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Game Predictions: Expert picks for Patriots vs. Cowboys

20191122-ExpertPredictions-PDC

Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 12 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

Mike Reiss, ESPN:

Pick: Patriots 27, Cowboys 17

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett noted the Patriots' knack for winning the turnover differential (No. 1 in the NFL at plus-18), while the Cowboys are minus-1 on the season (12 takeaways, 13 giveaways). The turnover battle could be key Sunday.

Todd Archer, ESPN

Pick: Patriots 30, Cowboys 20

Bold prediction: Tom Brady will pass for 300 yards against the Cowboys. Brady has five 300-yard games this season but none in the past four. Since 2010, Brady has had just three five-game spans of not having at least 300 yards passing.

Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots

Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots

Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots

Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots

Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots

Kevin Seifert, ESPN: Patriots

Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com

Pick: Patriots 24, Cowboys 13

Tom Brady wasn't just playing damage control by saying the Patriots play to their defense. The 42-year-old throws passes away and clearly limits risk-taking, helping the team rank fourth in fewest turnovers. Ranked 30th in yards per carry, the Patriots call plays trying not to lose the game for their excellent defense. It's hard to expect that approach to change with Phillip Dorsett and Mohamed Sanu dealing with new injuries and rookie N'Keal Harry unlikely to be ready to be a true No. 2 receiver.

The increased aggressiveness shown by Jason Garrett last week in leaning on the passing game was a welcome sign, and the Cowboys are smart to keep youngsters Michael Gallup and Tony Pollard heavily involved. The top-ranked Patriots defense is in the midst of playing the three best offenses in football (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City) over a five-game stretch, and I believe this secondary can be up to the challenge, especially if the Cowboys are without right tackle La'el Collins. In a game likely to be decided by situational football, I still trust the team coached by Bill Belichick over a Garrett-led squad in Foxborough. The talent disparity makes it tough, though.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:

Pick: Patriots 28, Cowboys 20

The Cowboys are playing consecutive road games, and this is a tough one. The Patriots haven't been great on offense, but Tom Brady showed his frustration with it after the game. I think they get it rolling some here against a Dallas defense that hasn't been great. Brady will have a better day than Dak Prescott to win it.

Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots

John Breech, CBS Sports: Cowboys

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 20, Cowboys 17

Bill Belichick > Kellen Moore.

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 20, Cowboys 13

Dak Prescott is playing outstanding football right now, but the Patriots’ pass defense will give him fits.

Jenny Vrentas, MMQB: Patriots

Conor Orr, MMQB: Patriots

Kalyn Kahler, MMQB: Cowboys

Andrew Brandt, MMQB: Patriots

Mitch Goldich, MMQB: Patriots

Bette Marston, MMQB: Patriots

Andy Hart, WEEI

Pick: Patriots 21, Cowboys 20

If offensive star power is how you win these days in the NFL, then the Cowboys clearly have a chance for a big upset win Sunday at Gillette Stadium. But there is often more to winning than just having a fantasy football trio like Prescott, Elliott and Cooper. Coaching, situational success and, maybe most importantly, turnovers play a huge role. All three are an advantage for Belichick’s team in this battle, most notably New England sitting at plus-18 on turnovers this fall while the Cowboys are minus-1. Expect the Cowboys to try to run the ball early and often against New England. If they get things going on the ground and stick with it, it will put the Patriots in a bind. But it also is worth noting that Dallas’ defense has given up 24 or more points in four of the last six games, including to Lions’ backup passer Jeff Driskel and Sam Darnold’s Jets in New York. So Brady and Co. have a chance to make some plays. Wynn’s return should help. Maybe, just maybe, this is the week Sony Michel gets going against a run defense that does allow 4.2 yards per carry. Most likely, though, the Patriots are going to be in another dogfight with a quality opponent. The game could very well be in question in the fourth quarter. A key play, maybe a turnover, could decide things. It’s a dangerous game to play with a limited margin for error, but in that scenario there has to be faith that Belichick and his proven defense will find a way to pull out a victory. As good as the talent is for Dallas, it’s just hard to expect them to step up to the formidable challenge of trying to pull off the upset in Foxborough, where the Patriots haven’t lost in more than two years. So, we’ll go with the 21-20 victory for Belichick, Brady and the defense. It won’t be easy, but in the end only the final score matters.

Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 27, Cowboys 20

Defense once again leads the way, forcing three Cowboys turnovers and turning those into points as the Patriots notch their 10th win.

Mike Dussault, Patriots.com:

Pick: Patriots 23, Cowboys 17

The Cowboys have the offensive pieces to challenge all levels of the Patriots defense, but they’re still a mostly conventional offense, the kind The Boogeymen have been built for. Dallas should move the ball but will find tough sledding inside the red zone. Offensively the Patriots find enough production once again to get the job done, but without Mohamed Sanu it will be especially difficult if they continue to get minimal production from the run game. Defense and Special Teams continue to be the offense’s biggest help.

Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com

Pick: Patriots 24, Cowboys 17

New England’s stretch of tough tests continues this week, back at Gillette Stadium for the lone November appearance by the Patriots. In what could be the most highly-rated regular season game TV broadcast in a long time, can the Patriots’ stingy D stifle a talented Big D squad’s offense? The expected rainy weather could benefit the home team in that regard. It’s been more than three decades since the Cowboys came to Foxborough and beat New England, and that game had to go into overtime. This latest contest comes close, but the Patriots stave off a fifth quarter, much like they did a week ago in Philly.

Megan O'Brien, Patriots.com

Pick: Patriots 20, Cowboys 10

Patriots offense puts together a solid opening drive to set the tone. The defense scores a touchdown and quiets Dallas for the second half. N’Keal Harry scores his first NFL touchdown.

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