Free NFL Picks Dallas at Houston 9-26-2010

September 26, 2010

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Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans

September 26, 2010 1 PM EST

Line: Houston -3

Who rules Texas? For years the Cowboys have been the staple of the Lone Star state. Starting out ice cold at 0-2 has a lot of people second guessing their home field Super Bowl prediction they made at the beginning of this season. The Texans have found a way to win in each of their first two games and look sharp and focused. Will the Cowboys be able to feed the Texans their first loss of the season and remain the powerhouse of Texas?

Keys to the Game

  • The Cowboys need to watch out for Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter. Everyone heard about Andre the Giant’s massive contract extension. The person who benefits the most from Johnson’s play is not even Matt Schaub, it’s Kevin Walter on the other side. So far Walter is leading the team with 13 receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Schaub showed that he will feed the ball to anyone who is open by throwing for the most passing yards last year. Walter is the best player on the Texans no one has heard of, Dallas needs to keep an eye on him before he has another big day.
  • Dallas needs to quit crying. Nothing in this league is going to be handed to you. The hype and the glory that comes with being a Dallas Cowboy is taking its toll on the Cowboys. They need to remember that respect is not handed to anyone, it’s earned. So far, they haven’t earned one ounce of it. Their situation is different from the Jets. Both teams are in disarray, but the Jets benefit from the madness and the Cowboys collapse from the off the field issues. Dallas is in a division with the Redskins, Giants, and Eagles. Another loss and they might be headed down a road that makes them miss the playoffs entirely. At least they won’t have to travel very far to attend the Super Bowl, should they choose to buy a ticket.
  • Somebody needs to block Super Mario. Mario Williams has already racked up four sacks this season. He is playing the best football of his life and will be a handful on Sunday. Leaving a tight end to block him is going to be counterproductive since Jason Witten is more useful when he running routes. Alex Barron has trouble blocking big, pass rushing defensive ends in a one on one situation. Sorry Tony Romo, it’s going to be a long day.
  • Miles Austin could be the best receiver on the field on Sunday. Austin came out of nowhere last year, but now he is a household name. He already has 20 catches for 288 yards in two games. I don’t think that kind of production is going to be a habit this season, but he needs to be accounted for. Austin is going to get the ball. If the Texans double cover him, Romo will eventually throw the ball to him, especially if his decisions are hurried by a consistent pass rush. Andre Johnson is still the most gifted athlete playing in this game, but Austin could have the most productive day if the Texans entrust their corner with single coverage.

At some point in the season the Dallas Cowboys are going to put it all together. It won’t be this week. Houston has been waiting a long time to earn the respect of their in state neighbor. A locational rivalry could be born on Sunday. I think the Texans are going to be too much to handle for the Cowboys in this one. Let the meltdown continue.

Free NFL Pick: Houston -3


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