• Dak drop-off: After Dak Prescott's Week 1 thumb injury, the Cowboys have the worst odds to win the NFC East (+600), with the Eagles' odds lengthening as division favorites to -150.
• Cowboys' win total plummets: Only the Falcons (5.5) have a lower win total in the NFC than the Cowboys, who crashed from 10.5 to 6.5 this week.
• Prescott's 2020 ankle injury destroyed Dallas' season: The Cowboys went 4-7 without their franchise quarterback two seasons ago, with a point differential of -61 in those 11 games.
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· The Week 1 game for the Dallas Cowboys could not have gone worse on Sunday night. Not only did they lose, their offense looked absolutely terrible. They scored only three points, and even worse, the Cowboys never made it to the red zone vs. the Buccaneers.
In fact, Dallas never even crossed Tampa Bay’s 30-yard line.
· Though that performance was disgraceful, it was hardly the story of the night. Dak Prescott exited late in the fourth quarter after injuring his throwing hand. Tests quickly revealed that Prescott needed surgery Monday to fix a fractured thumb and is expected to miss anywhere from 6-10 games.
· Fatal blow to Cowboys: The oddsmakers weren't all that bullish on Dallas heading into the season, with the Eagles (+140) jumping the Cowboys (+150) as the favorite to win the NFC East. And after one week, Dallas now has the worst odds to win the division (+600), with the Eagles' odds lengthening as division favorites to -150.
It represents the biggest futures odds drop-off of Week 1 — and it is not unexpected given just how important Prescott is to the Cowboys.
· Dallas' past struggles without Prescott might pale in comparison: When Prescott injured his ankle during the 2020 season, the Cowboys went 4-7 without their franchise quarterback, with a point differential of -61 in those 11 games.
However, there is a big difference in talent, especially on offense. That team had Andy Dalton, along with a healthy Michael Gallup, Amari Cooper and then-rookie CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys will now play the next few games with Cooper Rush under center, throwing to Lamb, Noah Brown and Dennis Houston.
· Cowboys now +4000 to win SB: The Cowboys also saw a significant drop-off in their odds of winning the Super Bowl, down from +2500 to +4000. Their loss against Tampa Bay, sinking the Cowboys the bottom of the NFC East after one week certainly didn’t do them any favors.
Sportsbooks believed the Cowboys were a borderline playoff team entering the season. And now, they certainly don’t believe Dallas will make it back to the playoffs without Prescott returning to the field.
· How to strategize betting Cowboys now: At BetMGM, their current win total is set at 6.5 — down from 10.5, where books were settled before Week 1. The only team in the NFC now with a lower 2022 win total is the Falcons at 4.5.
If one actually believes Jerry Jones, who said Monday he thinks Prescott could return in four weeks, the over on 6.5 wins still isn’t a terrible bet. The Cowboys do have a pretty good defense, led by Micah Parsons. Could they beat teams like the Giants in Week 3 and Commanders in Week 4 to keep their season alive? It’s possible.
· Cowboys' injury optimism too high historically: But it’s important to remember that the Cowboys have notoriously been way too optimistic regarding injuries. So it's only fair to expect Prescott to return to the field no sooner than Week 8, and even then, that might be optimistic with their Week 9 bye making it prudent to allow him to continue to heal and prepare for the final two months of the season.