You certainly don’t have to be a Dallas Cowboys fan to hang your head in disgust after the way the 2010 season ended for the supposedly championship-contending team. At an abysmal (but coulda been much worse) 6-10, the ‘Boys barely beat out the Washington Redskins for second to last place in the NFC East – and that’s only if you’re a stickler for meaningless statistics.
However, this isn’t new news for anyone. Everyone knows the Cowboys were the underachievers of the millennium. Going forward… well, it’s all about going forward!
What sort of odds are the Cowboys looking at for the 2011 season?
At this juncture, judging the Eagles’ and the Giants’ success, winning 10 games apiece, the Cowboys’ odds are about as good as hitting the progressive jackpot via online slot machines. Why? Well, it’s not just about Dallas getting better.
One thing we can all agree on: Dallas has more talent on its roster than most NFL teams, especially NFC East teams. But they’ve been wholly unable to group together as a cohesive unit.
Roy “I’m the MJ of Football” Williams is talented, sure, but he’s a weird mix between TO and Gary Coleman in terms of attitude. Miles Austin is probably the hottest thing they have going on offense, and Tony Romo coming back will be a big plus, but the offense only has two speeds – 5th gear and buck-jumping. They really need to find cruise control.
The fact of the matter is that Philadelphia and New York are probably going to improve for 2011, and Washington has a lot working for it (outside of QB stability), so the Cowboys are probably going to need a 12-4 season to walk away with the crown.
A few factors working in their favor is the way the group rallied around interim head coach, now full-time head coach, Jason Garret (with oldie but goodie Jon Kitna at the helm, no less). Throw in the fact that Rob Ryan—yes, of the famous defensive-minded Ryan’s—is the team’s new defensive coordinator, and Dallas is definitely looking like a force to be reckoned with.
Perhaps the number-one factor boding well for Dallas is the fact that they, we, everyone knows how horrible they were this past season. If they can’t get up for games to save face and reclaim pride, then they shouldn’t be on the field.
Realistically, Dallas is going to have a tough go trying to win the East. It’s not anything Cowboys fans want to hear, but Dallas improving only matters as far as the 6 in-division games they’ll be playing. That’s what it boils down to.
We’ll give them better odds than you’ll find with most sports books to have a winning season. 11-5 is the call, a solid Wild Card berth. And maybe, just maybe, that record will result in a division win if they can handle the Eagles and Giants. The good news is that they’re still a good football team. They just need to play like it in 2011.