The Dallas Cowboys have gotten off to a fantastic start. Even though they came into the season as the favorites to win the NFC East, not many expected Dallas to get off to a 5-1 start. Dallas has taken a commanding lead in the division and has a chance to be one of the best teams in not just the NFC, but in all of football.
So, when they get out of the bye week, how will the Cowboys be able to continue their early-season success? Well, today we took a shot at predicting how the Cowboys next six games will play out.
Week 8: Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings
The Cowboys will get one of their tougher tests of the second half when they come out of the bye week and face the Vikings. Minnesota is 3-3, but easily could be 5-1 if they had better performance from their kicking game. Led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Vikings still have plenty of talent on an offense that features Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. They’ve put up 30+ points three times this year, so the Cowboys will have to find a way to slow down their offense.
Where Minnesota will struggle is stopping the Cowboys offense. The Vikings have struggled to stop the run, giving up 4.8 Y/A on the ground, the fourth-worst mark in football. Minnesota also has allowed at least 100 rushing yards in all six of their games this season. This could be a game where Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, just like they did last year, run wild and set up opportunities for the Cowboys to take deep shots with play-action.
Overall, Minnesota is a tough place to play. With both teams coming off the bye this will likely be a competitive matchup. But, in the end, the Cowboys are the better team on both sides of the ball, and they’ll walk out with a victory.
Game Prediction: Cowboys 30 (6-1) - Vikings 26
Week 9: Denver Broncos @ Dallas Cowboys
The Broncos got off to one of the best starts in football. Denver began the season 3-0, holding all three opponents to under 14 points. Since then, once the Broncos faced some real competition, things have taken a downward spiral. Denver has lost three straight, giving up 23 points to the Ravens, 27 to the Steelers, and 34 to the Raiders. It’s looking more and more like their hot start to the season was more a product of playing the Giants, Jaguars and Jets, rather than them being a good team.
The #Broncos defense is not living up to expectations and it starts with a secondary that is allowing big passing plays with alarming regularity. My #Denver7 report shot and edited expertly by Eric Goody and @sportsdenver pic.twitter.com/h7gcyGO21a— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) October 18, 2021
At home, this is a game the Cowboys should have no problem winning. Denver does still have Von Miller and some talent on defense, but we’ve seen the past three weeks if you have a competent offense you can move the ball on them fairly easily. Dak Prescott will feast on the Broncos’ defense, and the Cowboys get an easy victory.
Game Prediction: Cowboys 27 (7-1) - Broncos 17
Week 10: Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys
When you talk about the worst defenses in the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons defensive unit has to be near the top of the list. Six games in, Atlanta has allowed 148 points, second-worst in football, surrendering 30+ points three times.
To make matters worse, it’s not like the Falcons have been getting torched by good offenses. They allowed 34 and 32 points to the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles, two teams that have below-average quarterback play and a mediocre offense at best. When they faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the one superior offensive unit they’ve matched up against this season, they allowed 48 points in a blowout loss.
Three throws from Tom Brady against the Falcons.— Mark Schofield (@MarkSchofield) September 20, 2021
*5 TDs at 44 years young
*Read that again
*Receiver and QB on same page
*Throwing against leverage
*Resetting the mind and eyes when the post-snap picture changes
*Footwork in the pocket pic.twitter.com/Q4jr0xrMdt
When you look at the rest of the Cowboys regular season schedule, there’s a good chance this Week 10 matchup with Atlanta is the game they are the biggest favorites in. If the Falcons couldn’t stop Taylor Heinicke and Jalen Hurts, they are going to get dismantled by Dak Prescott and this Dallas offense.
Even if they are able to move the ball against the Dallas defense, which Dan Quinn will make sure does not happen, they won’t be able to get close to enough stops to win the game. The Cowboys walk out with one of their easiest victories of the season.
Game Prediction: Cowboys 34 (8-1) - Falcons 20
Week 11: Dallas Cowboys @ Kansas City Chiefs
Here’s where things get tricky. When the Cowboys travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in Week 11, there’s a good chance that’s the only game remaining on their schedule that they aren’t favored to win. Yes, the Chiefs have gotten off to a 3-3 start, their worst as a team since 2015, but they’re still one of the best teams in the league.
Kansas City still has the best quarterback in football in Patrick Mahomes, who leads the league with 18 touchdown passes, and All-Pros Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on offense. The Kansas City offense has the second-most total yards and has scored the fifth-most points in football through six games, and could cause all kinds of problems for the Dallas defense.
While it will be hard for the Cowboys to slow down the Chiefs offense, they should be able to put up points against their defense. Kansas City has had a dreadful start to the season on the defensive side of the ball, allowing the fifth-most points (176) and total yards (2,463) in football. If you take out last week’s win over Washington in which they allowed just 13 points, Kansas City has given up an average of nearly 33 points over that five-game span.
The Kansas City defense has been so bad that Pro Football Focus has them ranked as the worst run defense in football, and the second-worst overall unit in the NFL, ahead of only the winless Detroit Lions defense. The Chiefs also have generated virtually no pass rush this season, and currently have the lowest sack total (seven) in the league.
Even with how bad the Chiefs defense has been, this is going to be a close game. It’s hard to win at Arrowhead, and this is the first time this season we’ll see this Dallas defense get truly exposed. Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes go toe-to-toe, but Mahomes ends up with the ball last and delivers the Cowboys their second loss of the season.
Game Prediction: Chiefs 33 - Cowboys 30 (8-2)
Week 12: Las Vegas Raiders @ Dallas Cowboys
The Raiders are an interesting team. They’ve gotten off to a surprising 4-2 start, but they also just had their head coach, Jon Gruden, resign six weeks into the season. After getting off to a 3-0 start, Las Vegas suffered two bad losses to the Chargers and Bears. Fortunately for the Raiders, they were able to bounce back last week in a big way, beating the Broncos 34-24.
One thing the Raiders have done better than anyone on offense this season is not turn the football over. Vegas has the fewest turnovers in the league with just four on the season. Derek Carr has played pretty well leading the offense, and the defense has been able to at least hold their own and keep them in most games.
Overall, on a short week, this won’t be an easy game for the Cowboys. But after a heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs the week prior, Dallas will come out on Thanksgiving with something to prove. The Cowboys bring out the bad Derek Carr and pick off the Raiders’ signal-caller twice in a Thanksgiving Day victory.
Game Prediction: Cowboys 26 (9-2) - Raiders 16
Week 13: Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints
The Superdome has always been a tough place for the Cowboys, and plenty of teams, to win games. Since opening in 1975, Dallas is 3-8 against New Orleans at the stadium. More recently, the Cowboys are 1-3 in their last four matchups at New Orleans with their lone victory coming back in 2009.
This season, the Saints have been one of the most up and down teams in football. They started the year with an extremely impressive blowout victory over the Green Bay Packers, but followed it up by getting blowout by the Carolina Panthers. New Orleans then got a nice road victory over the New England Patriots, but followed that up by losing at home to the lowly New York Giants.
Six games into the season, it seems like the Saints go as their quarterback, Jameis Winston, goes. In the three Saints’ victories, Winston has thrown 11 touchdown passes to just one interception. In their two defeats, he’s thrown just one touchdown pass and two interceptions.
Last week we got to see the full Winston experience against Washington. The former number one overall pick started the game with an awful interception but bounced back to throw four touchdown passes and lead the Saints to a win.
.@Jaboowins threw 4 touchdowns including a career-best 72-yard TD and completed a 48-yard Hail Mary TD pass @NFLFilms Shot of the Week @saints— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) October 12, 2021
Watch more on #InsideTheNFL tonight on @paramountplus. pic.twitter.com/aOWKnpfKdo
The Cowboys are a defense that can force the bad in Winston to come out. What they do best, forcing turnovers, has been his Achilles heel.
The Cowboys come into the Superdome and force Winston to turn the ball over twice, leading them to their first win in New Orleans since 2009.
Game Prediction: Cowboys 23 (10-2) - Saints 17
On the subject of predictions we also did our best to try and predict exactly when the Dallas Cowboys will win the NFC East over on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel.
Given the state of the Cowboys’ division rivals it seems like it will happen sooner than most people expected at season’s beginning. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel (which you can do right here) as we continue to track how all of this is doing over the rest of the season.