Handicapping Tips for Cowboys vs. Dolphins NFL Pick 8/23

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 4:03 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 4:03 PM UTC

This Saturday, there are some very interesting NFL odds. One of those games in the early evening hours is the Cowboys heading into Miami as +3 ½ underdogs, with a total of 45 ½.

Tony Romo’s Workload
According to the Dallas Morning News, Jerry Jones said yesterday that Tony Romo will get the same amount of work in Week 3 that he did in Week 2. That accounted to 14 snaps, 4/5 passing and a touchdown. However here in Week 3, the Dolphins will likely be sending their starters out on the field much more than 14 snaps, especially Ryan Tannehill, who has looked very good this preseason.

Tannehill has shown very well so far, and although there have been no reports of this, Joe Philbin may send his young starter out for most of the first half snaps. If that’s the case, the Dolphins have a lot of value going against the Cowboys with only a few series worth of Romo under center.


Dolphins’ Backup Battle
After Tannehill gets his time in the first half, the Dolphins also have two very capable QB backups behind him in case things go down. Whether or not they’ll keep all three quarterbacks is another question, but for now Matt Moore and Brady Quinn will likely both get a quarter’s worth of snaps in Saturday’s game.

Both QBs played well last week in Miami’s win over the Bucs. Moore went 13/19, with 158 passing yards and a touchdown, while Quinn was a perfect 4/4 for 22 yards in his brief time. Quinn has only been with the team for a week or two, so in this next preseason game, he might be able to show a little more of the playbook, and his skills.


The Sharp Pick
I see the preseason battle at backup quarterback helping the Dolphins in this game, not hurting them. Tannehill should score at least a couple of times against the Cowboys very soft defense, and after he sits down, Moore should continue on the path of Dallas destruction. By the time Quinn gets into the game, he will be throwing garbage time touchdowns against the Cowboys’ third stringers, and it should lead to a Miami cover.

The one thing that will be the great equalizer in this game will be both teams’ running games, and running defenses. The Cowboys are trying to establish a very solid ground game backed by DeMarco Murray and a healthy stable of backs. The Dolphins were apparently trying to do the same with the combination of Lamar Miller, Knowshon Moreno and Daniel Thomas, but so far this preseason the running game has left a lot to be desired.

Miami has rushed for less than 100 yards combined for both of their preseason games, but if anything can get a running game going, it’s the Dallas Cowboys’ defense. Miami should right the running ship in this game, and I see it leading to a cover. With Romo reportedly not playing much on the other side, it’s the perfect storm for a potential double-digit win and those placing NFL picks will be wise to take advantage of this advice.

My Free NFL Pick: Dolphins -3 ½ 

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