The Miami Dolphins are the talk of the NFL these days for all of the wrong reasons. We knew Miami was going to be a bad team before the season began, but they look even worse than expected early on. The Dolphins have been outscored 102-10 through the first two games against Baltimore and New England. The team has traded away several key contributors, including Laremy Tunsil, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kenny Stills.
Miami is the closest thing to outright tanking that we’ve ever seen in the NFL. Their schedule also isn’t doing them any favors. Each of their first two games came at home, but they had to face 2 of the best teams in the AFC. This week, they will play their first road game of the season against a 2-0 Cowboys team in Arlington. The Dolphins were massive 19-point underdogs at home against New England last week, and this week the football point spread is even more significant. The Cowboys have opened as 22-point favorites at home, and it’s hard to argue against it.
|2019 ATS Home||0-2-0||1-0-0|
|2019 ATS Away||0-0||1-0-0|
|2019 O/U Home||1-1-0||1-0-0|
|2019 O/U Away||0-0||1-0-0|
Journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick was plucked off the free agency wire this offseason. Fitzpatrick went to Harvard, so it’s safe to say he’s a smart guy. He had to have known that he was entering a terrible situation this year, but it’s fair to wonder if even he knew things would get this bad so quickly. Through 2 games, “Fitzmagic” has completed 50 percent of his passes for 274 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions.
Fitzpatrick won the starting job in training camp, but the Dolphins acquired former first-rounder Josh Rosen from the Cardinals after Arizona drafted Kyler Murray. Rosen has played mop-up duty in each of the first two games, and it’s safe to assume he’ll take over for Fitzpatrick on a full-time basis before long.
Miami stripped its roster to the bones in an attempt to lose as many games as possible to get the best possible draft picks and build for the future. It’s an unfortunate reality for a first-year head coach like Brian Flores, but that’s the way it is. At this point, it’s very fair to wonder whether the Dolphins will win a single game all season long.
While the Dolphins look like a nightmare, things are coming up rosy for the Cowboys thus far. Dallas is 2-0 with back-to-back divisional wins over the Giants and Redskins under their belt, and they get a cupcake matchup in Week 3 with Miami coming to town. The fact that Dallas is a bigger favorite this week than New England was last week isn’t a massive surprise considering the Cowboys are playing this one at home.
The Cowboys handed offensive play-calling duties to former backup quarterback Kellen Moore this offseason, and the early results are very positive. Dallas has averaged 484 yards of offense through the first couple of weeks, which is second only to Baltimore to shit point. The Cowboys have averaged 333 yards through the air, which ranks third, and 151 yards per game on the ground, which ranks sixth.
Dak Prescott looks like the real deal as he enters his fourth season, while Ezekiel Elliott is no longer the clear-cut focal point of the offense. Elliott is as good as ever. The fact that the Cowboys aren’t as reliant on him this season as in the past can only be good for the team’s long-term prospects offensively. With Prescott able to do damage through the air or on the ground himself, Elliott should be more fresh as the season goes on.
Dallas hasn’t faced the toughest opponents to this point, but the fact that they have still managed to win both games by double digits is positive. The Cowboys have had a harder time than you might expect against winnable opponents through the years, but having a capable offense with a creative game plan gives this team a higher ceiling than we’ve seen in quite some time.
A 3-touchdown spread in the NFL is massive. The Dolphins are the worst team in the league by miles and miles, but it’s still hard to pull the trigger on a spread of that size at this level. Their roster features mostly NFL-caliber players, and you have to believe they are going to come at least a little bit close to winning a game at some point this season.
That won’t be this week. The Cowboys have not enjoyed the most significant home-field advantage since moving to AT&T Stadium, but there is absolutely no reason to believe the Dolphins have what it takes to make this game competitive. The Cowboys look like one of the best all-around teams in the league through the first couple of weeks, and it’s hard to see the Dolphins keeping up.
I don’t think the Cowboys will be as happy to run up the score as the Patriots may have been, but I will still take Dallas to cover. It’ll be interesting to see how public money affects the spread as the week goes on, but for now, I am comfortable with taking Dallas to win the game by over three touchdowns. The Dolphins are that bad.
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