2008 Dallas Cowboys NFC East Predictions May 27th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Football Futures Betting – Dallas to Turn Corner?
Our best Sportsbooks has its Super Bowl sports betting odds on display, and the Dallas Cowboys are currently the clear favorites to win the NFC title and get a berth in the Big Game. In fact, at this moment, you would have to lay a price on Dallas if you bet them to win the NFC East, even though the Super Bowl champion Giants are in the same division. Are the Cowboys indeed the class of the conference? We will examine that case today.
First let’s look at the odds to win the NFC and NFC East divisions, as they appear in BetUS Online Sportsbook:
BetUS NFL Futures Odds
To Win NFC East
DALLAS COWBOYS -150
New York Giants +250
Philadelphia Eagles +400
Washington Redskins +650
To win the NFC Championship
DALLAS COWBOYS +350
Green Bay Packers +900
New York Giants +700
New Orleans Saints +900
Philadelphia Eagles +750
Seattle Seahawks +1200
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1400
Washington Redskins +1600
Minnesota Vikings +1000
Arizona Cardinals +1800
Carolina Panthers +2000
Detroit Lions +2200
Chicago Bears +1600
San Francisco 49ers +2800
St. Louis Rams +2500
Atlanta Falcons +6500
Tony Romo got a big new contract last season, but the Cowboys are 0-2 in the playoffs with him as the starting quarterback. Romo isn’t really the problem, but the Cowboys knew they had to make a few moves in the off-season to get them not only to the next step, but possibly over the top. With offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and Romo together for another season, the Cowboys retain continuity in their offense, but one need – a threatening receiver to complement Terrell Owens on the other side – has not been addressed, so Dallas will rely on the development of Patrick Crayton and on veteran Terry Glenn, who missed most of the season with injuries.
The offensive line is solid with standouts like Flozell Adams and Andre Gurode, and tight end Jason Witten is one of the league’s best. The Cowboys lost running back Julius Jones, who left as a free agent to Seattle, but Jones was outliving his usefulness, with Marion Barber, who eventually made it to the Pro Bowl, taking most of the important snaps. Now the Cowboys have added a potential big-play back, Felix Jones, with a first-round pick. Jones averaged nine yards a carry at Arkansas, and will be used not only as a situational player but as a return man as well. Tashard Choice, a very productive runner at Georgia Tech, was drafted in Round 4, and will add depth. Marcellus Bennett, an outstanding tight end at Texas A&M, will give the Cowboys a change of pace behind Witten.
Defensively, this team has the capability to be better than it was last year. Dallas sent five of its starters to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl; three of those were secondary people – Terrence Newman, Ken Hamlin and Roy Williams. A trade was made with the Tennessee Titans to bring aboard suspended cornerback Pacman Jones, although his participation is in doubt until he gets clearance from the commissioner’s office. While Jones could be a starter in the defensive backfield, the Cowboys will not be in bad shape if he can’t play, because not only does Anthony Henry return, but Dallas spent one of its first-round choices on South Florida’s Mike Jenkins, a potential shutdown corner with tremendous quickness. Another intriguing addition to the defense could be Zach Thomas, who was released by the Dolphins after the arrival of Bill Parcells. Thomas, a graduate of Texas Tech, has taken seven trips to the Pro Bowl, but he has injury concerns, aside from suffering numerous concussions.
The special teams are a huge strength. Newcomers Felix Jones, Pacman Jones and Jenkins are explosive return men, and Mat McBriar (punter) and Nick Folk (kicker) are among the best in the business. The Cowboys are not going to lose too many games through poor special teams play.
Coming off a holler guy like Parcells, the insertion of Wade Phillips as head coach and Garrett as offensive coordinator seemed to find the right temperament level for this team last season. And the Cowboys responded, winning 12 of their last 13 games. But the loss to the Giants in the playoffs indicates there still is a hump to get over. For that reason, the overachievers from the Meadowlands deserve consideration as division front-runners coming into the season. But Dallas is well ahead of teams like the Eagles and Redskins in the NFC East, so if they don’t win the division, they will make the playoffs as a wild card.
JAY’S PREDICTION FOR 2008:
Dallas Cowboys — 11-5, 2nd place, NFC East
(-150 to win NFC East, +350 to win NFC, +900 to win Super Bowl)
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