Thursday Night Football Preview: Can the Cowboys Stay Dominant at Home?

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33
Thursday Night Football Preview: Can the Cowboys Stay Dominant at Home?

Week 13 of the NFL season kicks off tonight with the Seattle Seahawks (6-5) visiting the Dallas Cowboys (8-3).

The Seahawks will look to hand the Cowboys their first home loss of the season -- though Dallas' dominance at AT&T Stadium is certifiable. Not only have they won all five home games thus far, but they've done so handedly, winning each game by 20-plus points and touting an average home victory margin of 29 points.

The Cowboys have a league-best +162 point differential, Dak Prescott has entered the conversation as a legitimate MVP candidate, and the Dallas D is lauded.

However, their competition this season has not been up to snuff. The Cowboys have yet to defeat a team with a winning record. The combined winning percentage of teams Dallas has beaten this season sits at a lowly .381 (24-63 record) while America's Team has dropped key games against the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

We can respect the manner in which the Cowboys have bullied opponents while also noting that they must prove themself against more stringent competition, and tonight, they'll face a sliding but still trying Seahawks team.

A meeting with Seattle was more intimidating four weeks ago than it is now. After starting the season 5-2, the Seahawks have now lost three of their last four games, including two blowout losses to the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. Though they are currently holding on to an NFC Wild Card spot, their upcoming competition doesn't get much easier after tonight; they will go on to play the 49ers and Eagles and will likely have to win at least one of these games to keep playoff hopes alive.

The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET and can be streamed on Prime Video.

NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Lines may change after this article is published.

Cowboys at Seahawks Week 13 Betting Odds: Spread, Total, and Moneyline

  • Spread: Cowboys -8.5 (-115)
  • Total: 47.5
  • Moneyline:
    • Cowboys: +350
    • Seahawks: -450

Cowboys at Seahawks Week 13 Matchup Analysis

There is plenty of weak competition to take advantage of in Week 13. After all, the New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Carolina Panthers are all playing on Sunday. Yet, according to numberFire's game projections, no team in the league has a higher chance at a W this week than the Dallas Cowboys (81.7% win probability).

This is a testament to Dallas' second-ranked schedule-adjusted offense, third-ranked schedule-adjusted defense, and overall number one rank in numberFire's power rankings.

No team could fare as nicely as the Cowboys in these regards, and the Seahawks certainly do not. Seattle comes in at the 19th spot on numberFire's power rankings with its 21st-ranked offense and 17th-ranked defense.

Dak Prescott is having a career-best year. He's thrown a towering 17 touchdown passes in his last five games and comes into Week 13 with the league's second-best Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) added. Yet, he will face a tougher pass defense than in previous weeks. Seattle has the 11th-best pass defense in the NFL while Prescott and company have faced just one pass defense that ranks higher (49ers), which resulted in 153 passing yards during a three-interception outing.

Though Seattle's pass D probably can't hold a candle to San Francisco's, they could give Prescott more trouble than he's used to. The Seahawks are averaging the third-most sacks on the road.

We could have a big Tony Pollard game on tap for tonight. Seattle has the eighth-worst rush D, and the 8.5-point spread indicates that the Cowboys could opt for more running plays in a late-game lead scenario. Plus, Rico Dowdle (ankle) has been limited in practice this week and was held to just three rush attempts in Week 12.

For the second week in a row, the Seahawks will be without Kenneth Walker III. This will be a blow for Seattle, especially with this matchup. The Cowboys rush D (allow the 13th-fewest rush yards per game) isn't as impressive as their pass D (allow the 2nd-fewest passing yards per game). Zach Charbonnet will once again be handed lead running back duties. He rushed for a modest 47 yards on 14 carries last week.

Geno Smith has had a respectable season, but he found himself on the injury report in Week 12 and was held to just 180 passing yards and zero touchdowns. Dallas is averaging the third-most (tied) sacks per game and the sixth-most (tied) takeaways per game.

Cowboys vs. Seahawks Prop Bets

Tony Pollard Over 86.5 Rushing + Receiving Yards (-114)
Tony Pollard Longest Rush Over 14.5 Yards (-114)

The Seahawks give up 131.0 combined rushing and receiving yards to running backs per game. Tony Pollard should be able to take advantage of this. He's averaging 91.5 combined rushing and receiving yards over his last two games.

Though Rico Dowdle will likely play tonight, he is on the injury report this week, which could beef up Pollard's usage a bit more. Plus, a Dallas lead could see to additional running plays.

numberFire is projecting Pollard to go for 93.58 combined rushing and receiving yards tonight.

I'd also look for Pollard's longest rush to surpass 14 yards tonight. He's cleared the over on this prop in 8 out of 11 games, and his average longest rush stands at 18.5 yards. Seattle has the eighth-worst rush D and cedes the seventh-most yards per rush attempt on the road.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.