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Dallas Cowboys 2014 Team Preview and Predictions

Dallas Cowboys 2014 Team Preview and Predictions

With football just around the corner, Top Bet is previewing every team in the league to get you caught up on all the offseason action and intrigue. Get into the action with our preview of the Cowboys below and check out previews for fellow NFC contenders the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers  while you’re at it..

America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, had little to be proud of last season. They venture into 2014 one with hopes of uplifting their fans’ sagging hopes for a great season.

With Tony Romo still the quarterback of the team, and a seemingly mediocre defense, can the Cowboys still manage to finish better than their classic 8-8 SU?

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Dallas Cowboys Team Preview for the 2014/2015 NFL Season

Offseason Updates (8/22/2014)

While the Cowboys’ defense remains a work in progress in the preseason, Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have shown that the team’s offense is capable of doing serious damage in 2014. That was clear when Romo connected three passes for 58 yards and a touchdown to the wide receiver in Dallas’ Week 2 preseason matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

Going back to the team’s defense, cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, and defensive tackle Henry Melton were all reportedly making progress to be game-ready once the regular season starts. Carr is currently working on his conditioning after missing most of the training camps because of his mother’s death, while Claiborne and Melton are both well on their way to recovering from shoulder and groin injuries, respectively.

Overview

2013 Regular Season Record: 8-8 SU/9-7 ATS

[sc:NFL240banner ]For the third-straight season, the Dallas Cowboys finished 8-8 SU in 2013.  The club hasn’t clinched a playoff spot since 2009, and since then hasn’t finished a season with a winning record, leaving its large fanbase clamoring for a major overhaul of the team’s roster.

Thing is, while it was a tough season, the Cowboys only missed the playoffs by a single win. But for a pick-six thrown by Kyle Orton, the Cowboys would have made the postseason and may have made some noise there.

Tony Romo, for all the criticisms he has been subjected to, had a good 2013 campaign, throwing for 3,828 yards and 31 touchdowns with a completion rate of 63.9%. Romo had actually situated the Cowboys in a good position to win the NFC East but defensive lapses cost them all season.

Heading into their bye week last season, the Cowboys had a 5-5 SU record, and it could easily have been better than that. Dallas lost by a small margin to some good (and great) teams. They lost by a point to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2; lost to the Denver Broncos in a slugfest in Week 5; and suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 8.

All told, those losses, along with the other five fell largely on the shoulders of the Cowboys’ atrocious defense that has allowed opponents to torch them for 128.5 rushing yards per game (27th in the NFL) and 286.8 passing yards per game (30th).

Next season, the Cowboys are priced +275 (the same as the New York Giants) to win the NFC East division. They are also facing odds of +5,000 to win the franchise’s first Vince Lombardi trophy since 1995.

Offseason Highlights

DeMarco Murray and Tony Romo

With their decision to stick with Romo (six-year extension amounting to $108 million in 2013), the Cowboys effectively nixed any ideas that they might spend their first round pick on a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft.

Instead, the Cowboys elected to go for an offensive tackle, selecting Zack Martin as the draft’s 16th pick overall. While Martin was a surprise pick, he is, however, a good pickup for the offensive line. Martin is coming off an impressive career at Notre Dame. He led the Fighting Irish’s O-line to an FBS-second-best eight sacks-allowed in his last season at South Bend, and has also won an MVP award in the the 2013 Pinstripe Bowl.

The help the Cowboys’ defense have been begging for was slightly addressed during the free agency period, wherein they managed to squeeze in to their small cap space players like defensive tackles Henry Melton and  Terrell McClain. Even then, these acquisitions were just mere compensations for the losses of DE DeMarcus Ware and DT Jason Hatcher.

As if the Cowboys’ needed more headaches defensively, middle linebacker Sean Lee tore his ACL during organized team activities this offseason. Lee’s hopes for a return in 2014 are dim according to reports. Lee paced the Cowboys season with four interceptions last season.

Key Betting Matchups of 2014 NFL Season

The Cowboys first five games include matches against three teams that did not make the Playoffs last season, with the other two being tough matchups against the San Francisco 49ers (Week 1) and the New Orleans Saints (Week 4). Their toughest game in the schedule, meanwhile, figures to be a road trip to Seattle against the defending Super Bowl champs.

Dallas’ schedule also includes a game in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 10.

September 7 – vs. San Francisco

The Cowboys get tested early, as they host Jim Harbaugh and the rest of the San Francisco 49ers in their season-opener. The Cowboys finished last season with a 5-3 SU and ATS records at home.

October 12– @ Seattle

The Cowboys fly to loud CenturyLink Field to face the defending champions, Seattle Seahawks. Dating back to 2005, Dallas have lost all of their last three games there, including a 27-7 blowout in 2012. Even a competitive loss would be a plus for a team that wants to be a contender in this league.

Writer’s Prediction

The Cowboys break their streak of 8-8 SU records and finish with a 7-9 SU slate, not good enough to surpass their regular season wins line of 8.0. Do you believe that the Cowboys will do better than 8-8 SU? Create a betting account now and cash in on the fate of the Dallas Cowboys.

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Rex
Written by Rex

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