clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The talk has already started about the Cowboys contending for the Super Bowl in 2023

This ‘Cowboys as contenders’ talk needs to stop for a while.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A lot has to be done to make this feasible, including getting some reinforcements for these guys.
Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

It’s a cute saying, even though it is literally true. Every team in the NFL is now 0-0. The 2022 season is over and 2023 has begun, even if all that is happening right now are coaching interviews and hires. But every team now has all the possibilities ahead of them. Already, there is a lot of talk about who will be contenders this year and who will be the also-rans. And of course, that means the Dallas Cowboys are one of the most talked about teams in the league. As always. With the hopes of the Philadelphia Eagles to get a second Lombardi Trophy not even cool on the morgue slab, the Cowboys are firmly in the conversation about teams to be in the hunt for the next one.

Yay. Whoopee. My excitement knows few if any bounds.


No, I am ready to side with Herm Edwards about this, as reported by Nick Selbe at SI.

The former NFL and college head coach—now back at ESPN as an analyst—expressed his frustration with all the attention the Cowboys get on his network during Tuesday’s First Take show, decrying the need to discuss Dallas during a segment in which the show was speculating on the top Super Bowl contenders for next season.

ESPN had the Cowboys slotted in at No. 6, which drew Edwards’s ire and had him questioning why the segment didn’t simply stop at the top five.

It’s not just the folks at ESPN who are on the Cowboys hype train. As was covered earlier here at BTB, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas are pretty high on them, too.

The Cowboys have the fifth-best odds to win Super Bowl LVIII although there is a tie for fourth-highest odds between the Bengals and Eagles. As you can see the Eagles are a bit down for a team who just came so close to winning it all, but that is the way that the NFL goes.

Notably the Cowboys have the third-highest odds in the NFC and trail only the 49ers, who ended their season, and the in-division rival Philadelphia Eagles.

This might seem like an odd thing for someone to be cranky about. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been through this cycle for over a decade writing about Dallas here (which I thoroughly love to do.) Maybe I’m finally become a true curmudgeon as I exit the flower of my youth. (I’m 71.) But I’m tired of this. First, any projections or rankings of teams at this time of year are worthless. Free agency hasn’t even started, the draft is still more than a couple of months away, and as mentioned coaching staffs are still being filled out. Almost all these predictions and odds are far more about how the teams did last year than anything else. Even the people who do the betting odds can be rather off at this time of year. Consider how they saw the odds of getting to the Super Bowl last year.

Oh, you may say, they got the Kansas City Chiefs right. Well, that was probably mostly about how Patrick Mahomes always gives you a chance as long as he has one and a half good legs to play on. It is hard to argue against them being the best team in the league, and there is no real evidence they are going to fall off.

But take a look at where the other Super Bowl team was in that list. I’ll give you a minute.

We discussed this topic on the latest episode of Ryled Up on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

Nope. The Eagles didn’t even make the top 14. Further, the two teams that had the best odds of representing the NFC eleven months ago were the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams. As you might have noticed, neither even made the playoffs.

No, even the experts in Vegas are really just making an educated guess based on what teams did the previous season when they set these early odds. These are not about really trying to predict the next season. They are just making sure there are bets coming in, and most of those are obviously going to be losing propositions, meaning more profits for the sports books. Those extravagant casinos exist because the industry isn’t exactly hurting for income.

Yet, here we are again. Predictions keep coming in, and this year, the Cowboys are a darling once more.

This has Dallas in the number two seed for the playoffs, edging the Eagles. Is this crazy, or as good a guess as any? Frankly, at this time of the year, it doesn’t matter. All the predictions are built on tissue paper and dreams.

For the Cowboys, this seems especially true. They have some real issues facing them. There are major holes to fill due to how many key contributors are entering free agency. The offensive staff is undergoing a major overhaul, with Mike McCarthy taking a firmer grip on the reins. The wide receiver position is the biggest of multiple problems the roster has, and it has been since this time last year. And the ownership still has an outdated mindset about the running back position.

I swore off buying into the hype last year. It turned out to make things more enjoyable as the team really exceeded expectations, especially with how they managed to do so well while Dak Prescott was injured. If injuries do not have an out-sized impact this year, this team does have a chance.

But that has to be looked at with a clear eye. A lot has to go right for them to meet the already lofty expectations we are seeing. For the national media, there is a bias to pump up Dallas, because they are without question the biggest draw in the NFL. That is not because everyone loves them. Frankly, the majority of people who tune in to watch them or listen to the unending Cowboys talk on sports channels and radio are looking for them to fall. In turn, that makes many fans of the team more loyal. The team is seen as arrogant and entitled, and that is not inaccurate. Despite over a quarter century of futility in terms of playoff success, they still dominate the collective mind of NFL fans. That is a big part of them being the most valuable sports franchise in the USA. In turn, that reduces the urgency to put the best possible product on the field, because the Jones family just keeps getting richer.

It would be much better if we focused on that 0-0 point. Every team starts from that, and until we see how the offseason plays out and finally get to games that count in September, we really don’t even know what we don’t know.

You can be hopeful. Even optimistic. Just don’t read anything at all into rankings and predictions that exist just to get your attention.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys