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Titans vs. Cowboys ‘Thursday Night Football’ pick and open thread

If you’re in the market for competitive football, tonight ain’t it

NFL: NOV 05 Titans at Cowboys Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys (11-4) at Tennessee Titans (7-8), 8:15 p.m. EST, Prime Video

Can you feel it? Playoff football is here. Well, not really — but for some teams, they are already in “win or go home” mode.

The Tennessee Titans are one of those teams. They are locked for the division lead with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and both teams are fighting for the division championship in order to make the playoffs. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are sitting comfortably after coming off a win over the Philadelphia Eagles, and they hope to close the season out with two more wins headed into the playoffs.

The Titans are in a bit of a rough spot. Starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill is likely out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury, which he has already had the surgery to correct. According to some reports, he is trying to play in Week 18, but that appears to be a long shot. Running back Derrick Henry is also doubtful to play due to a hip injury, but it seems like head coach Mike Vrabel would rather rest his star players regardless in hopes to win the final game of the season against the Jaguars. Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game, as long as they beat the Jaguars next week, the Titans are in the playoffs.

The Cowboys seem like they can’t get love regardless of anything they do. Had they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles last week, they would have been laughed at because quarterback Jalen Hurts wasn’t active. With the win, the narrative is that they only won because Gardner Minshew was under center. I think the Cowboys are a lot better than most want to give them credit for. Since quarterback Dak Prescott returned from his injury, the Cowboys have one of the most explosive offenses in the league. Defensively, they have star players that will get the job done, and will be a nightmare for any team to face in the playoffs. The concern is, are they for real? Every year, the Cowboys have a very talented roster with great receivers, a strong running game, and good defense. But for some reason, they choke in the playoffs. Will we see that again this year?

Regardless of what will happen in the playoffs, the Cowboys are not going to lose this game. A 13.5-point spread, per DraftKings Sportsbook, will be tough to accomplish if the Titans play any of their key players. But if they rest, as appears will be the case, this can get out of hand quickly. The Cowboys will win and cover the spread.