So Tony Romo is back and all is right in Dallas.
The Panthers will come to Big D and leave with a Big L, their first after 10 straight wins. And the Cowboys will be on their way to a seven-game winning streak to close the schedule.
Pro Picks doesn't buy it.
Romo made plenty of big plays at Miami last Sunday. He also showed plenty of rust.
Yes, he's a vast improvement over the guys who lost seven in a row with Romo sidelined by a broken collarbone. But these Cowboys (3-7) aren't all that good, and these Panthers are.
The Panthers (No. 2 in AP Pro32) are 1-point favorites over No. 20 Dallas, which actually opened as a favorite, perhaps thanks to all the giddy Cowboys fans seeing their season's "savior" back on the field and putting their money down on their team.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera found that "a little disrespectful."
"Apparently, they know something we don't, so we're just going to prepare and get ourselves ready to play on Thursday," Rivera said. "We'll show up."
Should be a fun game, and close. That strong Carolina defense will make the difference.
KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP:
Carolina got to 10-0 and kept knockout pool survivors going. This deep into the schedule, it's tough sledding finding a previously ignored team. Try HOUSTON.
No. 26 New Orleans (plus 3) at No. 15 Houston
Texans' defense is rolling, and will make Drew Brees uncomfortable all day.
BEST BET: TEXANS, 27-20
No. 7 Minnesota (plus 2) at No. 14 Atlanta
Vikings have won three straight on road. Make it four.
UPSET SPECIAL: VIKINGS, 21-20
No. 21 Philadelphia (minus-2) at No. 27 Detroit, Thursday
Maybe a road trip will help ailing Eagles. We don't think so.
No. 19 Chicago (plus 9) at No. 6 Green Bay, Thursday
Packers don't need extra incentive vs. archrivals, will get it anyway from Brett Favre ceremony.
No. 1 New England (minus 5) at No. 5 Denver
Patriots' unbeaten run won't end on holiday weekend, either.
No. 22 (tie) St. Louis (plus 9 1-2) at No. 4 Cincinnati
Bengals need a turnaround game after mini-slump. Cincy should get it against punchless Rams.
No. 8 Pittsburgh (plus 5) at No. 9 Seattle
Both of these teams should find a way into playoffs despite key injuries.
No. 17 Tampa Bay (plus 3) at No. 12 (tie) Indianapolis
Both teams have straightened out some problems. Matt Hasselbeck moves to 4-0 as starter.
No. 3 Arizona (minus 10) at No. 29 San Francisco
Cardinals sometimes make things hard on themselves. Not in this one.
No. 11 New York Giants (minus 1) at No. 24 Washington
Giants are a .500 team, which probably will be good enough in NFC East.
No. 12 (tie) Buffalo (plus 5) at No. 10 Kansas City
Could be defensive struggle, which also can be very entertaining.
No. 22 (tie) Miami (plus 3 1-2) at No. 16 New York Jets
Could be defensive struggle, and not very entertaining one.
No. 18 Oakland (minus 1 1-2) at No. 30 Tennessee
Titans are awful at home. Raiders have been awful everywhere recently, but will wake up.
No. 31 San Diego (plus 3 1-2) at No. 25 Jacksonville
Chargers are just a shell of team that began season. Top overall draft pick might be in their future.
No. 28 Baltimore (plus 2) at No. 32 Cleveland
AFC North dregs, and Ravens have more injury excuses.
2015 RECORD: Against spread: Week 7-5-2, Season (80-68-5). Straight up: Week 10-4, Season (97-63)
Best Bet: 5-5-1 against spread, 7-4 straight up.
Upset special: 6-5 against spread, 3-8 straight up.