Dallas (7-1) at Pittsburgh (4-4)
When: Sunday, November 13th 2016
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 4:25 ET | TV: FOX
The Dallas Cowboys are still not getting any respect as they come in underdogs against the 4-4 Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday afternoon. Dallas has reeled off seven straight wins behind rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott threw for three touchdowns and Elliott (NFL-leading 891 yards) rushed for two as the Cowboys routed the Cleveland Browns last Sunday 35-10. Slot receiver Cole Beasley leads the team in catches (43) and receiving yards (499) and touchdowns, and hauled in his fourth score in the last four games last Sunday. Fellow wideout Dez Bryant has caught 16 of 41 passes thrown his way, with only one for 19 yards against the Browns’ secondary last week. Veteran tight end Jason Witten was Prescott’s top target last week, catching eight balls for 134 yards and a touchdown. Dallas’ defense, which ranks fifth in scoring (17.5), has held five of their last six opponents to 17 points or less. Linebacker Sean Lee leads the team in both tackles (79) and tackles for loss (five). The Cowboys hold a two game lead over the Giants in the NFC East and will get Baltimore at home next week.
The Steelers begin the day a half game behind the Ravens after Baltimore’s win over Cleveland on Thursday night and will look to rebound from a horrible offensive performance last week. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee to complete just 23 of 45 passes in a 21-14 setback at Baltimore. Pittsburgh’s potent offense was non-existent through three quarters last week as it mustered just 69 yards before Roethlisberger woke up and tossed a touchdown pass to Antonio Brown and rushed for another. Running back Le’Veon Bell has 659 scrimmage yards (NFL second-best 131.8 per contest) in five games this season, but Pittsburgh has struggled to find a consistency in the passing game outside of Brown. Martavis Bryant is suspended for the season and Sammie Coates has followed a strong start with just four yards in his last three games. Fellow wideouts Markus Wheaton (shoulder) and Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot) are nursing injuries. Eli Rogers recorded a team-leading 103 receiving yards last Sunday to pick up the slack.
Dallas has not only won seven straight, but they have covered all seven as well. The Steelers have lost three straight (all ATS) and Roethlisberger is not 100%. He is now limited with Brown being the only viable option to throw to. Dallas is sixth in the league against the run, so don’t look for Bell to have a big day, which Pittsburgh will need. I think Dallas wins this game outright, so take the points.
Pick: Cowboys +2.5