The Dallas Cowboys may not play in the city they’re named for, but they are a far better team at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas than they are on the road. They’ll look to stay undefeated at their fancy domed stadium when they host the Seattle Seahawks as nine-point favourites on Thursday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET.
The Cowboys, who soundly defeated the Washington Commanders 45-10 in their traditional Thanksgiving Day game last week, have won 13 straight games at home stretching back to the opener of the 2022 season, a 34-14 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Cowboys have a high-octane offence to begin with, but at home it purrs like a brand new sports car. Against Washington, quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 331 yards and connected on touchdown passes to four different receivers. He has been awfully difficult to stop in his last five games, with 17 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.
The Seahawks tend to play Dallas tough, however, having limited the ‘Boys to 12 points in each of the last two regular-season meetings. The Seahawks struggle on the road, with three straight away losses, but the defence usually isn’t the culprit. The offence has managed just three touchdowns in those losses.
Seahawks vs. Cowboys odds
|Seahawks Moneyline Odds
|Cowboys Moneyline Odds
|Cowboys -9 (-110)
|47.5 points (over -110, under -110)
|Nov. 30, 8:15 p.m. ET
About the Seahawks (6-5 SU, 4-6-1 ATS, 5-6 o/u)
Seattle at least can bank on a full week of practice with starting quarterback Geno Smith, who missed most of the practice reps before last Thursday night’s game due to an elbow injury. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Smith and the offence didn’t exactly hum along in a 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
“The difference was night and day,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters this week in describing the preparation of his quarterback for the two games.
That may be the case, but Smith isn’t going to be feeling great late Thursday if his team doesn’t do a better job protecting him against a ferocious Cowboys’ pass rush. He was sacked six times while throwing for just 180 yards and an interception against the 49ers. He’ll need big performances from receivers D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba as the ‘hawks might be without running back Kenneth Walker III for the second straight week.
Cowboys-Seahawks games tend to get physical and this one might prove to be no exception. Seattle will need to focus on stopping the Cowboys’ running game, something it hasn’t done very well against good teams this season. Against the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and 49ers, the Seahawks allowed an average of 181 rushing yards. Seattle’s defence has the sixth-worst Rush EPA in the NFL.
Seattle can, at least, bank on good vibes in this NFC rivalry, as it has won the last four meetings, including two in Dallas.
About the Cowboys (8-3 SU, 8-3 ATS, 7-4 o/u)
DaRon Bland is among the most dangerous scoring weapons in the NFL and he plays defence. The Cowboys’ cornerback picked up his fifth pick-six of the season in the blowout win over the Commanders, a new NFL record. He could get an opportunity to continue that remarkable run as Smith has thrown eight interceptions and 14 interceptable pases, per playerprofiler.
Bland’s emergence has been a huge plus for a Dallas defence that lost Trevon Diggs for the season.
Even if Bland doesn’t find the end zone, Dallas usually finds its way there plenty at home. This could be a spot for the Cowboys to record 40 points for the fifth time this season as Seattle has struggled to contain high-octane offences and is dealing with a plethora of injuries as it fights to stay in the playoff picture.
The Cowboys are outscoring opponents 205-60 in Arlington, having scored 43 or more points in three of those games.
What makes this Dallas defence so tough is that it doesn’t need to blitz to get pressure, largely because it has Micah Parsons, who leads the NFL in pressures despite near-constant double temas. DeMarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler, Dorance Armstrong and Osa Odighizuwa all add to a ferocious pass rush.
Protecting Smith was a problem even before guard Phil Haynes picked up the toe injury that will keep him out of Thursday night’s game. The Seattle signal-caller has been sacked 13 times in the last four games.
The constant pressure has taken its toll on Smith, both physically and in terms of his performance. He has thrown for just three touchdowns in the last month and, last week, never put the ball in the end zone.
The Cowboys can bring about as much heat as any team in the NFL, with their 3.4 sacks per game behind only the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. They figure to make life plenty difficult on Smith and Seattle might be forced to keep a running back assigned to provide extra pass protection, which gives them one less potential pass catcher. In this spot, it’s worth considering fading Smith in plenty of categories even if he is fully healthy, which might not be the case.
Cowboys to record over 3.5 sacks
For Seattle, G Haynes (toe) is out. Walker (oblique) is doubtful after missing practice all week, as is WR Dareke Young (abdomen). DT Leonard Williams (ankle), TE Will Dissly (hip) and WR Dee Eskridge (ribs) are questionable.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys don’t have a single player listed on their injury report as everyone was a full participant in practice.
There could be some lingering thunderstorms and temperatures will be in the 12 C range, but it will be perfectly dry and comfortable inside the Jerry Jones dome.
- The Seahawks and their opponents have combined to reach this matchup’s point total (47.5) in just three of 11 games this season.
- The Cowboys and their opponents are averaging 44.2 points per game this season, also significantly below this over/under number.
- The Cowboys are 8-1 this season as moneyline favourites.
Player prop trends
- With Smith likely under relentless pressure, several Seahawks receivers could see their numbers affected. One line that’s worth a look for facing purposes is Metcalf’s receiving yards (59.5).
- Smith-Njigba, too, could be hard pressed to get open in time for Smith to get him the ball given that pass rush. His number (43.5) seems a bit high as well.
- CeeDee Lamb has scored a touchdown in three consecutive games. He is -138 to reach the end zone at any time in this one.
- Prescott has been seeking out receiver Brandin Cooks more lately, targeting him 19 times over the past three games. Cooks has responded with 16 catches for 287 yards and two touchdowns during that span. His over/under on receiving yards is 41.5 (over -110), a mark he’s exceeded four times in the last five games.
Wagers to consider
- Given the trajectory of this Seattle offence and the balance the Dallas defence possesses, one approach is to fade just about everything Smith does. That includes passing yards (226.5) and wagering on him to throw at least one interception (at -145).
- On the other side of the ball, given Seattle’s inability to stop any decent running attack, it might be worth playing over 63.5 rushing yards for Dallas running back Tony Pollard. If Dallas gets a lead, it could run the ball more than it normally does in the second half and Pollard would be the beneficiary of the extra touches.