Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys Preview
Where: AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX
When: Saturday, August 19, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NFL Network
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- 2017 NFL Week 4 Picks and Predictions
Betting on the Indianapolis Colts (+185)
With Andrew Luck’s status still uncertain for the Week 1 opener against the Los Angeles Rams, the Colts’ primary objective this preseason is to find a capable backup for their injured starting quarterback. Based on their performance Sunday against the Detroit Lions, the Colts are still a long way from meeting that goal.
Scott Tolzien completed just 2 of 5 passes for 24 yards in the Colts’ 24-10 loss to the Lions. He struggled mightily in that ballgame, picking up only one first down in Indianapolis’ opening three series. Phillip Walker, an undrafted rookie from Temple, was a tad better, finishing 9 of 20 for 86 yards. Stephen Morris, who spent most of the past two years on the Colts’ practice squad, ended proceedings for Indianapolis and was 13 of 20 with 94 yards. Cumulatively, the three Indy quarterbacks had a measly 65.4 passer rating, averaging just 4.5 yards per pass attempt on Sunday. Through three quarters against the Lions, the Colts had converted just six first downs.
No wonder owner Jim Irsay is itching to hand the keys back to Luck once again. Irsay and general manager Chris Ballard believe that Luck will be off the physically unable to perform list before the start of the regular season. Luck’s still a major doubt, though, for the season opener because he needs practice time once he is taken off of PUP. He originally injured his right shoulder in Week 3 of the 2015 season and just decided to undergo labrum repair surgery back in January. One thing’s for certain, Tolzien, Walker and Morris will be the Colts’ signal-callers in their upcoming preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. More reps for this trio are needed for Indianapolis to survive in a world without Luck.
Betting on the Dallas Cowboys (-225)
With less than a month remaining before the start of the new NFL season, time is slowly running out for the Dallas Cowboys in their search for a new starting running back. As you may have all heard by now, Ezekiel Elliott was handed a lengthy six-game suspension by the NFL for engaging in physical violence against Tiffany Thompson in July 2016. If his suspension holds, Elliott will only be eligible to return on October 29 against the Washington Redskins.
Given that shocking scenario, the Cowboys are giving serious thought to not playing Elliott this preseason. With Zeke scheduled to miss the Cowboys’ first six games, pending an appeal, head coach Jason Garrett could look to get Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Rod Smith more playing time with Dallas’ first-team offensive line. The Cowboys are confident enough that this trio can step in for Elliott who ran for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns last season as a rookie.
McFadden has already shown what he can do for Dallas, finishing fourth in the NFL in rushing back in 2015 with 1,089 yards. Alfred Morris, on the other hand, registered three 1,000-yard seasons with the Washington Redskins before signing with the Cowboys as a free agent last year. McFadden and Morris combined for 39 yards on 11 carries in Sunday’s 13-10 loss to the LA Rams. They will look for a much better showing against the Colts who allowed 96 rushing yards in their preseason opener against the Lions.
The Cowboys (-5.5) vent their frustration against the Colts, 28-10.
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