cowboys patriots player props picks
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG DUDEK

The New England Patriots staged a furious comeback to earn their second victory of the season at the Houston Texans last week. Now, they look to avoid a very un-Patriot-like 0-4 start at home when they host the Dallas Cowboys, winners of four straight following a narrow opening night defeat at the hands of the reigning champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Let’s jump into this marquee Sunday matchup with a look at our best Cowboys vs. Patriots player props picks.

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The Top Cowboys vs. Patriots Player Props Picks

Mac Jones Over 270.5 Passing Yards

This is one of those “don’t overthink it” spots. Dallas stops the run well, at fifth best in the NFL, and New England has preferred to use the short passing game as a faux run game for several seasons now. And that’s not to mention that Dallas owns the second worst pass defense in the league, despite the team’s 4-1 record, allowing 311.0 yards per game.

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Even though just a rookie, Mac Jones has certainly not had a tight leash from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. To the contrary, Jones has attempted the ninth most passes in the league thus far, completing more than all but three other quarterbacks. His yardage numbers are not quite as glamorous by comparison, but Jones has reached at least 270 yards in three of his five starts so far in his first NFL campaign.

As mentioned, the Cowboys cannot stop the pass. All five quarterbacks they have faced have thrown for at least 266 yards this season and, complicating things further, opposing teams have averaged the second most pass attempts per game in the league with 41.6. That number even jumps to 45.5 per game when Dallas is on the road. Look for Jones to be throwing early, often, and with great success throughout this one, possibly collecting the first 300 yard passing game of his young career.

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Kendrick Bourne Over 34.5 Receiving Yards

We discussed above, the Cowboy’s inability to contain opposing passers, giving up over 300 yards per game through the air. Well, someone has to be catching the 40+ passes per game that are accounting for that exorbitant yardage total. As it happens, wide receivers have averaged 211.6 of the 311.0 passing yards piled up against Dallas, topping 200 yards in four of the five games so far in 2021. Further, 10 different wide receivers have topped this prop’s yardage total against the Cowboys already, with more than one doing so in four of their five outings.

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This becomes important for Kendrick Bourne here because Dallas also has the hottest cornerback in the NFL in its employ. Trevon Diggs will have a “don’t challenge” tag for Mac Jones from Coach Belichick and with Diggs likely to spend much of his time on New England’s leading receiver, Jakobi Meyers (31 receptions, 46 targets, 302 yards), Bourne and Nelson Agholor would be the beneficiary of increased opportunities.

Bourne has the highest percentage of catches per target of the New England receivers and is second behind Meyers in both receptions and receiving yards thus far. He has also topped this yardage total in two of the last three games.

The aforementioned Diggs also carries a questionable tag this week. If he is unable to go, that slides each of the New England receivers up a notch in terms of who they will likely see most often in coverage, just another win for Bourne.

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Dalton Schultz Under 4.5 Receptions

The Dallas Cowboys offense is chock full of weapons, as evidenced by their second ranked yardage and scoring numbers. Bill Belichick has a reputation for taking away an offense’s most dangerous weapon and forcing the lesser pieces to beat him. However, what piece do you take away from an offense with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz, and Tony Pollard? Belichick may just be forced to play the Cowboys straight up defensively.

Normally, you might look at that list and conclude that Schultz and Pollard are the obvious choices to force to have to beat you, but the numbers scream otherwise. Pollard led the team in rushing one week and has gained at least 60 yards on the ground on double-digit carries each of the last four games. Schultz has led the team in receptions and targets each of the last three weeks, while finishing with the second most receiving yards or better in all of those games.

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That almost sounds as if we are making a case for the opposite prop here, but this actually just speaks to the likelihood that Belichick will consider Schultz a considerable threat and will not want to leave him in plus matchups and allow him to beat the Patriots.

Now, are the Patriots good enough to contain Schultz, who has had six catches in four games already? Absolutely, they are.

New England has been suffocating against opposing tight ends this season. No tight end on any of the five teams they have faced has topped two catches or 29 yards, in fact. Couple that amazing stat with the fact that the Patriots only allow 18.2 completions per game, the second fewest in the league thus far, and it almost seems far-fetched that Schultz is going to be able to haul in five balls himself in this one.

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