FanPost

2013 Dallas Cowboys Predictions

Follow me on twitter @rickypackard3 for all your sports news and updates!

Check out my blog rickypackard.blogspot.com for all 31 other teams predictions and playoff projections!

Outlook: 2012 was another disappointing season for 'America's team'. They finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the 3rd straight season. Not the type of production that GM/Owner Jerry Jones wants to see. A team plagued by injuries in 2012 looks to reload in 2013, but being in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, it won't be so easy.

Projected Record: 8-8 (3-3)

Projected Finish: 3rd in NFC East (miss playoffs)

Quarterbacks: QB Tony Romo is on the hot seat for sure as he enters his 11th NFL season with Dallas. Despite passing for a career high 4,903 yards and 28 TD's in 2012, he tied a career high and league high with 19 interceptions. I was surprised that the Cowboys didn't draft any young QB's to mold for the future, but they do have a solid backup in Kyle Orton. Alex Tanney could be a player to keep an eye on at camp. Tanney, in his 2nd season, is known for his trick shot YouTube video that made him a sensation at Monmouth College. Tanney was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs last year but spent the regular season on the IR.

Grade: B

Running Backs: Dallas always seems to have good backs. Their problem is staying healthy which is a reason why they finished 31rst in rush yards per game a year ago. DeMarco Murray was on pace to rush for over 1,000 yards before he caught the injury bug last season. Murray is an extremely talented back who is a threat in the run and pass game. When 100% healthy, there is no doubt that Murray is a Pro Bowl caliber player. The #2 RB spot is up for grabs now that Felix Jones is gone. It lays between rookie Joseph Randle, 2nd year man Lance Dunbar and 3rd year man Phillip Tanner. As a senior at Oklahoma State last year, Randle ran for nearly 1,500 yards and 14 TD's. Dunbar and Tanner were both on the Cowboys roster last year, neither having a real impact. Dunbar stands at 5'8, 191 and is more of a scat-back while Tanner is the bigger of the two standing at 5'10, 217.

Grade: B

Receiver's: Dez Bryant is one of the best WR's in the NFL, hands down. He had a spectacular year last season catching 92 passes for 1,392 yards and 12 TD's. He is a lock as the #1 WR. Despite some declining numbers, Miles Austin is still a threat as the #2 WR. 3rd round draft pick Terrance Williams could push Austin for that #2 WR spot. In a pass-happy offense at Baylor last year, Williams caught 97 passes for 1,832 yards. Anthony Armstrong, Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris, and Danny Coale will all battle for the 3 other spots at WR. Beasley is my dark horse. A small kid, but a tough football player. He made the team as an undrafted rookie last year and caught 15 passes. Dwayne Harris is special teams wiz which should lock up a spot for him. WR Anthony Amos is an undrafted rookie from Middle Tennessee who caught 72 passes as a senior last year. He is a long shot for sure, but his speed could land him a practice squad spot. TE Jason Witten had a career season last year catching 110 balls for 1,039 yards. He seems to be getting better with age but just in case the Cowboys drafted Gavin Escobar in the 2nd round of the draft. At San Diego State last year Escobar caught 42 passes and 6 TD's. I don't see him making an immediate impact, rather a project like Martellus Bennett was. Andre Smith is a big TE who blocking ability makes him lethal in goal line situations.

Grade: A-

Offensive Line: Tyron Smith and rookie 1rst round draft pick Travis Frederick will look to anchor this line in 2013. Last year they were blamed for a terrible run game which produced just 79 yards per game, despite the injuries. Doug Free was a big disappointment but returns to the team this year after taking a pay-cut. Phil Costa missed 13 games to injury last year but if healthy, could provide some needed depth at a backup role.

Grade: C+

Defensive Line: DeMarcus Ware is still the face of this defense. In 2012 he lead the team with 11.5 sacks. On the other side of him is Anthony Spencer who came into his own leading the team with 95 tackles and was right behind Ware with 11 sacks. Jay Ratliff anchors the tackle position when healthy, which he wasn't last year. The Cowboys signed DT Brian Price to fill a void but then released him in may opening that void back up. Tyrone Crawford suffered an achilles injury on the first day of training camp which will cancel his 2013 season. Ikponmwosa Igbinosun is a player who could benefit from Price's release and Crawfords injury. Igbinosun is a 2nd year player who spent part of last year with the Steelers. He is a 6'3, 290 pound tackle from Southern Connecticut State University. DE George Selvie was a former sack-artist in college at South Florida and has spent his first 3 NFL seasons with St. Louis, Carolina, and most recently Jacksonville.

Grade: B

Linebackers: A graduate from the 'Linebacker U' at Penn State, Sean Lee was on pace for 155 tackles before getting injured 6 games into the season. Bruce Carter also went down 11 games into the season which left a hole in the middle of the defense. Justin Durant was signed and should start right away. Cameron Lawrence and Taylor Reed are two undrafted rookies who could very well make the team. As a senior at Mississippi State last year, Lawrence lead the Bulldogs with 120 tackles, also tagging on 4 sacks and 2 interceptions. Taylor Reed compiled 400 tackles, 13.5 sacks, 4 INT's, and 5 forced fumbles over a 4 year career at SMU.

Grade: B-

Defensive Backs: The Cowboys were 31rst in the league in interceptions last season with just 7. Morris Claiborne played well, but not like a #6 pick should play. Brandon Carr lead the team in interceptions with 3 and was 4rth on the team in tackles. Orlando Scandrick, Brandon Underwood, and 4rth round pick B.W. Webb will fight for CB spots 3-5. Will Allen was signed for depth at a weak safety position. Barry Church was injured last season but is a tackling machine when healthy. Danny McCray and J.J. Wilcox will add depth at safety.

Grade: D+

Buy: DeMarco Murray

Sell: Miles Austin

On the Hot Seat: Tony Romo

Breakout Player: Cole Beasley

Follow me on twitter @rickypackard3 for all your sports news and updates!

Check out my blog rickypackard.blogspot.com for all 31 other teams predictions and playoff projections!

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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