- For just the second time in the Super Bowl era, the Dallas Cowboys are listed as a double-digit home underdog this Sunday against the Steelers
- Andy Dalton set to miss second straight game, QB decision very much up in the air
- Cowboys Super Bowl odds have seen a massive shift amidst incredibly disappointing season
It’s been a tough go in 2020 for the Dallas Cowboys who have been historically bad against the spread this season. The season itself doesn’t figure to turn around at home in Week 9, either, as the Cowboys take on a firm Super Bowl contender at home where they are extremely rare double-digit underdogs.
Cowboys Double-Digit Home Underdogs
For only the second time in the Super Bowl era, the Dallas Cowboys are double-digit home underdogs as they get set to host the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers at AT&T Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The Cowboys currently sit as 13.5-point underdogs, as per BetOnline, the second-biggest home underdog spread of their Super Bowl era after they were listed as 14.5-point underdogs to the San Francisco 49ers in 1989.
This is also the largest underdog spread the team has seen since they were 17-point underdogs at the Oakland Raiders in 2001.
The Cowboys’ 2020 season has been an utter disaster as they not only sport a 2-6 record, but are also 0-8 against the spread on the season, just the third team in Super Bowl history to begin a season with such a distinction, tying the 1991 Cincinnati Bengals and the 2003 Oakland Raiders.
Amazingly, their chances of winning the embarrassingly-futile NFC East are not doused just yet. Their +775 odds to do so certainly aren’t encouraging, however the first-place Philadelphia Eagles are just 3-4-1 themselves. Over their remaining eight games, the Cowboys face just two teams currently over the .500 mark – including this Sunday against the Steelers – while the Eagles face five teams over .500 the rest of the way.
For their part, the Steelers are a cool 7-0 on the season coming off a big win over the division rival Baltimore Ravens in Week 8. At BetOnline, only the Kansas City Chiefs sport superior Super Bowl LV odds than that of the Steelers’ +550 as the defending champs sit atop the league with +350 odds to repeat.
Dalton Out, QB Decision Up in the Air
Of course, Dak Prescott is out for the remainder of the season following a gruesome ankle injury in Week 5 against the New York Giants. While the Cowboys signed former Bengals veteran Andy Dalton for such a scenario in the offseason, Dalton struggled as Prescott’s replacement before being knocked out of a Week 7 loss against the Washington Football Team.
So, no suspension, just a $12,000 fine for WFT LB Jon Bostic for his massive hit to the head of Andy Dalton.#Raiders OG Gabe Jackson meanwhile was fined $12,500 for stepping on a player’s shoulder. pic.twitter.com/4MLTpuYRYU
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 31, 2020
The team has also seen their offensive line decimated. All-Pro center Travis Frederick surprisingly retired in the offseason while All-Pro left tackle Tyson Smith and All-Pro right tackle La’el Collins are out for the season.
With Dalton set to miss a second straight game on Sunday, the Cowboys’ decision at quarterback remains up in the air. Third-string rookie quarterback Ben DiNucci started Sunday night’s loss at Philadelphia, getting sacked twice for fumbles and completing just 52.5% of his passes and posting an uninspiring 64.6 passer rating.
The Cowboys brought in former backup Cooper Rush to add to a quarterback mix that also includes Garrett Gilbert, who has completed two of six pass attempts in his NFL career. Rush is at least familiar with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore after working under him last season.
The Cowboys are giving Rush and Gilbert first-unit reps at practise this week, but the final decision for Sunday’s starter is up in the air.
It also likely won’t matter. The Steelers enter Week 9 sporting the NFL’s fifth-ranked defense in terms of yards per game and sixth-ranked scoring defense while allowing just 20.3 points per game.
Cowboys Super Bowl Odds Decimated
Entering the season, the Cowboys were a Super Bowl contender, sporting +1467 average odds on September 8. The team was expected to roll out a high-octane offense – and they did – but there was no reason to believe their defense would be historically bad to begin the season.
The Cowboys’ defense is still the worst scoring defense in football as their 33.3 points against per game ranks 32nd, largely due to a run defense that also ranks as the worst in football while allowing 170.9 yards per game on the ground.
Add in the injury to Prescott and Cowboys futures have plummeted. They now sport +15000 odds to win Super Bowl LV, as per BetOnline, tied with fellow NFC East foe Washington Football Team who beat the Cowboys 25-3 in Week 7.
Without adding much-needed help to the interior defensive line, the Cowboys don’t appear set on an NFC comeback, at least they didn’t want to trade assets in what could be a lost season, rightfully so.
As a result, there certainly doesn’t appear to be any reason to entertain and Cowboys futures given the state of the quarterback situation, offensive line and overall defense throughout the year.