Elliott Return To Inspire Cowboys’ Victory

Elliott's return will spark the Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott returns to the fold just at the right time for the Dallas Cowboys as they face off against the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium. Elliott lost his battle with the NFL regarding his six-game suspension and has been forced to watch his side’s progress in the NFC East.

Dallas have been inconsistent in his absence, losing their opening three matches without the All-Pro. However, they bounced back with three wins on the bounce, putting them back into contention for a playoff spot. Their run included their controversial win over the Oakland Raiders last time out, narrowly beating the AFC West on the road.

With Elliott restored to the line-up there’s hope for Jason Garrett’s men that they can bundle their way into the post-season. They will need to win their last two matches and hope that other results fall in their favour. The Cowboys face the Seahawks at the perfect time in the season as injuries have started to take hold of the once fearsome Seattle defense.

Without Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril along with Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright being at less than 100%, the Seahawks were taken apart on home soil by the Los Angeles Rams. Sean McVay’s side put 34 points on the board in the first half alone.

Russell Wilson has drifted out of the MVP conversation as even he has been unable to prop up the team. Unless they pull off something dramatic, the Seahawks are on track to miss out on a place in the post-season for the first time since the 2011 term.

We’ll now break down the crucial contest, looking at the latest betting odds.

Dallas Cowboys

Elliott's return will spark the Cowboys

Credit: Getty Images

The Cowboys suffered without their All-Pro running back in their clash against the Falcons. Quarterback Dak Prescott struggled in his absence as the club were only able to put seven points on the board in a crushing defeat. Matters only got worse against the Philadelphia Eagles as Prescott suffered his worst game as a professional, throwing three interceptions and just 145 yards. The Eagles crushed Garrett’s men in a humiliating loss for the club on home soil. On Thanksgiving, Dallas were humbled once again this time by the Los Angeles Chargers, breaking their franchise record for longest streak without a touchdown in the process.

Prescott found his rhythm at last against the Washington Redskins and that begun the club’s three-match winning streak. The club brushed the Redskins aside before defeating the New York Giants on the road. Garrett’s men were not at their best against the Raiders and did benefit from marginal calls before Derek Carr fumbled the ball through the endzone to end a potential comeback bid. Elliott’s return should open up space through the air for his quarterback to thrive. Prescott struggled initially with the pressure of carrying the offense, but the return of his team-mate is just in time for the stretch run.

Elliott has been afforded six weeks rest after playing the opening eight weeks of the campaign. The 22-year-old was not quite at his best in the early stages of the season. However, before his suspension he reeled off three 100-yard performances on the bounce, powering past the San Francisco 49ers and the Redskins. The time away will have given his body an opportunity to rest and two similar outings to his performances before the bye in the final two matches of the season could punch Dallas’ ticket to the post-season.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle are on the ropes

Credit: Getty Images

The Seahawks suffered their worst defeat of the Pete Carroll era in their hammering at the hands of the Rams. It was the club’s heaviest home loss since 1997, highlighting the destruction seen at CenturyLink Field. Under Carroll, Seattle have built their success off the quality of their defense.

However, Todd Gurley was able to run through their lines with ease as he rushed for 152 yards and three touchdowns in the contest. Jared Goff also had a solid afternoon, throwing for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Seattle were exposed without the presence of Sherman and Chancellor in the secondary, but the worrying aspect of the defeat was their run defense.

Wagner and Wright in the linebacking corps were both struggling with injuries heading into the contest. They started the contest, but were unable to stop Gurley running riot. Wagner was criticised by the remaining member of the Legion of Boom – Earl Thomas – for his performance. The issue has gone back and forth between the players and does not speak to a harmonious locker room in Seattle.

The players’ frustration with their displays has boiled over towards the end of matches, with two incidents in their last two defeats to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles. Even the displays of Wilson has not been good enough to keep the team in the playoff places. The 28-year-old has kept the team in contention with his ability to throw downfield without a great deal of protection.

However, the quarterback threw three costly interceptions against the Jaguars and put just seven points on the board in the defeat to the Rams. Unless Wilson finds his best form in the next two matches, Seattle will miss the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Betting Options

The Cowboys will be boosted by the return of arguably their best player. Elliott provides a different dimension to the club’s other running backs with his pace and vision in the backfield.

He also offers a threat in the passing game out of the backfield, which will be extremely tough for a depleted Seahawks’ defense to handle. Seattle do not seem in a good place as a team right now – therefore back Dallas to get the win on home soil at odds of -222   with BetOnline.

With their main man back on offense also take the Cowboys to cover the -5 spread at odds of -105   with Betway. Given the state of the Seahawks’ defense, it would not be a surprise for Dallas to rack up the points. Therefore take Garrett’s men to score over 26.5 points at -105   with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

Dallas Cowboys To Beat Seattle Seahawks
Sunday 24th December 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)
Odds: -250

Dallas Cowboys To Cover -5 Spread
Sunday 24th December 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)
Odds: -105

Dallas Cowboys To Score Over 26.5 Points
Sunday 24th December 2017 16:25 ET (21:25 GMT)
Odds: -105