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Friday, December 9, 2011
Expert picks: Cowboys, Dolphins, Patriots

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

I like to look at the ESPN.com "Expert Picks" every week and see what our division looks like to those who don't spend every waking minute studying and worrying about it. I also -- not gonna lie -- like to size up my picks against everybody else's and see how I did. It concerns me that I have picked all three NFC East games differently this week from Chris Mortensen. But my picks are up, and I can't take them back, so I'll just hope Mort's off his game this week.

Anyway, a look at how the experts sized up this week's games in our division:

Eagles-Dolphins

Six of our eight experts plus Accuscore and the fan "Pigskin Pick Em" feature are picking the Dolphins to beat the Eagles. The only two who aren't are Mort and Adam Schefter, and I do think sometimes that those two guys have reasons for making picks that differ from those of the other experts. Mort and Adam are the most plugged-in to the week-to-week goings on inside the teams of any of the experts, and they may both like the idea that the Eagles' offense looks healthy after a month of missing its best players. We'll see. I agree, but I saw the healthy Eagles lose way too many games earlier this year to have any confidence in them at this point.

Patriots-Redskins

Everybody but Mort has New England in this one. Again, seeing Mort pick the Redskins makes me wonder what he sees that I don't. Sure, you can pick on the Patriots' defense, but you need a real offense to do it. And the way the injuries and suspensions have mounted for Washington, I don't see how they outscore Brady.

Giants-Cowboys

Mike Golic and Seth Wickersham are the only two out on the limb picking the Giants with me. As I said in my video picks, I can see all of the reasons to like the Cowboys -- playing at home, better defense, better run game. I just think this is a real close game in which defensive stops are going to be rare both ways, and I think the Giants thrive on the kind of emotion and hatred they never seem to have a problem mustering for the Cowboy games.

Anyway, Expert Picks. So you have people to rag on besides me. Spread the holiday joy!