By Ian James
As preseason BetUS NFL odds indicated, the Dallas Cowboys appeared to be the team to beat in the NFC East. Priced as the odds on favorites at -120 to be crowned division champions seemed to be a sound wager. Many fans believed this was the year Dallas would ride into postseason and possibly win the Super Bowl, including oddsmakers who gave them a good deal of respect.
Dallas was installed at +300 to win the NFC and +900 to win the Super Bowl. For a team stacked with talent and immeasurable expectations, online NFL betting fanatics dumped a lot of money on Dallas across the board and received solid sports betting value. But after Week 17 they rode off into the sunset to watch postseason from home, leaving Cowboy fans in the dust with a fist full of worthless future tickets, as they stood scratching their heads wondering what went wrong.
The Cowboys suffered many injuries to key players this year that changed the entire complexity of the season, leading to a lot of finger pointing at team owner Jerry Jones and several players which led to a dysfunctional club down the stretch. Injuries can decimate any team, just ask the Patriots who finished 11-5 and still missed the playoffs after losing Tom Brady for the season.
The Cowboys flew out of the gates to start 3-0, including wins over the Eagles and Packers. However, the Cowboys ended the month by losing to the Redskins to close the month at 3-1 and 2-2 against the BetUS spread. Unfortunately for the NFL wagering crowd in Big D, the loss to Washington was indicative of how the Cowboys would play for much of the remaining 2008 season.
BetUS has the Cowboys favored by 16 points and did not even come close to covering as they struggled to beat lowly Cincinnati, who finished the season 4-11-1, and then lost their next game in overtime to Arizona. The Arizona loss was especially costly, as the Cowboys lost its star QB Tony Romo for a month, punter Mat McBriar for the year with a broken foot, and rookie running back Felix Jones with a hamstring injury.
As the Cowboys struggled on the field due to injuries, team owner Jones tried to bring in talent by trading the team’s first, third, and sixth round picks to Detroit for receiver Roy Williams and a seventh round pick in 2009. It was a questionable move, to say the least, which resulted in 19 receptions for 198 yards in the final 10 games for Williams.
The Cowboys troubles where made apparent when they traveled to play the 1-4 Rams and was blown out 34-14. Not only embarrassed, sportsbook account holders investing in Dallas took a blow, as the loss to St. Louis marked the fourth straight game they failed to cover the spread.
Dallas was rolled by the Giants 35-14 to begin the month of November, but coming off a bye week they found a way to beat Washington on the road. The win sparked a three-game winning streak SU and ATS, as they entered December at 8-4 SU and 6-6 ATS.
As the team seemed to be getting back on track with Romo under center, in typical TO fashion, Owens complained during an interview for NFL Network that the Cowboys were not involving him enough. After the interview, the team’s chemistry seemed to be in disarray for the rest of the season.
A late season loss to Baltimore 34-24 initially looked as it would be the final nail in the coffin for Dallas but wins by San Diego over Tampa Bay and Washington over Philadelphia meant that the Cowboys still controlled their own destiny in the final week of the season. Unfortunately we all know what happened as the Cowboys appeared to play while hung-over in the season finale against Philadelphia. Every facet of the club looked stagnant, as the Eagles cruised to a 44-6 win that eliminated the Cowboys from the playoffs and secured their berth in the second season. It leaves many fans wondering if it were Dallas who had won that game, would it be them heading to Super Bowl XLIII?
It was certainly a painful season to watch for Dallas fans, as they finished 9-7 SU and 7-9 ATS. But unlike many teams that lost head coaches this season due to poor showings, the Cowboys primary problems stemmed from injuries. The talent is there and the injuries will heal. Barring another season-riddled campaign next year, and with a little ”house cleaning”, expect big things from Dallas next season.
For true sports betting fans in Big D that dropped coin on your team, this season is not all lost as you have the opportunity to recover lost funds at BetUS. With Super Bowl XLIII lines up and hundreds of futures bets to choose from, don’t let the best day in the football year go to waste because your team isn’t in it!