Hello Group. My name is KD, and as much as I tried, I just couldn't stay off the Cowboys kool-aid this season. I know, I know, the past gave me no reason to think this would, or even could be any different, but I guess I'm just not built for that. They say the first step in recovery is admitting that you have a problem, so I'll just come out and say it.
When it comes to predicting accomplishments for the Dallas Cowboys, I'm a homer. I'm a Cowboyholic.
Wait for it, wait for it....
And I'm damn proud of it.
Look, I'm a Cowboys fan. I'm objective in my analysis of the team's performance day in and day out but optimism will always rule my view of the unknown. I'd rather prepare for the worst and hope for the best than prepare for the worst and look forward to being the "I told you so" guy.
I know I'm addicted to the team. My absence from blogging this week has had to do with being under the weather, and the fact that my doctor refuses to concede that Elongated Post Season Withdrawal is the most likely cause for my malaise. EPSW, it's real y'all.
At the beginning of the season, I implored my fellow front page writers to pencil themselves into a corner and go on record regarding how they envisioned the Cowboys season playing out. A couple were smart and abstained, but Tom and O.C.C. bit the bullet and traveled down the dark road with me. Being the resident Fantasy Football and prognostication guy, I also made some predictions about whether or not certain Cowboys would reach specific statistical goals. Let's just say that this wasn't a banner year for me prediction wise.
Follow the jump to see what I got right and wrong, mostly wrong.
I correctly predicted that the New England Patriots would be facing off against the NFC East champions in next week's Super Bowl. That's not how this works? Fine. OK, so I had Dallas winning the NFC East with a record of 11-5 and looking back, it's immediately obvious where I erred. I gave Dallas too much credit within the division. I though Dallas would go 5-1 against the East, they went 2-4. Three win difference, same as the difference between 8-8 and 11-5.
Here's how I broke it down.
Losses I'm conceding: (2) @Patriots, One of the Eagles game
Victories I'm counting early: (9) Both Redksins games, both Giants games, one Eagles game, and the four teams we are clearly better than: @49ers, Seattle, Buffalo, and Miami.
I'm not buying the Redskins this season at all and I also think the Giants are in for a huge collapse this year. I know their fans will dismiss these predictions, but there are so many signs for each. That's 9-2 with six up in the air, in my humble opinion. The Jets game Sunday night is really the hardest game of the season for me to call at this point. I'll chalk that up as a loss even though I think we have a great chance of pulling out the victory. 9-3.
That leaves Detroit and St. Louis, both visiting Cowboys Stadium, and at Arizona and Tampa Bay. You're telling me you don't like the Cowboys chances to go 3-1 in these games? 12 wins. NFC East Champion.
The Laws of What If bring my projection down one game. The Cowboys will probably lose at least one game, possibly two, that they should win. So I land square in the middle at 11-5 on my season's projection. Oh, and still NFC East Champion.
Looking back, outside of my NFC East coast bias, I think I did a pretty good job of identifying the wins on the schedule. Now, messing up the division games is obviously a big deal, since winning the division is the quickest way to a playoff berth. The Giants earning their way to the Super Bowl should also shut all the NFCE haters up who said it's a down year for the division as the regular season was winding down.
My playoff predictions weren't too shabby either. I had Green Bay as the top NFC team and losing their first playoff game. I had the Saints winning the NFCS and Atlanta earning a wild card. I had New England winning the AFC top seed and making it to the Super Bowl to take on the champion of the NFC East.
I just screwed the pooch when it came to Dallas. Oh well. Guess how my predictions will look come August? Decidedly blue and silver, most likely.
Along with final records, I also was asked to take a look at some statistical prop bets for individual Cowboys players. Below is a chart of where the over/under lines were drawn for specific players milestones. Six in one, half dozen in the other, I've highlighted those that I predicted correctly.
|Player||Stat Milestone||My Prediction||Actually Accrued||Notes|
|Tony Romo||4000 Passing Yards||Under||4182||In my prediction, I caveated that if Romo played every game, he would surpass the mark. He did, so I was wrong.|
|25.5 Passing TDs||Over||31||Good job, Tony.|
|14.5 Interceptions||Under||10||1.9 Interception percentage the second best of his career.|
|Felix Jones||800 Rushing Yards||Over||575||Accrued in 8 starts, imagine if he played all 16. What? That's the problem? D'oh!|
|4.5 Total Rushing TDs||Over||1||Err, ummm… move along people, nothing to see here.|
|Dez Bryant||7 Receiving TDs||Under||9||I feel bad for not seeing Dez in the right light, thinking that double-teams would keep him out the end zone.|
|Miles Austin||7.5 Receiving TDs||Over||7||Miles lost No. 8 in the lights, and the Cowboys season was explained in one play.|
|Jason Witten||950 Receiving Yards||Under||942||Now THAT was as close to dead on as you can get.|
|7.5 Receiving TDs||Under||5||The emergence of Laurent Robinson most likely kept this under.|
|95 Total Receptions||Under||79||Are these signs of a Witten slow down or the evolution of the Dallas passing game?|
|DeMarcus Ware||15.5 Total Sacks||Over||19.5||Greatest pass rusher in the game folks, appreciate him while you can.|
|Anthony Spencer||4.5 Total Sacks||Under||6||I held such little faith, boy was I proven wrong [/sarcasm]|
Well, consider this my sports confessional. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be after all.