Usually when NFL teams play on Thanksgiving, they get a few extra days off ahead of the following game.
The Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys don’t have that luxury. They will both play for a second consecutive Thursday when they meet this week in Arlington, Texas.
These are two teams heading in opposite directions. The Cowboys have won their first five home games this season by an average of 29 points. Granted, that has come against five teams with losing records, but the Seahawks are reeling. Seattle has lost three of its past four games, is without top running back Kenneth Walker III and the Seahawks’ offensive line has been manhandled by quality defenses this season.
Prediction: Cowboys 34, Seahawks 23
The Cowboys opened as 7.5-point favorites at BetMGM and the line has moved to 9.5 points with Dallas backed by 72 percent of the spread-line bets and 80 percent of the money. The line has shifted even more dramatically at DraftKings, where it was Dallas -9.0 on Monday after opening at 3.5.
While the Seahawks’ +340 moneyline has drawn 61 percent of the bets at BetMGM, the Cowboys’ -450 ML has still been backed by 80 percent of the money.
The Over/Under opened at 46.5 points, but has also been on the move. It was 47.5 on Thursday morning, with the Under backed by 58 and 60 percent of the action, respectively.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott Over 1.5 Passing TDs (-230 at DraftKings): This has been the most popular player prop at the book. Prescott has thrown multiple touchdowns in five consecutive games and a total of 17 over that span. The Seahawks enter with the NFL’s 23rd-ranked pass defense and have allowed 14 passing touchdown through 11 games.
The Seahawks (6-5), who were in sole possession of first place in the NFC West at the start of November, now find themselves two games behind San Francisco. The visiting 49ers pounded Seattle 31-13 last Thursday.
The Seahawks have lost two in a row and three of four. That doesn’t bode well for their playoff hopes, as they follow the game against the Cowboys (8-3) with a rematch against the 49ers (8-3) in Santa Clara, Calif., and then a home game against the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles (10-1).
The Seahawks took a 17-16 road loss against the Los Angeles Rams before falling to the 49ers, and Seattle’s only touchdown vs. San Francisco came on a pick-six by linebacker Jordyn Brooks.
“I’m concerned. I’m concerned about our club. I’m concerned about everything we’re doing right now,” coach Pete Carroll said. “That (loss to San Francisco) will make you challenge everything, which is why you’re asking all the questions. There’s questions to be asked and answers to be found.”
Carroll seemed especially miffed by the team’s lack of offensive production the past two weeks.
“We have unique talents and we got to make sure we’re maximizing that and I feel like we’re not,” Carroll said. “I feel like we’re not seeing stuff.”
The Cowboys, meanwhile, have won five of six games since a 42-10 loss to the 49ers on Oct. 8.
Dak Prescott has thrown 18 touchdown passes with just two interceptions in that span, with head coach Mike McCarthy taking over as the play-caller.
“I don’t know that I could just put my finger right on it and say this is the why,” Prescott said. “As much as I’ve talked about the new system and the new play-calling, we know what we want to do. We know how we want to attack. We’re running plays that we’ve ran since the spring.”
Prescott hasn’t been sacked in the past three games, the longest streak of his career.
“I think that’s where it starts,” Prescott said of the Cowboys’ offensive line. “The way they’re protecting, giving me time to take shots down the field, allowing me to extend plays.”
In a 45-10 rout of the visiting Washington Commanders last Thursday, Dallas cornerback DaRon Bland set an NFL record with his fifth interception return for a touchdown this season. Dallas extended its winning streak at A&T Stadium to 13 games, its longest run at home since an 18-game streak from 1979-81.
Walker, who missed last week’s game, is doubtful because of an oblique injury, meaning rookie Zach Charbonnet is likely to carry the bulk of the workload. Offensive guard Phil Haynes (toe) has been ruled out, while defensive end Leonard Williams (ankle), tight end Will Dissly (hip) and wide receiver Dee Eskridge (ribs) are questionable.
Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. missed practice on Tuesday with illnesses but were back as full participants Wednesday.
THEY SAID IT
“We’re right in the midst of it. It’s just turning your brain around because you feel like you’re on a different planet here. So yeah, there’s a challenge to that. But that’s why we tried to get right back into the routine so it feels the same regardless. It’s kind of like a bit of a time warp and we just go at it.” –Carroll on the Seahawks’ altered practice schedule with back-to-back Thursday night games.