After two back to back 8-8 seasons without a playoff appearance, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones vowed to invoke changes that would make everyone at Valley Ranch “uncomfortable”. Those changes came in the form off a majority of the Cowboys’ coaching staff being let go, including defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Jones elected to keep head coach Jason Garrett and now says his job is not on the line this season. If you believe that, I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. After what some consider to be a less than stellar draft, let’s revisit the Cowboys’ upcoming schedule and try to predict where Dallas could rank in the standings at the end of the year.
So at the end of the second part of my analysis, the Cowboys were 5-3. Let’s go ahead and wrap this up and see where they could be by the end of the season.
WEEK 9 – Minnesota Vikings @ Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: WIN (6-3) – ” The Vikings have concerns at quarterback. That combined with an aging defense spells trouble for Minnesota next year. They had a stellar draft, but is it enough to turn them around in one year? I don’t think so. Dallas has the upper-hand here.”
WEEK 10 – Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints
Prediction: LOSS (6-4) – “The Saints of last year are not the same team with Sean Payton at the helm. Expect them to have a resurgence this season. And in the game, expect former Dallas defensive coordinator Ryan to be looking for some revenge in New Orleans. Dallas loses this one.”
WEEK 11 – BYE WEEK
WEEK 12 – Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
Prediction: LOSS (6-5) – “NFC East Split in full effect here.”
WEEK 13 – Oakland Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: WIN (7-5) - “It’s the Oakland Raiders. I’m shocked when they win a game.”
WEEK 14 – Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears
Prediction: LOSS (7-6) – “Difficult choice here. It’s really about how the teams are playing at the time. But I’ll go with the home team in possible snowy conditions.”
WEEK 15 – Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: LOSS (7-7) – “Aaron Rodgers. Nuff said”
WEEK 16 – Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
Prediction: LOSS (7-8) – “NFC East Split in full effect here. I’d also expect RG3 to be at full force here in Washington.”
WEEK 17 – Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: WIN (8-8) – “NFC East Split in full effect here. Will it be enough to make the playoffs? Probably not.”
So, according to this prediction, the Cowboys could easily go 8-8. I’ve heard other predictions as low as 6-10 and as high as 13-3. I think the answer will lie in the offensive line. If they can improve themselves this off-season and give Tony Romo a running game, the sky’s the limit!