On paper, being completely objective, the Dallas Cowboys look like one of the best teams in the NFL. For Cowboys fans, that can be a terrifying and/or eye-rolling statement. We have all gotten our hopes up one too many times when it comes to this team only to be left heartbroken after a number of disappointments.
It is very hard to win the Super Bowl and what we are about to talk about is in no way a guarantee that Dallas is going to do it. In fact, they probably will not. If you told me that I could have the Cowboys or the field I would obviously take the latter. But whatever the case, however you feel, it feels more than fair to say that this team is expected to be extremely good in 2023.
By one measurement, they project to be the absolute best.
The Dallas Cowboys are projected to finish the season number 1 in overall DVOA
In case you did not know the all-talented Aaron Schatz has taken his talents to FTN and his DVOA formula/methodology has gone with him.
DVOA is one of the more objective, going back to that word, ways to assess teams in the NFL in that it (kind of a TL;DR on DVOA as a whole) applies context to everything in the name of deciphering who the best teams are on offense, defense, special teams and everything under the sun.
Recently, FTN released their DVOA projections for the 2023 season which are based largely on the 2022 season where Dallas performed very well. Projections for the season are calculated, including losses and additions to a given roster, and in certain circumstances like what the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers are dealing with in terms of holdouts with star defenders are as well (for what it’s worth the Niners and Nick Bosa agreed to a massive deal a few hours after projections were published).
Simply put, DVOA is about as perfect of a science that there is when it comes to football and when it comes to projections for 2023 they have the Dallas Cowboys finishing number 1 overall.
- Projected Overall DVOA: 1
- Projected Offensive DVOA: 3
- Projected Defensive DVOA: 3
- Projected Special Teams DVOA: 12
- Mean Win Projection: 11.2
Banners are not hung based off of projections, but it is difficult to not like the Cowboys’ odds this season in general, let alone when something like DVOA speaks so highly about their potential.
We know that the Cowboys addressed some of their more glaring needs from a season ago with the trades for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks, and they figure to have whole seasons from players who missed time last year (obviously anything can happen in that sense). Mike McCarthy taking over the offensive play-calling is certainly a big question mark hovering around the club, but given the expected regression from Dallas’ top rival in the Philadelphia Eagles, it is difficult not to see how this makes sense.
The Cowboys finished last year seventh in overall DVOA, but were weighed down by their offensive performance (14th) given the five games missed by Dak Prescott. If there is a turning of the corner on that side of the ball then true balance could be achieved which could make for a fun season for all of us.