The NFL is a much better product when the Dallas Cowboys are playing well, they are now the darlings of the league partially because of two wonderful draft picks—one made on purpose and the other on accident.
Dallas (10-5 ATS) got extremely Lucky to get both Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott in the 2016 NFL Draft as after drafting Elliott, Jerry Jones and the organization desperately tried to get back into the 1st Round, offering the Seahawks their 2nd and 3rd Round picks in order to draft Memphis QB Paxton Lynch. But John Elway and the Broncos beat Dallas to the punch and made the trade with Seattle enabling them to draft Lynch and leaving the poor Cowboys to have to take a chance on some kid named Dak from Mississippi State. Fate.
Positives: The Cowboys (5-0 ATS Grass) know how to win on the Road, are tied for #6 in TO Margin (+7), #4 in Offensive Scoring (27.2 ppg), #4 in Defensive scoring (18.6 ppg), the OL is dominant, Sean Lee (93 tackles) is a stud, the Owner is passionate, intelligent and involved and WR Cole Beasley (72 reception, 784 yards, 5 TDs) is evolving into a dependable Edelman-type of possession receiver. This is likely the start of something really good. Thanks Denver.
New York (11-4 Under) has beaten mighty Dallas twice, but Eli Manning and the Playoff-bound Giants (+2550 to win Super Bowl, 5Dimes) are still challenged and have the 25th Scoring Offense (19.4 ppg). In Week 17, the G-Men are in Washington where they can ruin the Redskins Postseason hopes (WASH -7½, BookMaker).
Positives: The Giants rank #3 on Scoring Defense (18.3.0 ppg) behind the electric Landon Collins (96 tackles, 5 interceptions), Janoris Jenkins, WR Odell Beckham and WR Sterling Shepard, KR Specialist Dwayne Harris and K Robbie Gould (8-8 FGs).
Philadelphia (7-1 Over Road) got the QB it wanted (Carson Wentz) in the NFL Draft, but the Eagles (1-5 ATS Turf) need to get some more quality Skill guys around the 6-5, 237-pound Rookie from North Dakota State as 33-year-old Darren Sproles has been one of the few clutch guys the Offense can count on. The Eagles are tied for 10th in TO Margin (+4), are #18 on Defense (21.2 ppg) and #17 on Offense (22.7 ppg) and have a +22 PD (340 PF-318 PA) despite heading into Week 17 three games under .500 (6-9).
Positives: The Defense has been decent with Malcolm Jenkins (70 tackles, 3 interceptions,2 TDs), Rodney McLeod (79 tackles, 3 interceptions), Jordan Hicks (80 tackles, 3 interceptions) and Nigel Bradham (101 tackles, interception) all having to do yeoman’s work although the Offense actually leads the NFL in average Time of Possession (32:18).
Unlike Philadelphia, we learned Kirk Cousins and Washington (12-3 Over) have assembled a really nice group of Skill Position players on Offense, including DeSean Jackson (971 yards, 4 TDs), Jamison Crowder (65 receptions, 7 TDs), Jordan Reed (61 receptions, 5 TDs), Robert Kelley (671 rush yards, 5 TDs), Matt Jones (460 rush yards, 3 TDs), Pierre Garçon (945 yards, 3 TDs), Vernon Davis (45 receptions, 2 TDs) and Chris Thompson (43 receptions, 2 TDs).
Positives: Getting CB Josh Norman from Carolina. Maybe making the Postseason and having a second straight respectable season after much misery and frustration. The Redskins (97/1 to win Super Bowl, Heritage) need to win at Home against the Giants on Sunday to make the NFC Playoffs (WASH -7½ -115, Bovada) and Washington (10-5 ATS) won at MetLife Stadium in September, 29-27, winning outright as 3½-point Underdogs (47) but Big Blue is 5-2 ATS the L7 meetings overall.