Back Chargers -2.5 Over Visiting Cowboys Aug. 7th NFL Pick

David Lawrence

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 8:00 AM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 8:00 AM UTC

The Dallas Cowboys will try to get out of their 8-8 rut as they take the field again in their preseason match against the San Diego Chargers on August 7th. Here is our recommended betting strategy for your NFL picks. 

The Dallas Cowboys have played the same kind of season each of the past three seasons. They get to the final game of the season in week 17 with an 8-7 record. They play one of their NFC East rivals on Sunday Night Football. They lose. They finish 8-8, just out of the playoffs. Can Dallas finally break through and win its division?


Is There A Coaching Edge?
San Diego head coach Mike McCoy has only one preseason under his belt as an NFL head coach. In that preseason, McCoy went 1-3. That’s a small sample size, but the Chargers didn’t rack up lots of preseason wins last year under McCoy. Dallas coach Jason Garrett is 7-6 in the preseason as an NFL head coach. That’s not a tremendous record, but it’s better than McCoy’s mark. All this talk about preseason records, though, obscures the fact that McCoy led his team to the playoffs last season, while Garrett has been spinning his wheels in Dallas as the head coach of the Cowboys. If you wanted to look at this game through the lens of preseason coaching advantages, you’d take Garrett. If you wanted to look at this game purely in terms of overall coaching quality, you’d probably take McCoy at this point. There’s probably not enough information here to give a definite verdict on these coaches as they relate to Thursday’s game.


Who Has The Edge In Quarterback Depth?
This is a case in which both teams have decent backup quarterbacks, but not the kinds of guys you’d want to depend on as starters. Brandon Weeden is the number two quarterback for the Cowboys. He’s been in the NFL for only a few years, but remember that he played college football at Oklahoma State in his late 20s, so he’s as old as a seven- or eight-year veteran. Kellen Clemens, the second-string quarterback for the Chargers, has that level of longevity in the league. He was okay for the St. Louis Rams last season as an emergency starter once Sam Bradford was knocked out of the lineup with an injury, but he couldn’t make use of a strong St. Louis defense. He showed promise in spots, but he was ultimately revealed as exactly who he was as a quarterback: not good enough to be a playoff-caliber performer. Weeden really struggled during his stay in Cleveland, however, so it’s not as though there’s clear daylight between these two players. It’s close, but all in all, you’d rather take Clemens than Weeden in a game when the starters aren’t going to see much of any playing time.

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This is a game in which two veteran quarterbacks, Tony Romo and Philip Rivers, are going to watch backups play for a long time. Weeden was not able to hang onto a job in Cleveland, and that was with starter Brian Hoyer getting injured in early October. That tells you something about Weeden’s ability right now. San Diego is probably going to find enough offense to win this game in the second half.

Free NFL Pick: Chargers -2.5 at 5Dimes sportbook

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