For all you Dallas Cowboys die-hards out there I thought I’d deliver a little day-after Christmas present to you (as if you haven’t received your share of good tidings already this December) in the form of some of the 2014 Cowboys pre-season predictions from around nation. Enjoy.
From Brad Gagon of Bleacher Report:
“Dallas will finish dead last in the division for the first time since 2002. In the span since that last-place finish, the Cowboys have rarely been good but have never really been bad. But that might be about to change.”
From Josh Alper of NBC Sports:
“The Cowboys have followed a similar track through the last few seasons. Impressive wins are mixed with gut-wrenching defeats while key players go down with injuries over the course of a season that ends with a loss to the eventual NFC East champion on Sunday night in Week 17. Things don’t look all that different this season. The offense still looks capable of posting big numbers while the defense looks incapable of preventing them, which makes it easy to feel like we’re about to see more of the same from Dallas.”
From Dave Helman of Dallascowboys.com:
“I know they haven’t played a real game yet, but we haven’t seen a whole lot to suggest the Dallas defense has improved much from its atrocious effort in 2013. Maybe most importantly, I don’t see how this team works around an absolutely brutal back half of the schedule – and I’m not talking about the teams they play. The Cowboys play five of their final seven games on the road, and those games are going to happen outdoors, in cold weather locales like London, New York, Washington, Chicago and Washington D.C. I don’t have faith in this group to overcome that. For better or for worse, the Cowboys are going to snap their .500 rut this season – I just don’t think the offense can drag this team across the finish line (prediction of 6-10, 3rd in the division).”
Predictions on the NFC East from some of the “experts” at NFL.com:
Judy Battista: Division winner: Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys‘ defense is awful, Robert Griffin III has to prove he can stay healthy for the Redskins and the Giants‘ offense is in transition. So, Philadelphia it is, by default in a weak division.
Charley Casserly: Division winner: Eagles. Despite average defensive play, Philly wins again in a weak division. The Redskins are sleepers, but Robert Griffin III has to get going and their secondary is a weakness. I still believe in Eli Manning, but does he have enough help around him in New York? Dallas can’t stop anybody.
Dave Dameshek: Division winner: Eagles. Of all the Super Bowl contenders, the Eagles are the most prohibitive favorite to win their division. Who else in the woeful East can pose a challenge? (That was a rhetorical question, the answer to which is: no one).
From Chuck Mills at SB Nation:
“The Cowboys fielded the third worst defense in NFL history behind the 1981 Colts and 2012 Saints. Then Demarcus Ware was cut as a cap casualty and Sean Lee suffered a season ending injury in OTAs. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for success for me. The Cowboys do not have anyone on their roster that has anywhere near the resume that Ware had except possibly Anthony Spencer, who will probably miss the first few games of the season. Predicted Record: 6-10.”
Will Brinson from CBSSports.com picked the Cowboys as his “free fall” team in 2014. “I think they could walk away from this season with two wins total. The defense can’t stop anyone and if Tony Romo has to throw 45-50 times per game for the first five games (not unreasonable at all) his back is going to give out.”
Ryan Wilson from CBSSports.com predicted the Cowboys would be the last team to get a win in 2014.
And from the entire staff at Monday Morning Quarterback (Peter King, Greg Bedard, Jenny Vrentas, Robert Klemko, Emily Kaplan and Andy Benoit) I give you the across the board unanimous hands-down pick to win the NFC East – the Philadelphia Eagles of course.
So what’s my point in taking this snapshot of a look back? Just that nobody ever really knows how things will play out in the world of sports, and that Christmas miracles can come true if you pray very hard and truly believe. Just ask George Bailey (although I heard he picked the Eagles too).