Peter Schrager takes Cowboys disrespect to new heights in NFC playoff predictions

The Cowboys are somehow underdogs going into the 2023 season.
Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys
Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

Entering the new season, NFL analysts can't seem to agree on fair expectations for the Dallas Cowboys. By and large, though, an appearance in the NFC Championship Game should be the standard for Mike McCarthy's group given they lost to the 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs last year.

The NFC Championship Game is the next step.

Some analysts believe 2023 is "Super Bowl or bust" for the Cowboys. That's a stretch given their elongated run of playoff struggles, but they've assembled an elite roster and have become consistent under McCarthy.

If Dallas comes up short to the Eagles in the NFC East, it's widely expected they'll be one of the conference's three wild card teams.

NFL Network's Peter Schrager, however, has the Eagles winning the division and the Seahawks, Vikings and Giants as his wild card trio.

Peter Schrager predicts the Cowboys will miss the playoffs in 2023.

Schrager does great work for NFL Network. He's by no means a troll akin to Stephen A. Smith, Colin Cowherd and Dan Orlovsky, but this take feels trendy.

There's nothing trendy about picking the Eagles to win the NFC East, but the Giants making the playoffs over the Cowboys? That's tough to get behind considering Dallas is one of two teams in the league (the Chiefs being the other) to win at least 12 games in each of the last two seasons.

Say what you will about the Cowboys' playoff shortcomings, but McCarthy has sculpted a winning culture over his three years in Dallas.

At worst, they have a top five defense and added Brandin Cooks to an offense that finished fourth with 27.4 points per game last season with a below-average receiver room. Not to mention, Dak Prescott missed five games.

The Giants overachieved last year and finished 9-7-1. Eight to 10 wins feels like a realistic expectation for the G-Men in year two of Brian Daboll, but they still have glaring holes at receiver, cornerback and the offensive line.

The Vikings, meanwhile, went an unprecedented 11-0 in one-score games last year. Regression is coming in Minnesota, which also parted with multiple veteran leaders this offseason due to cap constraints, including Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen and Eric Kendricks.

Unless Schrager foresees Prescott experiencing a Russel Wilson-like regression, how do the Cowboys miss the playoffs? Even if they're ransacked by injury, Schrager likely made these predictions assuming health for every team.

Regardless, Dallas has bulletin-board material days before the season-opener.