11-5 (9-7 ATS), 1st Place NFC East in 2009
The 2009 season was yet another one for the Dallas Cowboys that started off with a ton of promise, but ended in heartache and disaster. An 11-5 campaign that featured three huge wins at the end of the regular season against the Saints, Redskins, and Eagles came to a crashing halt in a 34-3 defeat at Minnesota in the postseason. Owner Jerry Jones expects better from his team in 2010 once again.
2010 Draft: Though the middle and late rounds of the draft probably weren't the best for the Cowboys, HC Wade Phillips really could have made the splash of the weekend by taking WR Dez Bryant out of Oklahoma State with the 24th pick in the first round. Bryant had Top 5 potential in this draft, but was kicked off of the team for academic issues in the middle of the 2009 season for the Pokes. Look for Bryant to be a huge playmaker that the Cowboys have been looking for ever since TO took his popcorn and left town.
Offensive Outlook: Last year, the Cowboys scored 22.6 points per game, but had a unit that averaged a tad under 400 yards every time that it took the field. With Bryant being added to the mix, QB Tony Romo may have just enough weapons to finally make this offense as explosive as it has the potential to be. However, someone is going to have to watch his blindside though, as OT Flozell Adams has been released and there doesn't appear to be an immediate successor to his position. Expect another year out of Romo in which he approaches the 4,500 yard barrier, though.
Defensive Outlook: Adding LB Bobby Carpenter to the defense only makes a linebacking corps that was already fantastic all the better. LB DeMarcus Ware had 11 sacks a year ago, and added three more in a pair of playoff games. The entire secondary on a team which had 11 INTs on the season is back and should be much improved. The Cowboys still struggled with the big play at times though, which is why the squad ranked just 20th in passing defense (225.4 yards per game) in spite of the fact that it ranked second in points allowed (15.6 per game).
2010 Betting Outlook: Keep in mind that this is an offense that really has the ability to score 24+ points every single time that it steps onto the field. The Cowboys did just that ten times in 2009 including the postseason, and went 7-3 ATS in those games. If Dallas continues to reach that type of a scoring plateau, this is going to be a hard team to cover spreads against, especially considering the fact that a lot of these games are going to be legitimate toss ups both in the division and in the very rough and tumble non-divisional slate.
All Odds for 2010 NFL betting season can be found at Diamond Sportsbook. Dallas Cowboys Predictions: 10-6, 1st Place in NFC East 2010 Dallas Cowboys Schedule
Dallas Cowboys Odds To Win NFC East: +120
Dallas Cowboys Odds To Win NFC: +550
Dallas Cowboys Odds To Win Super Bowl XLV: +1200
Dallas Cowboys Regular Season Win Total: 9.5 over -165
The schedule for the Cowboys is anything but a walk in the park. The only real game on this schedule that you circle as a game that is an absolutely win is most likely the one against Detroit on November 21st. Aside from that, there really isn't a stretch of games on the schedule that you point at and think that Dallas is going to go on a bit of a run. The rest of the NFC East is much improved this year as well, but we don't think that there is another team in this division that is going to find a way to be able to take away the division crown. The offense is just going to be too good to stop, especially if Bryant can keep his head screwed on properly at the NFL level. The schedule may cost this team a win or two in the long run, but the end result should still be the same.
Week 1 - Away @ Redskins
Week 2 - Home vs. Bears
Week 3 - Away @ Texans
Week 4 - Bye
Week 5 - Home vs. Titans
Week 6 - Away @ Vikings
Week 7 - Home vs. Giants
Week 8 - Home vs. Jaguars
Week 9 - Away @ Packers
Week 10 - Away @ Giants
Week 11 - Home vs. Lions
Week 12 - Home vs. Saints
Week 13 - Away @ Colts
Week 14 - Home vs. Eagles
Week 15 - Home vs. Redskins
Week 16 - Away @ Cardinals
Week 17 - Away @ Eagles
Dallas Cowboys Predictions: 10-6, 1st Place in NFC East
2010 Dallas Cowboys Schedule