The Cowboys will win the NFC East this year with a record of 12-4. How is that possible? Glad you asked.
Oct 28, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Miles Austin (19) runs after a catch against New York Giants cornerback Jayron Hosley (28) at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Game 1: Cowboys host the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium. A talented and opportunistic Cowboys offense is way too much for a defense that that is so bereft of talent they rely on Dan Connor as their starting middle linebacker. The middle is open all day for the Cowboys tight ends and they take full advantage of it. The Cowboys defense plays strong as they defeat the Giants 31-21.
Game 2: Cowboys travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs. The Chiefs are revitalized under the leadership of Andy Reid, but don’t have his system down yet. As a result, the Cowboys defense holds the Chiefs to 10 points as Dez Bryant has a big day. Cowboys win, 24-10.
Game 3: Cowboys host the St. Louis Rams and run wild. Even though the Rams coaches and system are not the same as when these two teams last met, the result is nearly the same as DeMarco Murray runs wild behind stellar run blocking by the offensive line. The Rams just don’t have enough talent on offense yet to challenge a Cowboys defense that seems to get better every week. Cowboys win 27-17.
Game 4: Cowboys travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers. The Chargers are a better team under new coaching, but it’s not good enough, as the Cowboys just squeak by to win 24-21.
Game 5: The Denver Broncos come to Cowboys Stadium to take on the Cowboys. Peyton Manning has a great game and even with the new scheme on defense the Cowboys allow slot receiver Wes Welker to make enough plays for the Broncos to deliver the Cowboys first loss of the season and leave town with a 31-38 victory.
Game 6: The Washington Redskins come for a visit. The Cowboys defense looks much better against the read option employed by Redskins quarterback RGIII, when they run it. The Redskins use this scheme on offense much less as an attempt to protect their talented quarterback from injury. The Cowboys offense has a big day but the Redskins score too. Cowboys win 28-24.
Game 7: Cowboys travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. Head coach Chip Kelly’s new offense is starting to take hold and they have a big day against a confused Dallas defense. Eagles win 31-27.
Game 8: Cowboys visit the Lions in Detroit. Detroit has one playmaker on offense, wide receiver Calvin Johnson. There is too much speed and talent on the Dallas defense as Johnson struggles to make plays. The Cowboys offense has a big day running and passing. Cowboys win 34-18.
Game 9: Cowboys host the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have lost more talent than they were able to replace. The Cowboys keep Adrian Peterson in check and win 38-21.
Game 10: Cowboys travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints. The Cowboys offense is way too talented to be held in check by a defense short on talent and headed by Rob Ryan. Confusion on defense and penalties for too many men on the field and big plays by the Cowboys with too few Saints defenders on the field leads to a big day on offense by the Cowboys. They win 27-18.
Game 11: A refreshed, but sluggish, Cowboys team heads to New Jersey after the bye week to take on the Giants. After a slow start, the Cowboys come from behind to win 27-21.
Game 12: Cowboys return from New Jersey in a short week to take on the Oakland Raiders at Cowboys Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. An improved Raiders team is still a few players away from being able to compete with the Cowboys. Cowboys win 41-21.
Game 13: Cowboys head to Chicago to play the Bears. Sometimes coaching changes make a team better, sometimes worse. The loss of Cowboys defensive line coach Rod Marinelli as Bears defensive coordinator, along with the loss of Brian Urlacher at middle linebacker makes this one a cake walk for the Cowboys offense. Cowboys win 37-22.
Game 14: The Green Bay Packers come to town to take on the Cowboys. This is not the Brett Favre Packers that couldn’t win in Dallas. Aaron Rogers has a big day with precision passing that leaves the Cowboys corners a step away all day. Packers win 34-28.
December 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 28-18. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Game 15: Cowboys head to the DC area for their second game against the Redskins. A desperate Redskins team trying to keep wild card hopes alive open up RGIII with much more read option offense than they have used all year. It’s just enough as the Redskins beat the Cowboys 31-28 at home.
Game 16: The Eagles come to Arlington to close out the season against the Cowboys. This time the Cowboys have the Eagles offense figured out and injuries to the Eagles defense makes it a long day for them. Cowboys win 34-18.
Cowboys win the NFC East and earn a bye week with a record of 12-4. Bring on the playoffs!