The DallasCowboys.com staff gives their 'gut feeling' for this Week 14 matchup between the Bengals and Cowboys.
Rob Phillips: How far will the Cowboys' struggles against the run go? Cincinnati hasn't had much success on the ground with starting running back Joe Mixon _and _quarterback Joe Burrow out. They've totaled 80 rushing yards combined in the last two games. But Giovani Bernard is a solid running back and absolutely could have a big day if the Cowboys aren't more assignment-sound than they were Tuesday night in Baltimore. The Bengals' offense is also trying to forge ahead without their starting quarterback. The guy who once led their huddle for nine years, Andy Dalton, still has a lot of options in the passing game filling in for Dak Prescott (IR; ankle). We'll see if the defense can put a better game together, but I like the Cowboys' chances of cracking the 20-point mark first on Sunday to get their fourth win of the season.
David Helman: I apologize ahead of time for talking out of both sides of my mouth, but I can't reconcile these two facts: on one hand, the Cowboys seem to be a much better team on paper. They have the better quarterback and a more talented cast around him. On the other hand, the Cowboys have seemed to be a much better team on paper on several occasions, and it has done very little to help them. Three or four times this season, I have assumed they were capable of beating a lesser team, only to watch them get humiliated, instead. Both losses to the Washington Football Team come to mind. So while I do think the Cowboys are the better team, I can't bring myself to pick them. Not after what we've watched these last two games, and not on a short week. The Bengals will run the ball well, because everyone does. Their defense isn't great, but maybe they make an opportunistic play. And in an ugly game, they'll sneak away with a 20-17 win to give themselves a much-needed morale boost. I don't even completely believe what I just typed, because this is a game Dallas should win by seven or more points. I just can't convince myself they actually will.
Nick Eatman: On one hand, it's hard to keep watching the Cowboys week in and week out and say they are going to win. We're just watching it unfold week after week and while there seems to be new problems pop up here and there, it's pretty much the same theme every time – the Cowboys just aren't better than the opponent. But this week, I think they are. Let me emphasize "THINK" on this one. I don't know this for a fact, but I do think the Cowboys are a better team than the Bengals. I know they have a better quarterback and one that played pretty well last week. But the team's issues at cornerback and safety could be problematic this week. I just don't think the Bengals will take advantage the way other teams would. I'll take the Cowboys in a. 26-17 win to get to 4-9 on the season.
Kyle Youmans Out of all the games on the 2020 schedule, this should have been the one to pick. Even with the challenges of the entire 2020 calendar year, a new coaching staff, and a backup quarterback, the Cowboys would normally win this game 9 times out of 10. Especially when Cincinnati is down their young starting quarterback as well. But we call this article 'gut feeling' for a reason. With the injuries in the secondary, the talented receivers that the Bengals have, and the inability for the Cowboys coaching staff to have a good grasp on this roster, I just can't pick their direction again. Cincinnati in a tight one, 23-20
Mickey Spagnola: Predicting outcomes seems useless at this point, plus I've sworn off picking the Cowboys to win until they've won two straight, and that hasn't happened since the opening three games of 2019 if you can believe that. So how about this: The Cowboys did begin to run the ball with some authority this past game against a really good Ravens defense. Zeke, despite his hammy, went 18 for 77, leading the Cowboys to 111 yards rushing. The offensive line seemed somewhat in sync. And of all things, while the Cowboys securely are ranked dead last against the run in the NFL, Cincinnati ranks 30th, giving up 134.3 a game. So to me, if the Cowboys can run on the Bengals, that might give them enough balance to potentially win a game against a 2-9-1 team.