The Dallas Cowboys had a mediocre 8-8 year last year, finishing 2 nd in the NFC East, while missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year. This year Dallas looks again like a mediocre team, but still have a shot at a division title, as the NFC East is pretty weak this year. Vegas has the Cowboys win total set at 7.5 (O -115… U -115). Let’s take a quick look at the Dallas Cowboys, along with their 2014 Schedule.
Last year the Dallas offense was ranked 5th in scoring, at 27.4 ppg, while also ranking 16th in total yards (341.1 ypg), 14th in passing (247.1 ypg) and 24th in rushing (94.0 ypg). Despite throwing for 3800 yards, 31 TD’s and just 10 INT.s, Tony Romo took most of the blame for the Cowboys failure to make the playoffs again. It is rather unfair. Romo wasn’t responsible for a crappy offensive line, or all the dropped ball he WRs had or a running that that produced just 94 ypg. He also wasn’t responsible for a poor defense, but we will get to that in a moment. Bottom line is that Romo had a good year. Romo has a big time weapon in Dez Bryant (93 catches last year), while Jason Whitten also continues to have solid years. A glaring weakness for the Cowboys was the OL and they hope they addressed that with the drafting of OT Zack Martin from Notre Dame. The running game is set with Demarco Murray and provided he stays healthy he should have a solid year behind an improved OL. I see this offense being improved over last years.
Defensively the Cowboys ranked 26th in points allowed (27.0 ppg), 32nd in yards allowed (415.3 ypg), 30th vs the pass (286.8 ypg) and 27th vs the run (128.5 ypg). Needless to say this was a bad defense last year and another reason why it wasn’t all Romo’s fault this year. The Cowboys allowed 124 points or more 9 times last year, they also allowed 40 first downs to New Orleans and 51 points to Denver. This unit needs some help and they hope that a defensive laden draft will give them that help, especially since they also lost Demarcus Ware in the offseason. After taking an offensive tackle with their first pick, the Cowboys used 7 of their last 8 picks on defense, including 2 nd round pick Demarcus Lawrence and 4th round pick OLB Anthony Pickens, who both should step right in and help run new defensive coordinator Monte Kifin’s 4-3 defense. Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratcliff and Anthony Spencer, along with DB’s Will Allen and Barry Church are all back and should mesh nicely with the youngsters to for a very improved defense this year.
I feel that the Cowboys have a shot at breaking their post season slump this year. Their offense should be solid, especially if Romo can stay healthy and the OL is improved as expected. Dallas does have some nice weapons on offense, but they also need a nother WR to step up and injury-prone Demarco Murray needs to stay healthy. The defense was a mess last year, so they brought in defensive guru Monte Kiffin to turn things around on that side of the ball. He has his work cut out for him, but this defense did have some solid talent returning and an influx of solid talent will help as well. The Cowboys should be improved on both sides of the ball and they face the 18th toughest schedule. I see a 9-7 year for Dallas.
2014 Dallas Cowboys Schedule
Sept. 7: San Francisco 49ers, 4:25
Sept. 14: at Tennessee Titans, 1
Sept. 21: at St. Louis Rams, 1
Sept. 28: New Orleans Saints, 8:30
Oct. 5: Houston Texans, 1
Oct. 12: at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25
Oct. 19: New York Giants, 4:25
Oct. 27: Washington Redskins (Mon.), 8:30
Nov. 2: Arizona Cardinals, 1
Nov. 9: at Jacksonville Jaguars (London), 1
Nov. 16: BYE
Nov. 23: at New York Giants, 8:30*
Nov. 27: Philadelphia Eagles (Thu.), 4:30
Dec. 4: at Chicago Bears (Thu.), 8:25
Dec. 14: at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:30*
Dec. 21: Indianapolis Colts, 4:25
Dec. 28: at Washington Redskins, 1
Info Gathered From CBS Sports & Walter Sports
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NFL Win Total: Denver Broncos
What pro football bettors need to know about betting the win total on the Denver Broncos this year - a free pick from Pregame.com's Marco D'Angelo, with added insight from Ken Thomson.