Tennessee Titans vs. Dallas Cowboys Monday Night Football Preview

Two 3-4 teams, coming off bye weeks after losing their most recent game by close scores clash when the Tennessee Titans visit the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans fell to 1-3 on the road after losing 20-19 against the Los Angeles Chargers in London on October 21. The Titans went for a potential game-winning two-point conversion with 31 seconds remaining but Adrian Phillips broke up a Marcus Mariota pass attempt and the Chargers held on. Mariota completed 24 of 32 passes for 237 yards, one touchdown and one interception and he added 38 rushing yards on seven carries, Dion Lewis ran for 91 yards on 13 carries and Tajae Sharpe made seven catches for 101 receiving yards. Tennessee needs more from Marcus Mariota, who has just one touchdown pass in the last three games and only three in six games this season.

The Titans are averaging 173.0 passing yards (30th in the NFL) and 107.9 rushing yards (19th). Tennessee ranks 30th with 15.1 points per game and 3rd with 18.1 points against. Marcus Mariota has passed for 1,030 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions, Dion Lewis has 277 rushing yards and one touchdown on 73 carries and Corey Davis has 30 receptions for 395 yards and one touchdown. Jayon Brown has 47 tackles and Jurrell Casey has 3.5 sacks.

Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys dropped to 0-4 on the road, 3-4 overall with their 20-17 loss against the Washington Redskins on October 21. The game ended with a missed 52-yard field-goal attempt by kicker Brett Maher, which followed a controversial, 5-yard, illegal-snap penalty, but the Cowboys lost thanks to a staunch defense against Ezekiel Elliott, who finished with just 33 rushing yards on 15 carries, the second-lowest total of his career.

Dak Prescott completed 22 of 35 passes for 273 yards and one touchdown and he also added 33 rushing yards and one touchdown on six carries. Despite the loss, the Cowboys still believe they can win the NFC East and they traded a first-round draft pick to the Raiders for wide receiver Amari Cooper, who has just 22 receptions for 280 yards and one touchdown in six games this season. The Cowboys hope he can produce like in 2015 and 2016, when he was named to the Pro Bowl and maybe the change of scenery will do wonders for him.

The Cowboys are averaging 183.1 passing yards (29th in the NFL) and 136.9 rushing yards (4th). Dallas ranks 26th with 20.0 points per game and 2nd with 17.6 points against. Dak Prescott has passed for 1,417 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions, Ezekiel Elliott has 619 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 132 carries and Cole Beasley has 33 receptions for 350 yards and two touchdowns. Jaylon Smith has 57 tackles and DeMarcus Lawrence has 5.5 sacks.

NFL Trends:

The Tennessee Titans are:

6-0 ATS in their last six Monday games

4-1 ATS in their last five games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game

7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a straight up loss

5-2 ATS in their last seven games after allowing less than 90 rushing yards in their previous game

The Dallas Cowboys are:

4-9 ATS in their last 13 Monday games

2-6 ATS in their last eight games in Week 9

The Titans will present a challenge for the Cowboys because they rank third in the league, allowing just 18.1 points per game and ninth allowing 238.4 passing yards per game, despite having just 15 sacks. They’re also solid against the run, allowing just 4.1 yards per carry. The Cowboys will likely feed the ball to Ezekiel Elliott, who ranks third in the NFL 88.4 rushing yards per game while averaging 4.7 yards per attempt but I just can’t trust in them laying so many points.

NFL Pick: Titans +5 (-110)

Odds via Jazz Sports

Jake Walker runs OddsandNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter (@Walker_J23)

Fantasy Corner: Do The Cowboys Have Any Wide Receivers Worth Rostering?

The Cowboys’ passing game is a work-in-progress with several new pieces getting caught up to speed. Dallas ran 35 pass plays in the loss to Carolina. Here’s how many routes each of their wide receivers ran:

Beasley led all players with eight targets, though he’s not a fantasy option outside of deeper ppr leagues. This is a situation to stay away from. Either Hurns or Gallop may end up breaking out as a fantasy option but with so many WR options available, it’s not worth soaking up the roster spot in standard leagues while we watch the situation unfold.

Dak Prescott looked awful during the contest. He faced pressure and when he did get the ball out of his hands, it was all over the place. Perhaps he finds his rhythm in week 2 against the Giants, a team that held Blake Bortles to 176 yards on 33 attempts in the opener.


Patriots Have No Interest In Dez Bryant. Should Fantasy Owners?

The Patriots let Kenny Britt go and the move left some to speculate that they would pick up another receiver. With Dez Bryant still available, it’s easy to try and connect the two dots.

Michael Giardi of the NFL Network asked a team source if New England was interested in the WR. The response: Probably no.

Fantasy owners should probably leave Dez on the waiver wire right now as well. He’s used to playing on one side (the right one) and if he does sign with a new team, there’s no guarantee he’ll have that role. As he ages, his best spot might be in the slot, playing similarly to how Anquan Bolden played during the latter half of his career.

I’d bet a new team explores using him this way and it will take reps and practice time to get him up to speed. The probability of him being a fantasy factor goes down every day that he isn’t getting the practice reps.

Cowboys Round-Up: Zeke, First Preseason Game, Smith

Dallas lost a few playmakers on the offensive side of the ball with Jason Witten retiring and Dez Bryant lingering in free agency. While they lost some production, the return of Ezekiel Elliott for an entire season should give the offense the boost it needs.

Elliot missed six games for the Cowboys last season and the team scored over six points per game more when he was on the field.

Cowboys Offense 2017 With Zeke W/Out Zeke
PPG 24.4 18.3

The Cowboys take on the 49ers in their first preseason game. Here’s more from Dallas on the team and their matchup tonight:

  • Jason Garrett has a 12-17 record in the preseason, though he went 3-1 last season with backup QB Cooper Rush impressing. In the four games, Rush completed 74.8% of his passes and tossed six touchdowns.
  • David Irving still isn’t back with the team and won’t play tonight. Elliot and Dallas’ returning starters on the offensive line will also sit out.
  • Cole Beasley is the only wide receiver not expected to play.
  • Dak Prescott struggled down the stretch last season, though as Jared Lorenz NumberFire notes, Prescott threw five TDs with zero interceptions during the two games late in the season in which the entire offensive line played.
  • Tyron Smith, who missed three games last season because of a problematic back, said he’s entering the season feeling better than ever. “Actually, I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in a while,” Smith said (via Edward Lewis of NFL.com). “I’ve taken this offseason to get back into it a little early and try to take care of my body a little more. I’m just doing the little small [rehab] things and I just feel awesome right now.”