Here’s what some national guys are saying about the Dallas Cowboys on the eve of the NFL season.
Comedian Nick Bakay at NFL.com, a part-time sports pundit and the guy with the luckiest job in sports. Make fun of your own gambling vice and say whatever you want about NFL teams, and don’t worry about it later because you can just claim I’m only a comedian. What a gig!
This year it's all about Romo, who flashed brilliance only to fall like a rookie pitcher and look a lot worse once the league got the book on him. I'd like to see less blonde pop stars and a little more checking to his third receiver, unless he trades up to Gwen Stefani -- then who can argue?
As for the organization, I'll tell you what I think -- after years of getting skull-banged by Bill Parcells at every turn, I truly believe the Cowboys roster gives Wade Phillips a great effort this year. It's kind of like that free pass year Barry Switzer got following Jimmy Johnson into Big D. While some see him as a retread, I think Phillips is a great coach -- he'll have that Dallas D biting hard, and I maintain that he got two very strange rides in Denver and Buffalo. As a Bills fan, I note that he picked up at the end of a capped-out dynasty and still got the Bills to their last two playoff visits, only to be replaced by the braintrust of Tom Donahoe and Gregg Williams and ... gee, what's it been, the entire new millennium without a good season? Funny how that stuff creeps up on you.
Adam Schein over at FOX Sports
- Dallas Cowboys
Head coach: Wade Phillips, 6th year, 1st with Cowboys
2006 record: 9-7 (2nd in NFC East); lost in wild-card game to the Seattle Seahawks
Schein's projected record 11-5
Tony Romo is for real and will prove it in his first full season as a starting quarterback. As a result, Terrell Owens will be more consistent in 2007 and Jason Witten will raise his touchdown total. Julius Jones is happy and healthy and will succeed in a contract year. While Terence Newman's foot injury is a huge concern, the Dallas defense should make a lot of game-altering plays under the direction of new coach Wade Phillips. The upside of DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears Chris Canty and Co. will keep offensive coordinators up at night.
Did he just say Marcus Spears? I guess he hasn’t been watching the preseason.
The top NFC team in my rankings is the Dallas Cowboys. They are a talented team that new coach Wade Phillips should have playing much better defense in 2007 than in 2006. But any number of teams in the NFC can find their way into the top 10 at some point during the season since that conference is wide open.
#4 (overall) Cowboys - It's all on Tony Romo. All the other pieces are in place to win a Super Bowl. If he goes to the next level, this is the best team in the NFC. I think he will.
SI.com with its team-by-team preview. It’s a long preview that has the Cowboys pegged at a 9-7 season, coming in second in the NFC East and making the playoffs as a wild-card. Here’s a quick snippet:
An aggressive front seven should create opportunities for a pass defense that ranked 24th last year and had just three combined interceptions from its skilled starting cornerbacks, Terence Newman and Anthony Henry. The arrival of hard-hitting free agent Ken Hamlin, 26, should provide stability in the backfield; since Darren Woodson last played in January 2004, six safeties have started next to four-time Pro Bowl selection Roy Williams. Hamlin's range will also allow Williams to play closer to the line, where he's effective on blitzes and in run support.