NFL Football 2013: Dallas Cowboys Preview
When people in the online sports betting legal community try to assess the Dallas Cowboys, they’re going to be struck – once again – by the fact that this team is coming off an 8-8 season. How can a team with so much skill-position talent fail to make the playoffs or, at the very least, attain a winning record?
A sound sports bet has to be able to depend on certain factors being in place, but the Cowboys seem to defy the odds each year in the worst and most frustrating way possible. The NFL is friendly to offenses these days in a way it wasn’t 35 years ago. Today, the rules of football are favorable to offenses, to quarterbacks, to wide receivers. Teams that can pass the ball really well should be able to thrive – look at what the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, and now (with Peyton Manning) the Denver Broncos have been able to do. Dallas has Tony Romo – who can be great when he’s on top of his game – at quarterback. The Cowboys have a devastatingly athletic wide receiver, Dez Bryant, a good number-two speed guy in Miles Austin, and an elite tight end in Jason Witten, a guy who recalls the great tight ends of the 1990s with wide receiver capabilities (Brent Jones and Jay Novacek, for instance). This team has so many weapons that it should be winning 10 games a season. Yet, the Boys have been 8-8 the past two years.
For people interested in football betting, it has to be said that the best play one could make on the Cowboys is to bet the over… because this team only knows how to pass. This, of course, is a key reason the team isn’t better than it should be. Dallas needs some balance in its offense, but the lack of a running game and a strong offensive line remain key problems, as the website Walter Football explains:
“The running game is once again a question mark, however. DeMarco Murray is talented, but he's more known for injury-prone. He has missed nine games in his two NFL seasons. He already dealt with a hamstring problem this offseason that sidelined him for a week. Murray will undoubtedly miss a chunk of action this year, so fifth-round rookie Joseph Randle could be called upon to start.
“Something that Dallas had to do this offseason was improve the offensive line. Romo took a beating last year, and keeping him healthy is paramount. Perhaps that's why Jerry Jones reached for center Travis Frederick at the end of the first round. Frederick was a third-round prospect - and Jason Garrett admitted as much afterward - but he'll still step in and be somewhat of an upgrade in the middle of the offensive line. If so, he'll be the only quality player in the interior, as guards Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings combined to allow 13 sacks - a ridiculously high number for two inside linemen.
“The Cowboys' worst blocker last year was Doug Free. There was some speculation he would be released, but Jones kept him around after slashing his salary. Free was responsible for six sacks and an obscene 15 penalties in 2012, but he'll once again start across from 2011 first-rounder Tyron Smith, who took a step backward last season after a solid rookie campaign. Smith has the talent to rebound, however.”