From the Lockerroom Weekly NFL Preview: Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys

An inside look and prediction for the Week 2 NFL matchup between the Bengals and Dak-less Cowboys.

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys Sunday Preview

The Cincinnati Bengals travel to AT&T Stadium to face the Dallas Cowboys late Sunday afternoon in Week 2. Both will be looking to rebound after losing their openers. Dallas lost much more, an injury to Dak Prescott's hand (thumb) turned over the starting quarterback duties to Cooper Rush. This is a large reason why, according to NFL odds, the Cincinnati Bengals are a 7.5 point road favorite. The over-under is set at 42.5.

‘Pokes Without Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys were terrible offensively against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a losing opener. However, the biggest news coming out of that game was the injured hand/thumb of starting QB Dak Prescott, requiring surgery that figures to sideline him approximately 6-to-9 weeks. The only understudy quarterback on Dallas’ current roster is Cooper Rush, who will be the starter for the foreseeable future.

Dallas Cowboys free pickEven before Prescott's injury, the Cowboy offense couldn’t do anything against the Buccaneer defense. Dallas ended the game as the only team in the entire NFL with no touchdowns! Prescott only had 134 passing yards, Ezekiel Elliott just 52 on the ground. The Cowboys are opposing one of the better offenses in football, and will need to score against Cincinnati.

Dallas was able to minimize the Tampa Bay/Tom Brady passing game. Brady ended with 212 yards and was sacked (by linebacker Micah Parsons) two times. Also, no Tampa wideout amassed more than 71 receiving yards. Dallas now gets another tough test in a Cincinnati Bengal team with a lot of Pro Bowl-caliber weapons, meaning the defense is going to have to be elite.

As per NFL conference odds, Dallas is now offering at +2200 price to win the NFC. Depending upon your lexicon, that’s quite the steep odds increase/decrease in the Cowboys’ chances. A poor performance and an injured quarterback will do that to NFL future odds.

Bengals Slumping Post-Supe?

The Cincinnati Bengals played in one of the wildest NFL games in quite some time, Cincy lost a heartbreaking overtime opener at home against their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. With no kick seemingly able to go through goalposts until the final boot, the ending was not a good result in Bengalville. Teams struggle coming off a defeat in the Super Bowl, and the Bengals need to learn that history lesson.

Bengals Cowboys preview pickQuarterback Joe Burrow threw four interceptions and the Bengals had five turnovers. However, the good news is much of that happened in the first two quarters and Cincinnati seemed to find a rhythm in the second half. The Bengals controlled the time of possession in the game, but will need to fix their turnover issues.

Takeaways may be an issue in this game as well, as the Cowboys have Parsons as an edge rusher/inside linebacker and Trevon Diggs, who lead the league in interceptions last season, at cornerback. Burrow struggled with quick decisions last week and the way the Cowboys faltered against the run in the opener, perhaps it’s a smart game plan to feed star runner Joe Mixon early and often.

Bengals Manhandle Depleted Dallas

The Cincinnati Bengals should win without too much worry here. The Bengals are not perfect, but their defense should be able to feast on a Cowboy offense that looks non-existent now. That, and Cooper Rush’s quick baptism at quarterback. He's been in the league for six years and started just one game. Furthermore, the Cincy offense can score within minutes. This won't be the highest-scoring game of the second week, but the Cowboy offense won't be able to go toe-to-toe with Cincinnati. Lay the points.

Cincinnati isn't saddled with any significant injuries outside of wide receiver Tee Higgins, while the Cowboys could be without wideout Michael Gallup (plus Prescott and Tyron Smith). The Cowboys would likely be the underdog even if healthy, now depleted and the spread is still only 7½  points. This is one of the easiest bets to make in Week 2 of the NFL season, at least on paper.


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