The Dallas Cowboys are favored against the undefeated Carolina Panthers this Thursday…
..ya that was our face too.
The Cowboys are much better with Tony Romo as their signal caller. Better enough to make the 10-0 undefeated Panthers an underdog in their Thursday night Thanksgiving game? I don’t think so.
Believe it or not, the NFC creme de la crem, Carolina opened up in Vegas as a 1 point underdog to the NFC East last-place Cowboys, who have one exactly one win in their last 8 tries.
Granted having your quarterback back at the helm does make a difference, but the other 30 or so players on the field make up the rest of the team. Considering they couldn’t pull out a win with a relatively decent showing from Matt Cassel at QB exposed just how poor the Cowboys are as a team if they have to rely so much on a single player.
It was a head-scratcher for many in the media and fans alike, and Panthers head coach Ron Rivera went as far as agreeing with a media member who questioned if the betting line is disrespectful to one of the league’s two unbeaten teams. “We’ll just take it in stride,” Rivera said. “As I said, we’ll play them one at a time, and as far as we’re concerned, everybody’s 0-0, and we’ll see how it comes out.” Rivera added later, “It is a little disrespectful, but apparently they know something we don’t. We’re just going to prepare and get ourselves ready to play on Thursday.”
For The Win provided 4 reason’s explaining why the Cowboys are favored:
1. The public loves to bet the Cowboys.
2. Carolina isn’t going 16-0 and since there are only six games left to play, a road game on a short week against a team that is far better than its 3-7 record indicates and has recently gotten back its injured quarterback seems like a ripe time for an upset.
3. The Panthers are as high as ever and they’ll be brought down to earth at one point. And though this won’t have any effect on the outcome of this game, Ron Rivera has to know he can’t take a 16-0 team into the playoffs. It’s not worth the stress. A Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys is never a “take off” game but the Panthers will have one soon.
4. Dallas has won six of its last nine Thanksgiving games, which fits with the short-week idea. However, the Cowboys are only nine for its last 18 on Turkey Day, which kills the “road team on a short week” rule we apply to those meaningless, year-round Thursday night games. Why is it? Perhaps because the excitement of playing on Thanksgiving in front of what should be the largest television audience of the year is enough to shake off the fatigue of four-days rest. Either that or players just really love them some cold Thanksgiving food borrowed from the Fox craft services table to eat with Joe Buck in the postgame. (Twenty bucks says Cam Newton makes the turkey dance if he’s at the table following a Panthers win.)
“We’ve heard it, so it’s out there, and we all know how it turned out so we’ll hopefully think about that and get ourselves ready to go,” Rivera said.
The Panthers are just the second 10-0 team in NFL history to open as an underdog in their 11th game. The 1985 Bears were the first such team – with Rivera as a linebacker, against the Cowboys.