Cowboys NFL Betting Overview August 4th, 2008
By: Betus NFL Handicapping Staff
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2008 NFL PreSeason Analysis – 2008 Cowboys Football Gambling
It was all gravy for the Dallas Cowboys throughout the regular season as they didn’t lost their second game until Week 15. The Cowboys steamrolled through the NFC until they hit a wall in the playoffs against the eventual Super Bowl Champs: the New York Giants.
The Cowboys are back and should be much more focused. But being America’s team, can they stay away from popcorn, Jessica Simpson, Cabo and Pacman Jones distractions?
The Cowboys offense will have a similar look to last year’s unit, which is a good thing. When you finish with the No. 1 scoring offense in the conference, you like to have some consistency.
The offense didn’t take any significant hits via free agency or retirement, which means that Tony Romo, Terrell Owens, Marion Barber III and crew are back. First-round pick Felix Jones was added to replace the departure of Julius Jones, which should be viewed as a minor improvement.
The main hole on offense is the lack of a No. 2 wide receiver. Owens is obviously the top threat but Patrick Crayton is overmatched as the second option. The Cowboys tried to find a solution – and still might after some other teams make some cuts – but for now don’t have anyone better than Crayton. There is no leeway for injuries here.
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Tight end Jason Witten takes the pressure off the wideouts and he is off a phenomenal year. He had 96 catches last year.
As long as the offensive line (with three Pro Bowlers) continues to hum, so will this offense.
The Cowboys spent years trying to find the right pieces for their defensive line and they are now reaping the benefits of a very solid unit. It is the foundation of their 3-4 defense and allows the linebackers to flow, and occasionally, terrorize.
Wade Phillips brought his prowess in the 3-4 defense and took some good linebackers and really milked the most out of them. DeMarcus Ware is off a huge season and has established himself as one of the best outside linebackers in the game. Greg Ellis, who was nearly cut prior to last season, registered 12.5 sacks. That doesn’t even include last year’s first-round pick, Anthony Spencer, who also added three sacks.
The Cowboys boosted the middle of this corps by adding veteran Zach Thomas. They need him to mop up some tackles because the inside linebacking position opposite of Bradie James was a weakness last year.
Owner Jerry Jones is always big on rolling the dice and he did it again by acquiring Pacman Jones. Jones will give the Cowboys a huge boost in the return game – a clear team weakness – and bolster their defensive backfield. But even if Jones busts, the Cowboys added a couple of solid draft picks in Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick.
It will be interesting to see what the Cowboys do with safety Roy Williams, who has fallen out of favor.
Regular Season Win Total: 10.5
The Cowboys schedule wasn’t difficult last year and it looks even easier this year. The Cowboys have a few tough road trips to Cleveland, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, but outside of that, everything seems more than manageable. The Cowboys have one stretch of three road games in four weeks between October 12th and November 2nd but they finish the season with four home games in their final six weeks.
Free Pick: Over
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