Odds favor the Dallas Cowboys to take the NFC East

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off an underwhelming year in which they missed the playoffs. With a new season near, they’re the rightful NFC East favorites.

The Dallas Cowboys were among the biggest disappointments in the NFL last season. Coming off of a good year in 2018 that was supposed to leap into something great on last season, things just never got on track.

The Cowboys offense would get clicking at points, but only after getting down by so much that it usually wouldn’t matter. They also had a problem getting all facets of the offense clicking at the same time, oftentimes struggling to run the ball when the passing game was going and vice versa.

You also have to include what looked like steps back on defense. The linebacking corps was beaten up, with Leighton Vander Esch missing seven games last season with a neck injury, but that unit of the defense didn’t play as well as a whole as they did in the season prior.

The back end of the defense should have been better as well. The safety play was average, neither a drop-off nor upgrade from 2018, but the cornerback play was definitely more questionable than the previous year.

In any event, the Cowboys have a chance to right the ship again though. With the season approaching, the Dallas Cowboys are listed as the favorites to win the NFC East division. Here are the complete odds listings, courtesy of the Action Network.

NFC East Odds

  • Dallas Cowboys: -110
  • Philadelphia Eagles: +115
  • New York Giants: +900
  • Washington Redskins: +2200

One of the first things you should notice is that the Dallas Cowboys are the only team here that isn’t plus odds to win the division. While they are out and out favorites compared to the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins, they are much less favored compared to the Philadelphia Eagles. True indeed, yes it is but in the world of odds and odds-making, that’s a gap that’s still as wide as an NFL offensive line.

Those are the actual odds, but there is another way to look at the odds or chances, by playing the schedule game and comparing the results.

While you could do the exercise for all four divisional teams and definitely learn something, there really doesn’t seem to be a need at the moment to calculate for anyone except the Philadelphia Eagles.

Playing the schedule game with the Dallas Cowboys, you can easily see them going 11-5. You give them a loss in Week 3 in Seattle, a loss in Week 8 at Philly, another in Week 9 against Pittsburgh, at Baltimore in Week 13, and against San Francisco in Week 15.

You let them split with the Philadelphia Eagles and you give them either the Minnesota or Pittsburgh game, while allowing them to drop the other. You could also say that they lose one of the first two games of the year as well, which at worst takes them to 10-6.

Doing the same exact exercise for the Philadelphia Eagles, they go 8-8. They drop Weeks 3-6 at San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and then home to Baltimore, respectively.

They then drop Weeks 12-14, home to Seattle, in Green Bay, and home again to New Orleans. They close the season by dropping one of their last three, the second game against Dallas for the season, which finishes off the season split that was mirrored here from the Cowboys schedule mentioned earlier.

In playing the same best case/worst case scenario, you could easily see them dropping Week 2’s contest to the Rams, which would take them to 7-9 possibly. You could also see them sneaking out a win against either the Saints, the Packers, or the Seahawks too though, which could see then go as high as 9-7. In either scenario, they’re not as high as 10-6 or 11-5, the worst case scenarios for the Dallas Cowboys.

Those are odds too, you know. However, they aren’t the last set of odds we will discuss here.

When you have been down on your luck or in a rut, such as the one that this Dallas team seemed to be on last season, your odds or luck is always bound to change. That just has to be the case with this Cowboys team this season.

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They had a taste of it in 2018, before injury, inconsistency, and just plain bad play at times kept them from even getting back close to that on last season. The odds look to be in their favor this season though and that’s in more ways than one. Hopefully, they go out there and put up the numbers, to back up the numbers.