Predicting the Cowboys 2013: Part 1
The 2013 Cowboys will be exciting to watch, with anywhere from 12-4 to 5-11 potential. How will they fare, amongst the rest of the NFL? Here’s my take, part 1
Week 1: vs Giants
The Cowboys start 2013 the same way as 2012, taking on their rivals from up North, the New York Giants. The G-Men live and die off of a strong defensive front, which greatly disappointed last year. With JPP missing most of the offseason and much of the preparation needed before the season kickoff and his mate from the opposite side in obvious decline, the Giants greatest strength is much weaker than they need. Dallas is able to pass well with Free and Smith controlling the ends all night. Romo and Dez together tear the Giants secondary to shreds, staying well ahead in an offensive shootout. The Defense does enough to keep Manning and Company at bay and the Cowboys first game is a success as Dallas wins 34-24.
Week 2: @ Chiefs
A Classic fail game for the Cowboys will be against the Chiefs in Week 2. Coming off a big win, Dallas struggles at the beginning, trailing 14-3 at halftime with a mistake prone offense unable to garner much except a fumble and an interception. Romo does a great job leading a comeback in the second half before Dallas sends the game to OT with a last second Dan Bailey field goal, tying the game at 20. Monte Kiffin's defense plays very well in OT as Sean Lee intercepts Alex Smith and returns back to the Chiefs 25, setting up another Bailey kick to win and the Cowboys escape their first OT game, 23-20.
Week 3: vs Rams
The feisty, up-and-coming Rams will make a visit to Arlington (in a game I will be attending!). They bring a tough defense and gritty corners, but it is Sam Bradford who holds them back. Romo makes an early mistake by throwing a pick and giving the Rams a 7-0 lead, but Dallas bounces back to even the score at 10 going into halftime. The second half sees the Cowboys defense live up to the turnover hype, picking off Bradford and forcing a fumble en route to a 20-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Bradford gives the Cowboys another gift and Dallas capitalizes with a touchdown and forcing into a 27-10 lead. The Rams score a TD to spark a comeback but it goes nowhere as Bradford throws his third pick of the day and Dallas prevails 27-17.
Week 4: @ Chargers
The Cowboys will go to San Diego in week 4, hoping they don’t overlook what seems to be an easy opponent. The Dallas defense struggles inexplicably and Dallas nosedives to a 21-13 trail at halftime. The third quarter changes things as a fumble puts the Cowboys back in it and the ‘Boys trail 24-19 going into the final period. The Chargers make it difficult with another field goal but Dallas replies quickly with a TD. A failed 2 point conversion keeps the Cowboys behind, 27-25. Both defenses play well afterwards before the Chargers put a stake in the Cowboys with a late TD, making it 34-25 with 6 minutes to go. A strong passing attack spearheaded by 3 receptions for Dez Bryant leads to a quick TD and Dallas trailed 34-32 with 3 minutes to go. DeMarcus Ware comes alive, forcing a strip sack and Dallas retakes possession and kick a game winning field goal at the end, prevailing 35-34 as Dallas edges San Diego in a tight game of stamina.
The Cowboys finish the first quarter of their season with a perfect 4-0 record. The strong start will be given quite the test with the Broncos, Redskins, and new look Eagles coming up. Until then, enjoy their top spot in the NFC East standings!
NFC East Standings:
Dallas Cowboys, 4-0
Washington Redskins, 3-1
Philadelphia Eagles, 2-2
New York Giants, 2-2