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Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers Point Spread - Pick

Dallas Cowboys (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (0-6 SU, 4-2 ATS)
Week 7 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 4:05PM EST
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: DAL -6/SF +6
Over/Under Total: 47

The Dallas Cowboys come to Levi's Stadium on Sunday afternoon for an NFC matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys are coming off the bye-week and are looking at a chance to go to .500 in what appears to be a winnable game on the road. Things have been a bit rocky for the Cowboys with the slow start to the season, which includes three losses in their last four games. Before the bye, the Cowboys lost a tough one, with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers scoring a late TD to beat Dallas, 35-31. Heading into the bye, the Cowboys lost two straight home games. The 49ers again showed they are competitive with a 26-24 near-win over the Washington Redskins. After three games in a row on the road, they look forward to returning home and scoring their first win of the season.

Dallas also had a setback in the courts with the Ezekiel Elliott suspension now being back on. Not having one of your best players for 6 games can't be good, but the issue has perhaps become a distraction. And truth be told, after a good start, Elliott has not averaged over 4.0 yards a game since week one and is at least a small part of the lack of Dallas offensive success this season. We'll keep an eye on the Elliott situation, as we've learned that appeals can turn things around. But the entire formula for Dallas' extreme 2016 success seems to have been disrupted. The defense is off a tick, Prescott's magic-touch has dissipated some, and they're facing a pretty tough schedule. Still, five games is not a season and those shoveling dirt on the Cowboys might be jumping the gun.

Cowboys' QB Dak Prescott set high standards last season—maybe too high. He has already equaled last season's interception total and his accuracy is down this season. He's still doing pretty well and the offense is averaging a respectable 25 points a game. But they should be something more than a middling air attack and with Elliott out, it's time for Prescott to start fully clicking with ball-catchers like Dez Bryant, TE Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, and Brice Butler. Maybe losing Elliott is something that won't be so detrimental to the offense, as they do have a few former 1000-yard rushers in Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris, in addition to Prescott being very nimble with his feet. One thing that really goes a long way when trying to get an offense on the right track or making up for lost personnel is a great offensive line that can really take a sad song and make it better. The thing is, even the O-line has not performed all that well for the Cowboys this season.

Offense is always going to be the most-visible part of the team or at least the most-discussed element of a team. But in Dallas' case, the "D" is a part of the team that really needs to snap into shape. It wasn't so visible last season with the offense in such good shape. But as the offense has ebbed, the shortcomings of the defense have become more-apparent. The secondary has become iffy and after cutting Nolan Carroll, there is a lot of youth back there with rookies CB Jourdan Lewis and S Chibode Awuzie. LB Sean Lee (questionable) could be back this week and he has been missed in the two games he was out. The defense wasn't great last year and Dallas still thrived, but it's a group that still couldn't afford to dip and that's what they've done this season through five games.


After losing 23-3 to the Panthers in week one, the Niners have lost their last five games by three or fewer points—the first team in NFL history to do that. While they haven't won and this is a bottom-line business, the other bottom-line is that they've covered 4 of the last five spreads and need to be respected now. Despite 919 yards passing in his last three games, the hook was quick for QB Brian Hoyer on Sunday and after 11 throws, he was replaced by Iowa rookie CJ Beathard, who had 245 yards and a TD. It's unclear where they will go from here at the position. In any event, it might be hard to say much good about an 0-6 team, but this is a group that is trying to do things the right way and on the journey of becoming respectable again, they give a really good effort and play hard.

The San Francisco offense is not as hopeless as it was the past few seasons, but they're still a ways from where they want to be. Beathard's presence was positive for the most part on Sunday, as the Niners overcame a 17-0 deficit with a big second half. Carlos Hyde ran in two touchdowns, with Beathard connecting in the end zone with Aldrick Robinson on a long scoring play. Pierre Garcon and Hyde had five catches on the day, as well.

The defense is a big part of the equation keeping the 49ers in games this season. They are far from good, but the improvement from the last few seasons has been significant. The line has gotten a boost from rookie Solomon Thomas, who had a sack on Sunday, along with the continued growth of DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead. Ray Ray Armstrong is an unsung presence in the middle, with a secondary that is growing in stature with youngsters Rashard Robinson and Jaquisti Tartt making a lot of plays. They nearly helped stage a big comeback on Sunday and showed a lot of growth in this three-game spurt of road contests.

The Cowboys are rested and looking for a positive development in what looks like a very winnable game against an 0-6 team. But the 49ers are back at home for four games in their next five, with a bye week sandwiched in there. This could be a time where we see some things start clicking better. The Cowboys are in a bit of trouble and should be extra-urgent to not fall to 2-4, but I see the 49ers again scrappy this week and getting the cover.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the San Francisco 49ers plus 6 points. Bet the Dallas vs. San Francisco game for FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% sign-up bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $500 at GTBets!

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