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Cowboys News: Two Win Projections Have 2016 Cowboys Finishing Season At 10-6

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys are capable of winning 10 games; Ezekiel Elliott favored for Offensive Rookie of Year; why Morris Claiborne can be successful.

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Pre-Training Camp Projection for the Dallas Cowboys - Charles Nichelson, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Nichelsen walks us through the 16 regular season games in detail to arrive at his pre-training camp win/loss expectation for the Cowboys.

If the Cowboys are 6-5 or 7-4 heading in to December they will likely be in the driver’s seat in the NFC East, or at worst, jockeying for position in the division or wild-card race.

Their last five games are against four teams that were sub-.500 and the Minnesota Vikings. It is a very manageable end to the schedule and should allow them to make up ground if they under achieved early on. The Cowboys should realistically go 3-2 to wrap up the year and finish the season 10-6. The NFL is a crazy league and nothing is promised, but fans should be happy with nothing less than 9 wins in Dallas this year.

How many games the Cowboys can win - Staff, SportsDay
Or you could just wing it and throw out a couple of numbers like Rick Gosselin did in a recent chat.

I think Dallas, New York and Washington all are capable of winning 10 games this season. But only one will do it. 9-7 might even win the division again. The Cowboys need to survive the first month with a 3-1 or 2-2 record. But I do think all three of those teams will be in the divisional hunt deep into December.

NFL Picks: Cowboys' Elliott Favored For 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of Year - Steelers Gab
Musings on Elliott's chances for the OROY title and the inevitable Emmit Smith comparison.

A running back hasn’t won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons since 2001-02. But the Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott is the -125 favorite on NFL picks to be the second straight tailback to do so in 2016.

Dallas’ last Offensive Rookie of the Year was running back Emmitt Smith in 1990. Of course he went on to set the NFL career rushing yardage record and is in the Hall of Fame.

Most Impactful Additions: NFC East - Hank Jones, Page 2 Sports
The selection for the Cowboys is, of course, Ezekiel Elliott.

There was a lot of criticism of the Cowboys decision to add Ohio State Running Back Ezekiel Elliot with the 4th overall pick, but there were not much more picks in the draft that made more sense.

Elite running back prospect paired with an elite line blocking for him is essentially a foolproof plan. The Cowboys had other backs on the roster that could handle a starting load and be fine, but no back that has the potential of Elliot.

The Cowboys are going to lean on the offense to take them as far as they can. They need Tony Romo to be at his sharpest. Zeke Elliot with help both of these things right off the bat.

Elliott pick has many overlooking team flaws - Matt Urben, Cover32
Personally, I think that if you follow what's being said about the Cowboys on TV, on the radio, in print, or on the internet, it is impossible to overlook the team's flaws because they are constantly being pushed into your face. There are people who have built entire careers around complaining about those flaws. But Urben still has a point.

Dallas simply didn’t do much to upgrade the defense this off-season, outside of some minor moves. They are still most people’s pick to win the NFC East, with an elite offense that nobody in the division should be able to slow down. They just better hope Elliott can handle everything that is expected of him. If it works like it did in 2014, it will have been the right move without question. If the team struggles again or suffers another Romo injury, it could be time to start thinking long-term in their roster construction going forward. At the moment however, it’s win-now mode for the Cowboys next season.

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NFC East: Three Burning Questions For Each Team As Training Camp Approaches - Ryan Mayer, CBS Philly
Sometimes it can be interesting to see what someone with a different perspective has to say about your team, though the three questions here don't really offer any new insights:

Can Tony Romo stay healthy?
Will lack of defensive depth come back to haunt them?
Can Ezekiel Elliott live up to huge expectations?

Why Morris Claiborne can be successful this season - Yusuf N. Yusuf, VAVEL.com
Claiborne may not have grabbed a lot of headlines the way some other Cowboys players have this offseason, but a good season by Claiborne could be a key to the Cowboys' 2016 fortunes.

For Claiborne to reach his full potential, he needs to build his confidence in addition to staying healthy. Confidence has continuously been a problem and when he does build some sort of confidence, an injury comes along that seems to get in his way and stunt his growth. The time is now for Claiborne to prove himself in this league. He's gotten bigger and stronger in comparison to last offseason, where he weighed just over 170 pounds at times.

While Claiborne has performed well at OTAs, 2016 is finally the year where he can prove himself and his long-term role in Dallas. If Claiborne can stay away from the injury bug, there should absolutely no excuse why he shouldn't improve in 2016.

20 Questions: What Happens With Cowboys’ Swing Tackle Position? - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
The staff writers at the mothership ponder who could emerge as the Cowboys' swing tackle. Nick Eatman has a pretty sobering take.

I’m going to say the Cowboys’ swing tackle is not on the roster right now. Yes, Chaz Green would be the ideal choice but I have a hard time thinking he’ll do enough in training camp to convince the staff he’s ready to back up two positions. Charles Brown sounds like a logical choice, but something tells me, when camp is over, the Cowboys will decide to go with someone a little younger, cheaper and perhaps better than Brown. We’re talking about a backup spot anyway so being ready to come right in and learn the terminology isn’t as necessary as other positions. That’s why I could see the Cowboys wanting to find someone else to play swing tackle as they wait for Green to develop.

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Why did NFL snub Sean Lee on its Top 100 players list? - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus and Helman weigh in on Sean Lee not making the Top 100.

Bryan: It was a little surprising, but the players that vote don’t get to see all the guys play and that is a problem. Reputation tends to get voted on more than actual playing ability or production. What matters more is that Lee was in the Pro Bowl for his work during the season and that was the most important thing.

David: As for the Cowboys, I think Zack Martin is the biggest snub on their list. He’s widely regarded as one of the top two guards in the game, but he isn’t one of the 100 best players?

NFL analyst lists two former Cowboys among best 14 players he's seen - Staff, SportsDay
NFL.com's Gil Brandt, the Cowboys' vice president of player personnel from 1960-89, recently ranked the 14 best offensive player's he's seen in his long career, and two former Cowboys make the list. Mike Ditka and this guy:

Staubach came to us as a 27-year-old rookie, thanks to the four years he spent in the Navy after we drafted him in 1964. Even while he was in the service, he'd write to me, asking for footballs to practice with -- one time, he asked me to send more after the shipment we'd sent had been blown up by a mortar shell. Landry described him as someone you could never beat physically or mentally. In 11 seasons, Staubach went 85-29 as a starter and won two Super Bowl rings. You knew that, no matter what the score was, he'd give you a chance to win; I remember one time when we were down by 48 points in Minnesota and he still believed he could win as the final minutes ticked off. His competitiveness was off the charts, as his 23 game-winning drives illustrate. Oh, and if Landry had let him run, he could have been like the Cam Newton of his day. He's also one of the finest people ever.