It feels like every year Dallas Cowboys fans head into the season with high hopes only for them to get crushed. New players look good in training camp. Coaches talk about how everyone is in great shape. Jerry Jones tells us the club is the best it’s been. Etc.
Yet somehow, the team not only hasn’t made it back to a Super Bowl in 26 years, but they haven’t made it to the NFC Conference Championship in 11 straight playoff appearances. America’s Team is always considered a contender until it’s time for the postseason.
Sadly, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay predicts the same thing will happen this year, too. Despite very strong roster pieces and the help of being in a weak division, Kay believes the Cowboys will be one of seven contenders that will disappoint in 2022.
This list is quite controversial, but the biggest reason for that is that in order to qualify for the list, teams had to have a projected win total of 8.5 or higher.
Here is Kay’s list:
- Arizona Cardinals
- Dallas Cowboys
- Green Bay Packers
- Indianapolis Colts
- Kansas City Chiefs
- New England Patriots
- Tennessee Titans
The Cardinals, I buy. But it’s hard to imagine some of the rest of these teams being disappointments until you remember the win total criteria.
There have been so many back-and-forth opinions about the Cowboys this year. Although they did lose some key pieces in the offseason, Dak Prescott is healthy, Ezekiel Elliott is healthy, and they added some talented rookies to the mix. Plus, stars like DeMarcus Lawrence, Trevon Diggs, Dalton Schultz, and Micah Parsons are all set to return.
Bleacher Report predicts that the Cowboys will be one of seven “contender” teams to disappoint in 2022
Where people start to doubt the team is their consistent inability to have playoff success and the fact that the NFC East is getting stronger. For example, games against the Philadelphia Eagles won’t be a cakewalk this year. Just last week, footage of rookie DT Jordan Davis absolutely annihilating his competition surfaced, giving Cowboys fans reason for concern.
Many believe the Eagles may steal the NFC East crown from the Cowboys this year due to their numerous and impressive draft picks, trades, and pick-ups this offseason. The wild thing is that the Giants were the only NFC East team not able to qualify for this list. The Cowboys, Commanders, and Eagles all have current win totals of 8.5 and above. For Dallas to be the only NFC East team in this category is a bit troubling.
Why does Kay think the Cowboys will disappoint in 2022? He points out some major roster issues, including a depleted WR room, offensive line woes, and Ezekiel Elliott’s decline.
"The Dallas Cowboys have one of the highest win projections in football, but this unit may be unlikely to tally double-digit W’s in 2022.The receiving corps went from one of the league’s deepest to one of the more banged-up and thin units. The Cowboys traded Amari Cooper for a Day 3 draft pick early in the offseason and declined to retain Cedrick Wilson Jr. in free agency.The Dallas offensive line is no longer the force it once was either. Injuries and age have taken a toll, most notably at left tackle where perennial Pro Bowler Tyron Smith has been limited to 13 games since the 2020 season. Dallas released starting right tackle La’el Collins, and guard Connor Williams departed on the open market, adding more uncertainty to the offensive trenches.Running back Ezekiel Elliott is fading and will likely see his playing time drop as Tony Pollard’s usage goes up this season. Unfortunately, Elliott’s massive contract extension is tying up funds the team could have used to retain key players and reinforce areas of need, meaning the Cowboys will rely on unheralded talents to fill gaps in the lineup.With a thin squad that is a few injuries away from collapsing, Dallas could be in rough shape with some bad breaks in 2022."
The Cowboys went 12-5 last year, and even though many are saying their schedule is easy this year, it really isn’t. Aside from the Commanders, Texans, and Giants, each game will bring challenges and their first five games of the season are arguably the hardest stretch. Getting double-digit wins this year will be tough, but it’s certainly doable.
Do you think the Cowboys will be a letdown this year?