Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Night Football: Cowboys vs. Jets

Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets
Sunday, 9/11/11, 8:25 PM EST, TV: NBC
Opening Point Spread: New York Jets -4
Current Betting Line: New York Jets -5.5
Opening Total: 41
Current Total: 40.5

Dallas will begin its first full year under the direction of head coach Jason Garrett, taking over control of the team after the mid-year firing of Wade Phillips. The Cowboys finished with a 5-3 record in his eight games and possesses plenty of offensive weapons that opposing head coach Rex Ryan is aware of. “Start with tight end Jason Witten, he caught almost 100 balls or something last year,” commented Ryan. “And then you have Dez Bryant, the young kid from here Miles Austin, they’re loaded.” Quarterback Tony Romo is also back after missing the final 10 games of the 2010 campaign with a broken left clavicle. Dallas is 7-3 ATS as an underdog the last two years.

The Cowboys entire season may hinge on the offensive line that will possess three new starters and has been challenged early by injuries. Dallas will be dealing with one of the more ferocious defense units in the entire league and it’s a cause for concern. Sunday’s meeting will be the 10th between the two teams, as the Cowboys are 7-2 in the previous nine contests, including a 34-3 win at Cowboy Stadium on Nov. 22, 2007. It will be an emotional scene in the Big Apple with the game taking place on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

New York is hoping to go one further step this year after being knocked out in the AFC Championship Game in consecutive years. The Jets bring back 18-of-22 players and third-year quarterback Mark Sanchez has led the team to 23 wins in his first two years. A lot of the focus offensively from the media will be centered around the return of wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who will be playing in his first regular season game in 1,001 days and is no stranger to the New York scene. He caught 505 passes for 7,845 yards and 55 touchdowns in 128 games while playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Giants. New York is 8-8 ATS at home.

The Jets will be dealing with another storyline in the game with twin brothers Rex and Rob Ryan facing each other for the ninth time in their careers. Good thing for the team is its head coach leads the series, 5-3, including a 26-20 win over Cleveland last year when Rob spent the season leading the Browns defense. Expect a lot of running from the offense, as it finished fourth in the NFL, averaging 4.4 yards an attempt and gaining 148.4 yards a game last year.

Bettors will find that the Cowboys are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games, while the Jets are 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games as a home favorite of 3.5 to 10 points.

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