Alright, I know the Jaguars aren't a very good football team. They're not about to win the Super Bowl this year, I think we all realize that. But for the life of me, I can't figure out why the 3-4 Jaguars are 6.5-7 point underdogs to the 1-5 Cowboys.
When you add in the fact that Tony Romo is out of the game and 38 year old Jon Kitna is starting in his first game since early 2008 and his first ever game as a Cowboy, the head scratching continues.David Garrard will return to the starting lineup against a defense that was just carved up for 500+ yards of offense, surely that has to inspire some sort of confidence in the Jaguars nationally, right? Wrong. The thought nation wide is that the Jaguars are among the league's worst teams.
Here's something funny. In ESPN's week 8 power rankings, the Jaguars come in at 25. That's one spot ahead of the 26th ranked Cowboys. However, you go to the NFL picks for the week and a panel of 8 "experts" all pick the Cowboys to earn the win. Then at the end, a computer picks the Cowboys and the rest of the nation picks the Cowboys. Ouch.
Go to ESPN's Eliminator Challenge and you'll get an idea of how bad America really thinks the Jags are. Each week contestants pick just one team to pick up a win. The winner at the end will be the one who was able to pick one winner every week without once using the same team twice. As of right now, 19.1% of the entries are on the Cowboys for week 8. That's the second highest total behind only the Chiefs who are set to face the lowly Bills. Only 0.5% of the contestants were willing to risk their entry on the Jaguars.
Small market teams like the Jaguars are judged upon small windows of exposure as they don't see much time in the limelight. The Jags saw national television once and they failed miserably. National perceptions are hard to shake and no one is showing that better than the week 8 odds makers.