The Dallas Cowboys are a -3.5 favorite for Sunday night's all-important matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. All things considered, that's a fair number.
These rosters stack up evenly on paper and the Cowboys were mere inches way from sending the Week 9 matchup to overtime, if not winning it in regulation.
Late in the fourth quarter, replay showed that Prescott stepped out of bounds on his two-point conversion scramble after his touchdown to Jalen Tolbert brought Dallas within five points. Had Prescott kept his foot in bounds, the Cowboys would have kicked a field goal on the final drive to tie the game.
While the refs got that call right, they botched a number of calls over the course of the game. Unfortunately, Cowboys fans might want to brace for another refereeing nightmare on Sunday because the NFL handpicked the polarizing John Hussey to call the game.
The Eagles are an impossible 7-0 when Hussey is the head man. That record is inclusive of Philly's 26-17 victory vs Dallas on Monday Night Football and their 31-7 win against the 49ers in last year's NFC Championship Game.
NFL screws Cowboys with referee for SNF whose calls historically favor Eagles
It's no surprise the Eagles are undefeated when Hussey calls their games. Anytime a team has a 3:1 (near 4:1!) advantage in the penalty department, more often than not they should win the game. Those are vomit-inducing stats.
Granted, the Cowboys have had success when Hussey calls their home games. But the Birds' undefeated record is impossible to ignore and represents the bigger advantage. That's highly frustrating when you recall that the whistle benefitted Philadelphia in the teams' first meeting this season.
Just before the two minute warning in the fourth quarter, the refs missed a blatant James Bradberry hands to the face on Michael Gallup. On Dallas' final drive, they didn't call roughing the passer even though Dak Prescott, already being tackled by another Eagles defender, took a clear headshot from Jalen Carter.
And when the zebras did throw flags, they often got it wrong.
Like when they called Chuma Edoga for an illegal formation even though Edoga reported as an eligible receiver before the snap. Or when they called a phantom pass interference penalty on Stephon Gilmore that preluded the game-deciding touchdown that put Philly up 28-17 early in the fourth quarter.
At the end of the day, the Cowboys have to make sure the game isn't in a position where a ref's decision can decide the outcome. John Hussey is one of many referees who like to grab the spotlight. Let's hope Mike McCarthy relays these numbers to his players before kickoff.
As for the NFL, are you really surprised they picked a pro-Eagles referee?