NFL Betting: QB Injuries Leave Cowboys, Vikings in Peril
There have been countless arguments for getting rid of the NFL preseason, most of them revolving around injuries. Fans of the Dallas Cowboys are undoubtedly on board after QB Tony Romo hurt his back during last week’s 27-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks (–6, +105). The prognosis keeps getting worse; at press time, it’s believed Romo won’t make his regular-season debut until Week 8 at the earliest.
But what are you supposed to do when players keep getting hurt in non-contact situations? The Minnesota Vikings lost QB Teddy Bridgewater for the entire year on Tuesday after he dislocated his left knee and completely tore his ACL during practice. With their offenses compromised, the Vikings and Cowboys have gone from playoff contenders to +2800 on the Super Bowl futures market.
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Although the Cowboys could have Romo back for the second half of the season, their situation appears worse than Minnesota’s. Dak Prescott is their projected starter for the September 11 opener (4:25 PM ET, FOX) against the New York Giants; Prescott was taken No. 135 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, which would make him the latest pick to start Week 1 since Randy Hedberg (No. 196 overall) with the 1977 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hedberg made four starts for the Bucs, threw 10 interceptions with zero touchdowns, and finished his career with a passer rating of 0.0.
Dallas remains hopeful that Prescott can get the job done after a promising preseason. He was first-team All-SEC with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, where he broke all the school’s passing records. Only Aaron Murray (Georgia) and Tim Tebow (Florida) threw for more yards in the SEC. And Prescott’s pro path should be made easier standing next to workhorse RB Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth overall pick from Ohio State. However, both Prescott and Elliott remain unproven at the NFL level, and the Cowboys may have already put Romo on injured reserve by the time you read this.
Fans in Minnesota are understandably more nervous considering the extent of Bridgewater’s injury – he may never play another down. But the Vikings have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and they have a bell-cow RB of their own in former MVP Adrian Peterson, who made the Pro Bowl last year at age 30 after sitting out most of 2014.
This is a good situation for 15-year veteran Shaun Hill to come in and “manage” the Vikes’ offense. He’s been here before, piloting the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams on a fill-in basis and making a total of 34 NFL starts, with a career passer rate of 85.2. It’s not really that much of a downgrade from Bridgewater, which makes the Vikings worth a close look at their new bargain price. The Cowboys? Let’s see how they deal with Romo in the next few days.
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