2003 Season NFL Football Past Picks
January 03, 2004
Dallas at Carolina
Saturday 01/03 08:00 PM Eastern
4 units on Dallas +3 (-110) (risk 4 to return 7.64) RESULT: LOSS
Who isn’t still amazed that Parcells was able to take a team that was 15-33 over the past three seasons and get them into the playoffs in his first year? Will his magic last another week? You bet! This guy knows how to motivate and how to win playoff games. He’s won playoff games with all three of his previous teams, taking the Jets to the AFC championship, the Patriots to the Super Bowl and winning the whole enchilada with the Giants. This year, he’s gotten his team to over-perform but he’s actually got some serious weapons (at least on defense). He’s got the league’s top-ranked D, allowing a very stingy 253.5 yards and 16.2 points per game. This defense has no glaring weaknesses as they are top-three in the league against both the run and the pass. As it has many times this year for the Cowboys, this game will likely come down to the performance of Quincy Carter. Lucky for him and Cowboys’ backers, he’s got confidence going into this game. Dallas beat Carolina (then 8-2) in an important game in week 12. Carolina players feel they aren’t getting the respect they deserve. Julius Peppers this week complained about it to the media. Do they deserve more respect? Well, they did win 11 games this year. But, their offense is strictly middle-of the road while their defense is very good but not great. While they posted a lot of wins, the Panthers disappointed in other ways. They had an ATS record of just 38%, horrible for a playoff team. And, they are also just 2-9 ATS as a favorite this year. Carolina is about as dependent on their running game as any team in the league. In their 11 wins, Stephen Davis rushed for 113 yards per game. In their 5 losses, he managed just 86 yards. As they did six weeks ago, I expect Dallas to contain the big man. The ‘Boys held him to just 75 yards that game. If they can do the same this week, and don’t turn the ball over, they will win. I expect a close game but one that Dallas could and should win.