Over the course of 32 days (or so) I will be previewing all 32 NFL teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2014 season. This post is previewing the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys have finished each of the last three seasons with an 8-8 record, but if their defense is as bad as people think it might be this season, they might not reach the .500 mark this year. The team has never had a winning record under head coach Jason Garrett and another bad season could mean the end of his tenure in Dallas.
The Cowboys’ offense scored the fifth-most points in the league last year, but the defense gave up the seventh-most points, causing the team to lose some high-scoring games including a 51-48 loss against the Broncos. QB Tony Romo had a decent season with 3828 passing yards and 31 touchdowns despite missing week 17 with a back injury. His favorite targets are WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten, who combined to catch 166 balls for over 2000 yards and 21 touchdowns. Rookie WR Terrance Williams had over 700 receiving yards and five touchdowns in just eight starts last year. RB DeMarco Murray ran for more than 1100 yards and nine touchdowns,
Romo is coming off offseason back surgery but is expected to be fully recovered by the start of the season. If he can stay healthy he should have another good year, especially if Williams has a breakout year in his second season, as you might expect him to have after the good numbers he put up last season when he started just half the team’s games. But the defense, which is expected to be even worse than last year, will probably hurt the Cowboys’ win-loss record again this year. The nondivisional games on the schedule that appear to be the toughest for the Cowboys include an opening game against the 49ers, a road game at Seattle, and home games against the Saints and Colts. The offense should be able to put points on the scoreboard, but if the defense is as bad as it could be the Cowboys may be hard-pressed to match their 8-8 records of the last couple years.