’t get any worse after quarterback Dak Prescott went down with a gruesome season-ending injury. But the Cowboys were wrong.
Backup Andy Dalton, a proven NFL quarterback, wasn’t impressive in his first start as replacement. Now, the Cowboys are going to play the Washington Football Team without four starting offensive linemen. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have given up 218 points. This is the fifth-most points in league history after six weeks. No other NFL team this season has given up more than 187 points.
But the Cowboys should still have enough skilled impact players to beat a one-win Washington. But Washington is a 1-point favorite for this Sunday match-up (1pm ET).
Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Team Odds
|Dallas Cowboys||-110||+1 (-120)||O 45 (-110)|
|Washington Team||-110||-1 (-102)||U 45 (-111)|
Odds taken Oct. 24 from DraftKings
Injuries Keep Piling Up For Cowboys
Earlier this week, the Cowboys announced that starting left tackle Brandon Knight would miss a few weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Knight was only a starter because Tyron Smith is done.
Guard Zack Martin (concussion) isn’t projected to play, and Joe Looney has been out since Week 4 with a knee injury.
That means that four starting lineman are not going to be available.
I do not like the Dallas Cowboys. I do feel sympathy for their offensive line.
LT: Greg Senat (Never Played)
LG: Connor Williams (Solid Pass Pro)
C: Tyler Biadasz (Rookie, Been Bad)
RG: Connor McGovern (0 Starts)
RT: Terence Steele (6th in Pressures, 7th in Penalties)
— Steve (@SteveNFL_) October 21, 2020
Dalton’s Improvement Key
Dalton said this week he has to be better. The truth: he should be better. This is not a young quarterback feeling his way. He started for nine seasons in Cincinnati. He shouldn’t be bothered by the pressure, the injuries and the rush.
He was disappointing in his first game as Prescott’s replacement. Dalton, 32, looked uncertain and uncomfortable in his new role. His completion rate was 62%, and he had two interceptions.
Cowboys QB Andy Dalton: “For us, we got to tune out any outside noise and we got to focus on what’s next. … We’re still in a really good place. Everything is out in front of us. There’s a long season to go.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 22, 2020
No one expects him to replace Prescott’s difference-making ability, but Dalton is expected to be poised and confident. The Cowboys still have skill at wide receiver and at running back with Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys can still win this division if Dalton gives them consistency and the defense tightens up.
If the Cowboys lose to Washington Sunday, their season seems headed for disaster. Dalton undoubtedly understands that.
Washington Has Its Own Problems
Washington has already changed starting quarterbacks, and the offensive line has surrendered 24 sacks this season.
The Cowboys will be going hard after Kyle Allen, who has replaced Dwayne Haskins as the starter. Allen did complete 73.8% of his passes for 280 yards last week, but they still lost 20-19 to the previously winless New York Giants. Many in the Washington fan base are convinced that changing from Haskins to Allen was a “tanking” move.
Even with talented Terry McLaurin at wide receiver and running back Antonio Gibson creating some buzz, the Washington bunch ranks 30th in the NFL in total offense. The Cowboys’ defense should look better against Washington.
But the Cowboys won’t take Washington’s defense for granted. It’s dependable, ranking 18th in the NFL this season. Dalton will be challenged.
.@WashingtonNFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins was reportedly fined by the team for breaking COVID-19 protocols.https://t.co/QDzDHnFb1E
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 23, 2020
Cowboys Aren’t as Bad as Washington
Even with all the injuries and defensive issues, the Cowboys are still leading the NFC East. They still have the best talent in that weak division. All that is required to beat Washington this week is an improved performance by the defense and steadier play by Dalton. Both should occur. In their current state, the Cowboys couldn’t beat many teams in the NFL. However, they can beat the Washington Football Team.
Pick: Cowboys +1 (-120)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.