Dallas Cowboys vs New England Patriots Prediction, Pick and Preview, October 17 (10/17): NFL Week 6

Dallas Cowboys vs New England Patriots Prediction, Pick and Preview, October 17 (10/17): NFL Week 6

  • Ajay
  • Ajay
  • Oct 16, 2021, 7:41:00 AM

Credit: photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Time 4:25 p.m. EST
Cowboys money line -167
Cowboys spread -3
Patriots money line +164
Patriots spread +3.5
Over / under 50.5


2021 season stats
  Cowboys Patriots
Record 4-1 2-3
Road / home record 1-1 0-3
Points per game 34.0 19.2
Points allowed per game 23.4 18.4
Pass yards per game 267 240
Rush yards per game 173 80
Total yards per game 451 338
Total yards allowed per game 390 318
Turnover ratio +7 -3



The Cowboys will travel to Foxborough for the first time since 2019 to face the Patriots.  The last time they met the Pats won 13-9.  Dak had over 200 yards passing but didn't record a TD pass.  This time Dak's opposite number is a rookie Mac Jones and not the great Tom Brady and the Cowboys are off to their best start to a season since they went 13-3 in 2016.  After missing out on the playoffs last season the Cowboys are looking like favorites to win the NFC East.  Dallas trampled the Giants last week 44-20.  They're averaging 34 points per game in the last 3, second-best only to Buffalo in that span. 

The Patriots by contrast haven't gotten off to the best start.  At 2-3, they're already two games behind the Bills in the East.   In Week 5 they came from behind to beat the Texans thanks to a 10 point 4th quarter led by Mac Jones.  It was only the second time this season they were able to score over 20 points in a game.  They will need to score well past 20 to keep up with the high-powered Cowboys offense.

Offensive matchup

Dak Prescott continues to look impressive after missing most of 2020 to a horrific ankle injury.  He has 1,368 passing yards with 13 TDs and only 3 INTs through the first five games and was 22 of 32 for 302 yards, 3 passing TDs and 1 INT against the Giants.  Zeke Elliott is getting back to his best as well.  He rushed for over 100 yards for the second game in a row and sits third among the league's leading rushers with 452 yards.  He had a rushing and receiving TD against NYG.  CeeDee Lamb led Dallas' receivers in Week 5 with 84 yards and one score.  Amari Cooper also had one score with 60 yards through the air.  Lamb (348 yards) and Cooper (312 yards) rank 23rd and 30th among wide receivers.  Elliott is listed as questionable for Week 6 with a rib injury and offensive lineman Tyron Smith is also in doubt.

The Patriots' offense has been stuttering in the opening weeks.  Mac Jones leads all rookie QBs in passing yards with 1,243 in total.  He's thrown 5 TDs passes and 5 INTs.  Jakobi Meyers is the team's leading receiver with 302 yards from 31 receptions.  Tight end Hunter Henry is the next best contributor with 216 yards slightly ahead of Kendrick Bourne with 207.  The Pats' passing offense ranks 20th in the league.  Their rushing offense is in even worse shape ranking 27th.  New England has only 400 rushing yards and averaging less than 100 yards per game.  Damien Harris has 230 of those yards with 2 TDs but has as many fumbles as he does rushing scores.  No other Pats rusher has more than 50 yards on the season. Harris is also questionable for the game with a rib injury.  Kicker Nick Folk who scored the winning FG last week may also miss out due to a knee injury.

Defensive matchup

The Cowboys have been looking better defensively under Dan Quinn.  Trevon Diggs continues his impressive run of INTs leading the league with 6 which is 3 more than the next best.  The linebacking duo of Vander Esch and Parsons have combined for 48 tackles; 23 and 25, respectively.  Parsons has been so impressive in his rookie season that the Cowboys decided to move on from Jaylon Smith.  Parson and Vander Esch are healthy for this weekend but Diggs is questionable.  Randy Gregory and Damontae Kazee are both questionable as well.  

The Pats' defense has been a stark contrast to their offense.  The defense is giving up 318 yards per game; the fifth-best in the league.  Kyle Dugger leads the team with 29 tackles.  J.C. Jackson, Ja'Whaun Bentley and Adrian Phillips each have 22.  New recruit Matt Judon has been a welcomed addition to the defense as an edge rusher.  The Texans were the first team to put up over 20 points against the Pats defense but were held scoreless in the 4th quarter.  Kyle Van Noy and corners Jalen Mills and Jonathan Jones are the players questionable for Week 6.  


The Pats haven't been formidable this season.  The defense has been generally solid, but the offense can't get it going.  On the other hand, the Cowboys' offense is one of the best in the league, especially in the last month.  Even if the Pats' defense slows them down a bit, New England's offense hasn't shown itself to be good enough to keep up with better offenses.  Dallas has too many offensive threats and the better, more experienced QB.  

PICK: Cowboys spread (-3)

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