The Final ‘Thursday Night Football’ Game of the NFL Season Finds the Dallas Cowboys Out In Front

By | December 29, 2022

Amazon may have gotten the short end of the stick in its $13B deal to have exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football (TNF). The Thursday matchups haven’t been overwhelmingly exciting, and, as the Dallas Cowboys and Tennessee Titans take the field tonight, this last TNF game won’t be any different.

Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys players celebrate a touchdown in the end zone during a recent game. The NFC East team is already going to the playoffs, making their Thursday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans almost irrelevant. (Image: Associated Press)

The Cowboys (11-4) are the indisputable favorites to win tonight and have already secured a playoff berth in the NFC. They barely snuck in as they look to better last year’s postseason performance.

The Titans (7-8) are on the outside looking in. They have a slim chance of seeing postseason action, but tonight’s game won’t make a difference to the AFC team’s odds.

Cowboys Sport a New Look

The Cowboys can use tonight as a potential testbed for new plays. The outcome won’t impact the standings, although Dallas wants to put up as many digits in the win column as it can.

  Cowboys Titans
Moneyline -670 +490
Spread -12.5 (-110) +12.5 (-110)
Over/under O39.5 (-110) U39.5 (-110)
  Courtesy of FanDuel  

The only thing left is the fight for the NFC East title. However, the chances of the Philadelphia Eagles losing to both the New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants in their two remaining games are virtually impossible. Those losses are the only way Dallas could take over the division.

The Cowboys have decided to shake things up by wearing a different uniform tonight – perhaps to see if they’re a good luck charm. They’re turning to a modified Color Rush uniform, with a lot of white from head to toe, and a blue stripe on the pants.

Football fans might expect to see Tony Pollard play a big role for the Cowboys tonight. The running back is on track to have his first 1,000-yard season, and could easily reach it against the Titans.

The four-year Cowboy is just 12 yards away from the goal, averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and has picked up nine touchdowns. Pollard also has 39 receptions for 371 yards and three TDs, making him a versatile threat. However, he’s also dealing with a thigh injury that might impact the lineup tonight.

The Titans most likely would have had a weak showing even with their regular lineup, but the team is reportedly benching some of its key players. QB Ryan Tannehill was already out due to an ankle injury, but NFL.com reported that running back Derrick Henry and linebackers Denico Autry, Dylan Cole, Zach Cunningham and Bud Dupree are also out.

Terrell Owens Back With the Boys?

From 2006 to 2008, which just happens to be the last time the Cowboys saw back-to-back playoffs, Terrell Owens was a major part of the success. The NFL Hall of Fame receiver, now that Dallas is set to return to the postseason, wants to be a part of the reclaimed success.

Owens, now 49, has reportedly been talking to the Cowboys about a chance to sign with the team ahead of the postseason. He is allegedly in the same form he was 15 years ago, according to agent Gregory D.L. Daniel, and could help Dallas secure postseason wins.

If he were to come back, Owens would be the oldest active player in NFL history. Currently, that record is held by the late George Blanda, who was a center for the then-Oakland Raiders from 1967 to 1975. He was 48 when he retired.

Owens and the Cowboys are reportedly holding serious discussions about a possible return. Were it to happen, it would likely be nothing more than a publicity stunt intended to improve the Cowboys’ image and detract from other issues.

When the lines first appeared this past summer, the Titans were favored to win this game. Now, the Cowboys are so far out in front that taking them on the moneyline has no value.

The over/under holds some decent prospects, as it is a real challenge. The Cowboys have seen the over hit in five straight games, but Tennessee has only seen it in three of their last nine. Still, because the Titans have so many offensive issues and Dallas has no reason to go out of its way, backing the under makes more sense.

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