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Cowboys may not be turkeys; AMERICAN FOOTBALL.

DALLAS at ARIZONA Sky Sports 2, 12.30am Sunday SUCH is the Dallas Cowboys' popularity with the betting public that layers are invariably wary of giving them too much rope on the handicap, writes Simon Milham.

But they should just about still be worth backing for tomorrow night's NFL game in Arizona.

Arizona are not nearly as popular as their Christmas night visitors and yet Totesport appear to have gift-wrapped a present and stuck a bow on it, since they are asking Dallas to give up just six-and-a-half points to a team who have nothing to play for except a high draft pick.

The handicap line looks too short, particularly since the Cardinals are a woeful outfit who are likely to be fielding a struggling rookie quarterback.

John Skelton has completed just 32 of 72 passes in his two starts for a grand total of 342 yards despite playing against Denver and Carolina, who have won just five games between them in 28 attempts. Dallas may be happy with a last-placed schedule and a high draft pick next season, but the Cardinals are in line for the same thing.

Perhaps the bookmakers are mindful of the fact that Dallas rarely play well in Arizona - they have lost on six of their last eight visits and have given up 30 or more points in their past four games. But the Cardinals have surpassed 18 points only once in their last six games.

In contrast, the Cowboys have managed to score 27 points or more in their past six matches, winning four.

The points total has gone over in the last 11 games that Dallas have been involved in and they have covered the handicap in five of the last six games since Jason Garrett took over as head coach from Wade Phillips.

His players should remain fired up to get his 'interim' tag removed but it's not a game for a big bet.

Recommendation Dallas -6.5 1pt 4-5 Totesport

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Struggling: John Skelton
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Dec 24, 2010
Words:334
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