The Cowboys are 5.5-point underdogs, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Reporter: "How often do you use the point spread to motivate your team?"— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) October 6, 2022
Mike McCarthy says he's never had to, but, "What is it this week?"
"You just wrote my Saturday night speech." [laughter]
"We're nobody's underdog, if you need a quote."
The Cowboys 3-1 record may not be quite as surprising as the New York Giants’ same win/loss, but the season got off to a tenuous start with an injury to starting quarterback Dak Prescott. The team has still reeled off three straight wins behind backup Cooper Rush, in large thanks to a defense led by Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs.
Dallas is third in points allowed, Parsons already has 12 QB pressures, and Diggs has two interceptions but is finally working more as a shutdown corner than he was in 2021. Diggs has only allowed 14-of-25 targets to be caught for 157 yards.
Indeed, the point spread is a little surprising given the most recent performance by the Rams. Will the offensive line be able to protect Matthew Stafford against Parsons, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Dante Fowler? Will Diggs be able to contain Cooper Kupp and if so, who does Stafford turn to next? Will the Rams defense be able to do more tackling than they did in Week 4?
The Rams being favored is less surprising than the 5.5-point spread. McCarthy doesn’t seem the Cowboys as underdogs in any game and he has the confidence of the locker room behind him too, according to Blogging the Boys’ R.J. Ochoa:
As head coach of the Cowboys, McCarthy is 0-1 against the Rams. When he was head coach of the Packers, McCarthy went 5-2 against the Rams, but he was 0-1 against Sean McVay’s Rams.
That’s 2-0 McVay, another coach who probably doesn’t see himself as an underdog.