It's a slow news period, so it's time to play the Dallas Cowboys Over/Under Home Game. Today's contestant is Drew Bledsoe, veteran NFL QB entering his second year with the Cowboys. Last year, Bledsoe threw 23 TD passes. Over Drew's career, he's averaged 1.3 TD passes a game. He has 244 career TD's in 188 games. So over a 16 game season, Drew would average 21 TD's.
BTB is setting the line at 25 TD passes for 2006. That's a high number given that Bledsoe has only reached 25 TD passes in a season three times, and all of those came early in his career. It's also a risky proposition given the questionable state of the Dallas offensive line, which gave up 49 sacks last year. He's also fighting the tendency for Parcells to go conservative on offense, especially late in the game.
But the addition of Terrell Owens to pair with Terry Glenn should account for a marked increase in the passing game performance. In addition, the offensive line gets Flozell Adams back and the Boys have made an effort this offseason to shore up the unit. Dallas will also use a 2-TE set more often, which should help in pass protection, as well as freeing up Jason Witten for more pass-catching duties.
So what'cha got? Over or under 25 TD passes for Bledsoe on the season? Last year only three QB's threw more than 25 TD passes, but that was a down year; in 2004 nine QB's threw for that many and in 2003 six QB's reached the mark.
I'm taking under. I think Bledsoe will throw for over 20 TD's but won't quite reach 25. An improved offensive line will allow for not only better pass protection, it will also lead to a better running game. Parcells will use the passing game, with defenses concentrating on Owens, to help set-up a punishing running game, that he will rely on in the second half of games.