ESPN, with the help of Football Outsiders, provide their insight on how they think the division will go down and they have the Cowboys finishing on top. Here are their predictions for each NFC East team...
1. Dallas Cowboys: 10-6 (9.5 mean wins; SOS: 1)
2. New York Giants: 8-8 (7.8 mean wins; SOS: 7)
3. Philadelphia Eagles: 8-8 (7.6 mean wins; SOS: 5)
4. Washington Redskins: 7-9 (7.2 mean wins; SOS: 2)
Archer explains why there's reason to believe the Cowboys could become the first NFC division champ to repeat since 2004.
There has been a lot of consternation about the Cowboys’ offseason, considering their lack of high-profile free-agency signings and losses. In the first post-free agency ESPN Power Rankings in late March, the Cowboys checked in at No. 4 overall. The panel, which consists of more than 80 ESPN television analysts, writers and editors, had the Giants at No. 9 overall and Washington and Philadelphia checking in at Nos. 20 and 21, respectively.
The Football Outsiders’ rankings are just an initial test. They will re-assess their statistical evaluations through the offseason as well as incorporate the draft picks of each team, which could alter the predictions in the future, but if you’re a Cowboys fan, it’s good to know there is still a lot of belief in what the team can accomplish in 2017.
The Cowboys preseason schedule was announced and they’ll have five exhibition games this year, including a preview of one of the premiere match ups of the season.
Week 4 (Aug. 25-27) vs. Oakland Raiders
These teams will meet in the regular season so they might not want to give away much even if this is the “dress rehearsal” that most resembles a real game. It will be a good test for both teams with young quarterbacks, solid offensive lines but questions as to whether either can sustain the success they had in 2016.
Here is the full schedule:
Preseason games quench thirsts for those of us who are parched for some football action, but those aren’t the only things to get excited about. Mark your calendars for these important dates.
Sat., July 22: Team Charter arrives at Pt. Mugu
Sun., July 23: Opening press conference (11:00 a.m. PDT)
Mon., July 24: First practice - full roster (3:45 p.m. PDT)
Wed., Aug. 2: Team travels to Canton, Ohio
Thurs., Aug. 3: Hall of Fame Game vs. Arizona (7:00 p.m. CDT)
Sat., Aug. 5: Hall of Fame Enshrinement
Mon., Aug. 7: Practice Resumes (Oxnard, Calif.)
Aug. 11-13: Dallas @ Los Angeles, LA Memorial Coliseum
Fri., Aug. 18:Break camp in Oxnard - travel to Dallas
Aug. 18-20: Dallas vs. Indianapolis, AT&T Stadium
Mon., Aug. 21-Tue. Aug. 29: Training camp resumes at The Star in Frisco
Aug. 25-27: Dallas vs. Oakland, AT&T Stadium
Thurs., Aug. 31: Dallas @ Houston, NRG Stadium
This article looks at the number of national broadcast appearances each NFL team has made between the 2012 and 2016 seasons, and finds that despite their middling record over that period, the Cowboys are the top dog with 44 appearances, ahead of Denver (36), Green Bay (34) and New England (30).
“Star power” is literal when it comes to the Cowboys. Their 44 national broadcasts and 27 broadcasts-above-expected are both easily tops in the league. They boast a decent .563 win percentage, but that actually hardly matters. All you need to know is that after a 4–12 campaign in 2015, the Cowboys still got scheduled for nine national broadcasts the following year. And before you think that this was because of “excitement for Zeke and Dak”, keep in mind the schedules were released before the draft. In short, the normal rules do not apply to the Cowboys.
Eenie, meenie, miney, mo, catch a corner by the....28th pick of the draft? Your guess is as good as mine as to which cornerback the Cowboys might fall in love with enough to take him in the first round. Kevin Brady identifies three targets that could grab the Cowboys attention, including replacing one LSU corner with another.
Tre’Davious White could be the perfect compliment [sic] to Anthony Brown and Nolan Carroll on the outside of the Dallas defense if taken in the first round. The long, lanky corner flashes athleticism, recovery speed, and the best ball skills of this batch of three players.
Mosher provides some names he doesn’t want to hear called when the Cowboys are on the clock, including one of the cornerbacks on their invite list.
Before the injury, Moreau was still a player that the Cowboys should have avoided. Moreau is over-aged (23) for a rookie and his injury history is concerning. Outside of the pectoral injury, he played in only three games in 2015 after he suffered a Lisfranc injury. Moreau went to the Shrine game and wasn't able to participate in the Senior Bowl after being too banged up after the week of practices.
Moreau also has problems on the field as a player. In 51 career games, Moreau only created four turnovers (three interceptions and one forced fumble). The Cowboys' defense is predicated on creating turnovers at a high rate and Moreau just hasn't shown the ability to do so throughout his career.
The Cool One crunches out some mock goodness and identifies a possible candidate at pick 28.
Tony Romo’s retirement means that he will be a rookie again, albeit in another field - broadcasting. And just like rookies usually debut in the preseason, the same is likely for Romo.
Romo’s debut logically will come on one of those two nights, and it would be a major surprise if he and Jim Nantz work both games (although the reps would be useful). The Chargers-Rams game will be the much bigger event, with the two L.A. teams meeting for the first time in a stadium that likely will be expanded to nearly 90,000. Last year’s Cowboys-Rams game in L.A. became the highlight of the NFL preseason — and arguably the highlight of the entire year for the Rams.
While Romo will debut as part of the #1 broadcasting team for CBS, Sports Illustrated makes the case that he should have started at #2 and worked his way up.
If you look around at the top sports television analysts regardless of sport, from Troy Aikman to Cris Collinsworth to John Smoltz, most had reps on a lower broadcast team before heading to the top job at their network (there are exceptions, including Jon Gruden and Jeff Van Gundy.) The benefit for Romo to do a season or two away from the top spot would be massive in the long run. He’d be able to learn the mechanics of television and the rhythms of his new work life under a far less harsh spotlight. He’d also likely get the opportunity to see a wider variety of teams given how often CBS’s top team does the Patriots and Broncos. It would also reduce Nantz’s workload for a year and that is a valuable thing for a broadcaster that is the face of the sports division.
I can’t wait to hear the chants of “Romo” inside American Airlines Center. It’s such a nice tribute and he’ll have some old friends in the stands watching him. Dallas Mavericks’ coach Rich Carlisle explains.
“I talked to (Cowboys coach) Jason Garrett about it three nights ago at a dinner he and I were at and he couldn’t have been more pleased, and he’s going to be at the game. I understand there’s going to be a lot of Cowboys players at the game, too.”
Would it kill them to let him get in the game and take a shot? I have envisioned how it could go down and it goes something like this...
Of course Romo isn’t signed so he’s not legally allowed to actually play so don’t sit on the edge of your seat waiting for the coach to let him in. In this one, Rudy doesn’t get to play. It’s all about paying homage.
We never got to watch Romo and Rico hook up on the football field, but here is them connecting on the basketball court.