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Scott Pianowski

Throwing Darts: Chasing the Cowboys one more time

Scott Pianowski
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It's probably the toughest slate of the year; no home dogs and just 13 games to choose from. Please add your own selections in the comments, and as always, defend your arguments. (Send all aimless rants and bluster to my Gettysburg Address.)

Cowboys -6.5 vs. Jaguars: Jon Kitna(notes) is obviously a major step down from Tony Romo(notes), but don't underestimate what he'll gain from a week of first-team reps. Kitna and Dez Bryant(notes) already look to be in step with each other, and the Jacksonville secondary couldn't cover the lawn chairs in my backyard. It's too late to matter, but this is the week Dallas takes out some frustration and puts the hammer down on a mediocre opponent.

Texans +5.5 at Indianapolis: As great as Peyton Manning(notes) is, you can't lose an endless supply of skill players before some effect is felt. The Colts might be down four significant offensive players here, and it's going to take a while for Manning to get comfortable with all the replacements. Houston has gone for 30-plus in four of its six games; the Texans are well-armed for a shootout.

Vikings +6 at New England: I'm not comfortable spotting a big number with the current version of the Pats offense. The ground game hasn't gone anywhere in the last two weeks, and while the short-passing game is fine, these no vertical threat to be concerned about. There are 500 things with the Vikings right now, but they've got enough playmakers on offense to stay within shouting distance.

Buccaneers +3 at Arizona: So many things I don't like about the Cardinals: a messy offensive line, no trustworthy quarterback (they've already tried three guys if you count Matt Leinart(notes)), an inability to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald(notes). The Bucs have their share of problems too – they're not getting any push from their OL in the running game and their pass rush is MIA – but they've at least found a way to unlock their skill players.

St. Louis -3 vs. Carolina: Matt Moore(notes) had a clean pocket last week and made some pretty throws downfield, but I'm confident Steve Spagnuolo will find a way to scheme consistent pressure. Moore was a deer in the headlights against a pass rush in Weeks 1 and 2, and that look will return Sunday.

Survivor: I won't blame you if you take the Chiefs this week; they've got a legitimate home-field edge and their backs should run over and through the Buffalo front seven. But I'm legitimately worried about Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes) and Co. at this point (they narrowly lost at Baltimore and New England), while I don't see anything scary about the Jacksonville offense. It seems strange to roll with a 1-5 team at this stage of the year, but give me the Cowboys.

Last Week: 4-1 (season 18-15)

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