NFL Picks: Bradford vs. Cassel? Easy Choice Is 'Under' 44.5 In Eagles-Cowboys

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 5, 2015 8:22 PM GMT

The Eagles and Cowboys conclude their NFC East season series in Big D on Sunday Night with both offenses currently struggling. Thus the total for the game is just 44.5 points on the NFL odds board.

Will Bradford Have Short Leash?
These next nine games could be the defining stretch of Chip Kelly's coaching career in Philadelphia as the Eagles have struggled on offense at 3-4 but are coming off the bye week. So if Kelly is going to work his magic with QB Sam Bradford and Co., it probably is now or never. Frankly, Kelly has to use running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews more.

It looked like the Eagles had fixed things following a 39-17 home win over New Orleans in Week 5 and 27-7 win over the Giants in Week 6. But in Week 7 at Carolina, Philly lost 27-16. Bradford took a step back there, completing 26-for-46 for 205 yards and a pick (first game without TD). Down 24-16 in the fourth quarter, the Eagles took the field twice with a chance to tie the score. The first time, Bradford was sacked on third down and the Eagles had to punt. On the second time, Bradford was sacked twice and had four incompletions. Philly's only touchdown came on a 63-yard run by Mathews.

Bradford looks like he will hugely regret reportedly turning down a four-year, $72 million extension this summer. He has thrown more picks (10) than TDs (nine), ranks 23rd in completion percentage (62.0), 30th in rating (76.4) and 31st in yards per attempt (6.45). Bradford might not have his left tackle in this one as Jason Peters hurt his back in the Panthers loss and hadn't practiced this week as of Thursday. Right tackle Lane Johnson has taken reps at left tackle this week and could start there if Peters can't go.

The Philly defense is expected to get back linebacker Kiko Alonso, who was acquired in the offseason trade from Buffalo for LeSean McCoy. Alsono has been out since Week 2 with a knee injury. Fellow linebacker DeMeco Ryans also should play after missing Week 7 with a hamstring injury.

The Eagles are 3-4 against the spread on NFL odds and 1-6 'over/under.'

 

Cowboys' Season Might Be Over When Romo Returns
You could say that Dallas somewhat misses injured QB Tony Romo as the Dallas Cowboys have dropped five in a row to sink to the cellar of the NFC East without him. Romo did return to a limited practice this week but he's ineligible to play until Nov. 22 at the earliest. Brandon Weeden started the first three games after Romo was hurt, but he was benched following the Cowboys' 30-6 loss to New England in Week 5 and during the bye week.

Matt Cassel hasn't done much better. He threw three interceptions in a loss to the Giants out of the bye and then was 13-for-25 for just 97 yards in last week's 13-12 loss to  Seattle. Dallas did get Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant back against the Seahawks after he broke his foot in Week 1, but Bryant is only as good as his quarterback and caught just two passes for 12 yards. In five games without Romo, the offense has converted only 6-for-16 red-zone attempts for TDs.

The Cowboys look vastly different right now from the team that beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 (see below). Obviously Cassel is at QB and not Romo; Cassel was with Buffalo back in Week 2. Bryant is back. The starting running back then was Joseph Randle, but he was released this week. Now it's Darren McFadden. Two of Dallas' best defensive players, end Greg Hardy and linebacker Rolando McClain, were suspended the first four games of the season. As many as 10 of the 22 starters in the first game could either be in different spots in the lineup or not playing at all for Dallas on Sunday night.

Dallas is 2-5 ATS on NFL picks this season and 3-4 O/U.

 

Last Meeting
In Week 2 in Philadelphia, the Eagles were 7-point favorites and the total was 53.5, but Dallas won 20-10. Of course that was the game Romo broke his collarbone. He was 18-for-27 for 195 yards before the third-quarter injury. Weeden replaced him and was 7-for-7 for 73 yards, throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams with 4:13 left for a 20-3 lead. Randle rushed 18 times for 51 yards. Jason Witten caught seven passes for 56 yards. Dallas might have won by more if not for a franchise-record 18 penalties. The Eagles managed only  226 total yards and were 2-for-11 on third down. Bradford was 23-for-37 for 224 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions (one in Cowboys end zone). Dallas totally shut down the Philly rushing attack as Murray had two yards on 13 carries. How is that even possible? Jordan Matthews caught six balls for 80 yards and a score.

NFL Picks: Bradford is struggling and Dallas has a terrible quarterback. Certainly go 'under' 44.5 at YouWager. It has hit in four of the past five meetings. The 'under' is 6-2-1 in the Cowboys' past nine at home.

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