With a major sports outlet predicting doom and gloom for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019, here is why such a prediction is easily flawed when it is made in May.
Welcome to the month of May, quite possibly the slowest NFL month of them all. The draft has commenced. Free agency has ground to a halt. Trade season is all but over. These are truly the days which people in are business are looking for filler.
Whether it’s here at The Landry Hat or at the biggest sports epicenter, ESPN, we all are biding our time for something relevant to make itself available. I speak of this as a way to give the proper amount of credence to what is out there.
On Thursday, ESPN put out a story detailing predictions for the 2019 season. Predicting what is going to happen in May could be the biggest waste of time possible. But as stated before, everyone needs filler right?
So, how does ESPN see the 2019 Dallas Cowboys season going? Well, this is where I have to take some offense. Per usual, the Mothership takes solace in predicting doom and gloom for America’s Team. Their Football Power Index has the Dallas Cowboys going 8-8, tied with the Seattle Seahawks as the eighth best team in the NFC.
Should I wait for you to stop laughing before I continue? (pause) … (continuation of pause) … (an extra moment of silence just for the sake of it) … aaaaaaaand we’re back.
Predicting that the Cowboys will only win eight games is a bad joke. Dallas has won nine or more games in four of their last five seasons. The only time in which they didn’t, the starting quarterback played in just four games. The primary backup, Matt freaking Cassel, went 1-6 as a started throwing just five touchdowns in seven games.
The nightmarish debacle would be the only way the 2019 Cowboys are not contending for a division title and a playoff berth. Just to prove how silly eight wins sounds for this team, it seems that ESPN is forgetting these pretty huge differences in this team from last season, when they won ten games.
- 2019 will be the first year receiver Amari Cooper will have an entire offseason to gain more familiarity with quarterback Dak Prescott.
- All-Pro center Travis Frederick will be back, filling his role as the starting center which will significantly upgrade the offensive line.
- Future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten is back as well, providing at minimum an upgrade at the his position.
- The defensive line will be better, with the additions of end Robert Quinn and rookie tackle Trysten Hill.
The only “major loss” this team suffered this offseason was receiver Cole Beasley‘s departure to Buffalo. They immediately answered that move by signing former Green Bay Packer Randall Cobb, not to mention, they still have Allen Hurns as an option to replace Beasley.
Meanwhile, the NFC East team they have winning the division is, of course, Philadelphia, albeit it with just nine wins. This is ridiculous for two very obvious reasons.
- Only twice this entire century has the NFC East division champion won less than ten games.
- Only once in his career, has Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz played an entire season.
Philadelphia no longer has the luxury of relying on Nick Foles to bail them out if Wentz goes down again. Could Philadelphia take the division over the Dallas Cowboys in 2019? Absolutely. The NFC East has not had a repeat divisional winner since the Eagles did it in 2003 and 2004. Will they do with just nine wins with Dallas mustering just eight victories? Absolutely not.
The NFC East will be a two horse race in 2019. Dallas and Philadelphia will be those two horses. My money, however, is that both teams finish better than Green Bay, Atlanta and Seattle with one team (obviously) winning the division and the other earning a wild card. And that is about as far as anyone should go in predicting win totals for teams in the month of May.