Philadelphia (8-1) -3.5 at DALLAS (5-4)
The Ezekiel Elliott saga appears over. Unless you count how it’s turned Jerry Jones into a raving lunatic trying to get Roger Goodell fired.
The owners v. commissioner saga is not going to play out well for Roger G. He did make a very smart decision to hire a compensation consultant, but is guilty of bad execution. Compensation consultants are wonderful, brilliant, sexy people, but even that won’t save him.
The analysis determined that $50MM guaranteed a year plus a private plane for life was “market” compensation. We are submitting a FOIA request to get a copy of that one.
Goodell is failing to see is that he has no leverage. The owners allowed him to run amok building an organization with many executive layers. Multi-million dollar salaries abound, and all the executives are interested in one thing: keeping their boss happy so their multi-million salaries don't go away. Read the Don Van Natta piece published this week.
This simply is a massive failure of governance. The shareholders in this case (owners) are the direct recipients of the league’s profitability, and will realize their mistake and the dollars it has cost them. Heads will roll now that the product itself is under fire.
Goodell will not survive. Good idea to get a compensation consultant …. but you picked the wrong one.
On the field, we’ve been burned all year on the Eagles. Without Sean Lee, Ezekiel Elliott, and Tyron Smith, we don't see how the Cowboys will compete. Philly’s defense is an emotional unit, and if there are a few early sacks, this game might be a blowout.
Pick: Eagles -3.5
SEATTLE (6-3) -2.5 vs Atlanta (5-4)
Injuries are the story here, too. The Seahawks' vaunted Legion of Boom secondary has spontaneously combusted. Sherman and Chancellor on IR, Thomas back but will be rusty. And alone.
You can replace Sherman and Chancellor with the 12th Man (fans) and 13th Man (clock operator), but that leaves them playing 11-on-11 with Atlanta instead of their typically huge home field advantage. Seattle doesn't win when one of these 3 guys is on the sideline. With 2 out and one at half speed, Atlanta can open it up downfield.
Atlanta can build some momentum after their blowout of Dallas last week. Adrian Clayborn is looking at that offensive line and salivating. We can't find the record for most sacks in back to back games, but we’re going to say it may be higher after this week. Russell Wilson should hang onto that jaw alignment thing he had to wear this week.
Pick: Falcons +2.5