A fairly chalk Week 13 of NFL odds concludes on Monday night from Landover, Md., where a Dallas Cowboys upset of the Washington Redskins would mean a three-way tie atop the sorry NFC East.
If the NFL Draft was held today, the Cowboys (3-8) would pick No. 4 overall. Yet if they win Monday, they would be only a game behind Washington (5-6), Philadelphia and New York Giants (both 5-7) in the division. The Redskins are +125 favorites on NFL odds to win the NFC East. The Cowboys lost star quarterback Tony Romo for the rest of the season when he re-fractured his collarbone in a Thanksgiving blowout loss to Carolina. The team hasn't put him on injured reserve yet in hopes that maybe he could return for the playoffs but that's incredibly wishful thinking. Dallas hasn't won a game without Romo yet this season so clearly the team is delusional. Matt Cassel takes over again under center. Expect the Cowboys to draft a quarterback next spring to groom behind Romo, who is going to be 36. Or you hear talk that perhaps Dallas could trade for Johnny Manziel as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones had a man crush on Manziel coming out of Texas A&M and nearly drafted Johnny Football in 2014. Kellen Moore is currently Cassel's backup should something happen. Moore has yet to take a snap in a regular-season game after spending three seasons with the Detroit Lions.
Kirk Cousins 'Over/Under' 21.5 Completions, 245.5 Passing Yards, 1.5 TD Passes, .5 INTs
One quarterback who might come available for Dallas is Washington's Robert Griffin III as clearly he's no longer in that team's plans and the Redskins aren't going to pay him the $16 million or so that RGIII is due next season. Cousins has started to prove that he's the future at quarterback for the Redskins. And he's been great at home, where Washington has won five straight. Cousins has completed 127-for-167 (76 percent) for 1,436 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions for a 121.2 passer rating in the home winning streak. Cousins has also rushed for three touchdowns during that span. Cousins has only faced Dallas once as a starter in his career and that was in a 24-23 loss in 2013. Cousins can become a free agent after this season but the Redskins aren't likely to let him get away. The team could use the franchise tag on him. Dallas has been good against the pass, ranking fifth in allowing 225.0 yards per game. The Cowboys have given up only 11 touchdowns passes and picked off six.
NFL Picks: Over all at Bet365
Matt Cassel O/U 20 Completions, 220.5 Passing Yards, 1.5 TDs, .5 INTs
Cassel is 0-4 as a starter with Dallas after he replaced the ineffective Brandon Weeden, who has since been released. Cassel started the season with Buffalo but was acquired for a late-round draft pick. Dallas could have won all four starts that Cassel lost as they were by a combined 18 points. In two road starts, loss at the Giants and Buccaneers, Cassel has one touchdown pass and four interceptions with game ratings in the 60s for both. He faces a Washington secondary that has allowed at least two quarterback scores in seven of their past eight games. The Cowboys haven't won with a backup quarterback since the 2010 regular-season finale with Stephen McGee. They are 6-16 without Romo since he became the starter in 2006. Entering Week 14, NFL backup quarterbacks had a combined 14-24 record in 2015. The Cowboys have averaged 322 total yards, including only 196 passing, in the seven games without Romo. The Redskins are No. 12 in allowing 240 passing yards per game. They have given up 22 TD passes and picked off nine. The NFL pick for this one is.......
NFL Picks: Over all except touchdown passes.
Jason Witten O/U 4.5 Receptions, 42.5 Receiving Yards
With two receptions in this game, Witten (998) would join Tony Gonzalez as the only tight ends in NFL history to have 1,000 career catches. Witten (33 years, 215 days old on Monday) would be the youngest tight end in NFL history to reach 1,000 career receptions (Gonzalez, 34 years, 197 days). Witten topped 4.5 receptions in three of Cassel's four starts. He went over 42.5 receiving yards twice. Cassel and Witten have hooked up 22 times for 210 yards with no scores overall. Of Witten’s 998 catches, 649 have come from Romo for 7,287 yards.
NFL Picks: Redskins will likely double-team Dez Bryant so Witten should see plenty of targets. Go 'OVER' both.