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Gut Feeling: Cowboys Make Rare Trip To Tennessee


The Cowboys are coming off an emotional win over the Eagles and find themselves in unfamiliar territory in Week 17, playing at Tennessee for the first time since 2014.

The Cowboys have only played three games ever in Nashville, owning a 2-1 record.

But this one is unique as well, considering what the Titans have (or don't have) to play for. The Cowboys meanwhile, still have an outside shot to win the NFC East, but will need to keep winning and the Eagles must lose their last two games.

So what will happen Thursday night? Check out how the staff writers think it'll go down in Nashville.

Patrik Walker: You could look at the Titans and say to yourself, 'Self, should the Cowboys really be concerned with a team that's lost six straight games and that doesn't have their franchise quarterback?' To that I say, well, you haven't learned much yet about the 2022 NFL season, have you? Anyone can lose to anyone, and that's a lesson the Cowboys learned the hard way against the Jaguars (having nearly learned it against the Colts and Texans as well). That said, I expect them to learn from their past and approach the Titans as if it's a playoff game because, for the Titans, it sort of will be. Mike Vrabel will have his team ready to play, and they're scrappy, especially when they're at home, but the better team wins this one, though there will be a scare or two on the road to victory. 40-20, Cowboys

Nick Eatman: Games like this one are always a bit tricky because you don't know how everyone is going to play. Will the Titans try to win this game and snap a five-game losing skid? Or just focus on Week 18 and try to rest up and beat the Jags in a winner-take-all showdown. Sure, the Cowboys need to focus on themselves, but getting a little bit of a rest wouldn't be the worst thing for them either. The Philly game was a physical contest that was played just a few days ago. So the Cowboys could help themselves by jumping out to a big first half and that will probably force the Titans into "back off" mode. I'm expecting the Cowboys to be crisp early on, get some sacks and turnovers and then cruise to a win. Give me a TD for Jake Ferguson in this one and an interception by Nahshon Wright. I've got the Cowboys winning easily, 34-9.

Hailey Sutton: I'm getting the vibe that this is a "meaningless matchup" – it's giving preseason 2.0. Seems like a good opportunity to rest guys on both sides in order to prepare for the playoffs OR prepare for a push to make the playoffs if you're Tennessee. That being said, the guys still feel like it's important to go out and compete, and if I'm honest, I don't think a loss would sit well with an organization that has struggled to be consistent over the last few weeks. If I'm the Cowboys, the focus is to win and win big. I'm gonna go with Dallas 38-13.

Mickey Spagnola: The Cowboys have a history of making things harder than they should be, especially against teams with losing records, where they have just a 5-3 record against those teams, three-fourths of their losses. And the Titans come in with a 7-8 record, losers of five straight and possibly resting up players for the final game of the season against Jacksonville when it will be win and win the division or lose and probably be out of the playoffs. Having said all that, logic says against a team with really nothing tangible to play for in this game, the Cowboys ought to put a 40-burger on the Titans, and since they are starting their backup rookie quarterback, how about Cowboys 31, Titans 16.

Kyle Youmans: Dallas has everything to play for entering the penultimate week of the regular season, Tennessee doesn't in this case. Mike Vrabel has already hinted at the possibility of resting key players because of the mathematical insignificance of this game on their playoff hopes. However, I don't believe it matters either way. The Cowboys roster appears far too strong for this Tennessee team on paper, with or without their starters. Dallas has a chance to open up the passing game a little more against a suspect secondary and could use that to get on the same page with some receivers like T.Y. Hilton and Michael Gallup. Give me Dallas with a Thursday night thrashing of the Titans, 30-16.

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