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NFL Sunday Night Football: Can a Rookie Come to Cowboys’ Rescue?

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys NFL Week 8 Betting Preview odds

The winner on Sunday night between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles will lead the NFC East.

Think about that for a moment. Dallas is 2-5 straight-up and 0-7 against the spread. Philadelphia is 2-4-1 SU and 2-5 ATS.

And guess what? If it’s not one of these teams going to the playoffs, it’ll be the New York Giants or Washington. Yup – a team without a nickname yet.

BetOnline customers have a lot of handicapping to do on this one.

Here are the numbers…

Philadelphia is a big favorite, and we’re going to tell you why in a minute.

Cowboys vs. Eagles Sunday Night Football Week 8 Odds

TeamSP/RLTOTALML
Cowboys+10½ (-110)42½ (-109)+391
Eagles-10½ (-110)42½ (-111)-511
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The new guy behind center

The Cowboys have been put in a tight spot at the quarterback position. Dak Prescott, as you know, is out for the year. And Andy Dalton had his bell rung pretty good last week. He’s got a concussion.

So into the spotlight steps Ben DiNucci, who briefly saw action last week. He was able to complete two of three passes. But he was also sacked three times. DiNucci was drafted in the seventh round by Dallas this past year. They did so because they knew there were at least two other teams that were going to pounce on him as an undrafted free agent.

Head coach Mike McCarthy already knew something about DiNucci’s background, because he had played high school basketball under his brother Joe (yes, Joe McCarthy). It should be noted that DiNucci was not able to hold his starting position at Pitt. In fact, he was beaten out by a freshman. After transferring to James Madison, he found himself. In fact, he was named an All-American at the FCS level and took the Dukes to the national title game, losing to North Dakota State.

DiNucci’s baptism under fire

It isn’t that Philadelphia is so fierce in its pass rush. But we can tell you that coordinator Jim Schwartz will absolutely blitz if given the opportunity.

This could be such an opportunity. The Cowboys are hurting on the offensive line, and that situation only marginally improves with the return of All-Pro guard Zach Martin. They have been missing starting tackles La’el Collins and Tyron Smith. They have also been without center Jon Looney.

This is why (a) they have not gotten anything going with Dalton, and (b) why the ground game, even with the presence of Ezekiel Elliott, is a shaky proposition.

Eagles are hurting too

Philadelphia will have to do without the services of running back Miles Sanders. They will also be without wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Zach Ertz, the Pro Bowl tight end, is out of action. But Dallas Goedert will play. So with Richard Rodgers also available, the Eagles may be able to go with two tight ends with some success. John Hightower and Travis Fulgham have been pleasant surprises at the wide receiver spot. And Philly should be able to move some on the ground even without Sanders, since the Cowboys give up five yards a carry.

Conclusion…

Just imagine a guy in his first NFL start, with an offensive line that is patchwork at best. He’s already experienced what that is like, as he’s been sacked on half his dropbacks. Now imagine that a veteran defensive coordinator is going to design a blitz package meant to pressure and confuse him. DiNucci may be a prospect of sorts, but he’s more of a “project.” And he was no Heisman Trophy winner. This is going to be a trying time for him. We’re not crazy about laying this many points; we admit that. But we think this offensive uncertainty on the part of Dallas may tie in nicely to an UNDER in this game.

BetOnline gives you a huge number of options for wagering on props for every NFL game. And you can feast on all of this for the NBC-televised Sunday night contest……. Also check out Odds Booster, where you get greatly enhanced payouts on pre-selected parlays!