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Dallas Cowboys 2013 Game-by-Game Predictions

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2013 Season Predictions for the Dallas Cowboys

cowboys predictions
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Just like every year, the Dallas Cowboys are thinking about playing in the Super Bowl at the end of the upcoming NFL season. The 2013 campaign is no different than any other; Jerry Jones is talking up his players like they're Hall of Famers and acting as if the Cowboys are the favorites to win the NFC this year. What else is new, right?

But seriously, Dallas has looked like an improved team during the preseason after some coaching changes this offseason. The Cowboys' offense has looked much more fluid and less predictable with Bill Callahan calling the plays instead of Jason Garrett while the defense has been exceptionally better under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin during the exhibitions. It turns out the switch to the 4-3, Tampa 2 scheme wasn't a bad idea after all.

But now the real games begin and it's time for Tony Romo to prove he's worth the six-year, $108 million contract extension he received over the summer. The Cowboys' polarizing signal-caller has been very close to taking his team to the next level over the years, but has always come up short. With a new deal in place and a revamped team, scheme and coaching staff, it's time for Romo and the 'Boys to put up or shut up.

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Week 1: Cowboys vs. Giants

Miles Austin
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys open the 2013 season at home against the Giants, who are undefeated at AT&T Stadium (formerly Cowboys Stadium). The butterflies will get to Dallas in this first contest and this should be another up year for the G-Men, according to their every-other-year track record of success. Expect a shootout as always between these two high-powered offense and a game-winning touchdown drive by Eli Manning in the closing minutes.

Prediction: Giants 37, Cowboys 34

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Week 2: Cowboys at Chiefs

Miles Austin
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The last time these two teams played, Miles Austin broke out with 250 receiving yards and the game-winning touchdown in overtime. This year it will be Dez Bryant who has the big receiving day as the Cowboys get their first win of the year on the road against the revamped Chiefs. Expect Andy Reid's squad to put up more of a fight than Dallas originally anticipates, but also look for Romo and company to get the job done in the second half.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Chiefs 17

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Week 3: Cowboys vs Rams

Dwayne Harris
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Go ahead and believe the "hype" -- the Rams will be better this year. However, they're not ready to put up the points the Cowboys do on a regular basis, so look for a comfortable Dallas victory. Just like in his rookie season, DeMarco Murray will have a big day (assuming he's healthy) and the Cowboys' defense will flex its muscles in a confidence-building victory.

Prediction: Cowboys 31, Rams 18

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Week 4: Cowboys at Chargers

Brandon Carr
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

No matter the opponent, location or situation, the Chargers always make things interesting for the Cowboys and that won't change in 2013. For whatever reason, the Cowboys will struggle in San Diego in an ugly contest that concludes with a head-scratching loss. Turnovers will be the story in this one with everyone chalking the Cowboys up as toast when it's over.

Prediction: Chargers 23, Cowboys 19

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Week 5: Cowboys vs Broncos

Sean Lee
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas will rebound nicely against another AFC West opponent the following week, but will come up just short against the eventual Super Bowl champs. Romo has beaten Peyton Manning before, but he won't this year as the Broncos will simply outscore the high-flying Cowboys. It might be a loss, but this game will be the turning point in Dallas' season.

Prediction: Broncos 38, Cowboys 31

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Week 6: Cowboys vs Redskins

DeMarcus Ware
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys seemingly never play well at home against the Redskins, but that will change in 2013. Romo will resemble Troy Aikman in this contest while compiling 300 yards and three touchdowns in an emotional Dallas victory. The defense will be overlooked in this one, but DeMarcus Ware, Sean Lee and company will make life rough for Robert Griffin III and show they're a force with which to be reckoned.

Prediction: Cowboys 35, Redskins 21

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Week 7: Cowboys at Eagles

DeMarcus Ware
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

At 3-3, the Cowboys will be looking to avoid a sub-.500 start to the first half of the season on the road in Philly. If Michael Vick is still healthy by this point, he'll get roughed up by Ware and company while Dallas' stable of running backs runs wild again a helpless Eagles defense. If it's Nick Foles or Matt Barkley under center, the game will be a little closer, but still a big Cowboys win.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Eagles 13

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Week 8: Cowboys at Lions

Calvin Johnson
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

After two straight division wins and confidence slowly rising again, Dallas will play its toughest game of the year on the road against Detroit. That's not to say the Lions will be a contender this year, but they'll give the Cowboys all they want in a high-scoring battle. But this is a game in which Romo proves doubters wrong with an epic game-winning touchdown drive in the final moments. The only problem -- it will be against the Lions.

Prediction: Cowboys 41, Lions 38

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Week 9: Cowboys vs Vikings

Adrian Peterson
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys will continue to build momentum in a game that defines their defense. This will be one of the few bad games for Adrian Peterson in 2013 as Dallas' much-improved defense will do a nice job of containing the NFL's best running back. Put simply, Christian Ponder won't beat the Cowboys through the air and Dallas' offense will put up enough points to preserve the win.

Prediction: Cowboys 23, Vikings 17

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Week 10: Cowboys at Saints

Jimmy Graham
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This is the week folks in Dallas will start to get excited and the fair-weather fans will come out of hiding. The Cowboys will reel off their fifth straight win to make believers out of their fans as Romo battles Drew Brees in a shootout that results in a late interceptions by Barry Church to seal the deal. It's always interesting with the Cowboys and Saints get together and this year it will be the Texas team that comes out on top. Dallas will enter the bye week on cloud nine.

Prediction: Cowboys 34, Saints 31

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Week 11: Bye

Jason Garrett
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The bye week will come at the worst possible time for the Cowboys and it will prevent them from reaching their full potential in the latter part of the season. All of the momentum built up over the past five weeks will be halted with this week off that will do a lot of damage to the team's growing mental toughness.

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Week 12: Cowboys at Giants

DeMarcus Ware, Eli Manning
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Following the bye week, the Cowboys will travel to MetLife Stadium and lay an egg at the site of this year's Super Bowl. There will be no late-game magic or unsung heroes emerging like Kevin Ogletree did against the G-Men in 2012. The game will be a wakeup call for Dallas as the defense will be brutally exposed for the first time all season, but it will eventually be a blessing in disguise.

Prediction: Giants 31, Cowboys 17

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Week 13: Cowboys vs Raiders

Cole Beasley
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Luckily for the shell-shocked Cowboys, they'll return home to host a woeful Raiders team with Terrelle Pryor under center. The team will get a confidence-boosting victory as the defense has a field day with Oakland's sorry excuse for a quarterback. Expect several turnovers and at least one defensive touchdown for Dallas while the Cowboys' running game absolutely dominates the game on offense for a big home win.

Prediction: Cowboys 28, Raiders 10

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Week 14: Cowboys at Bears

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It's going to be miserably cold and windy by the time the Cowboys travel to Chicago to take on the Bears in early December. Put simply, it won't end well as the Bears' defense will experience deja vu against Romo, who threw five interceptions in a home loss to Chicago in 2012. Dallas' signal-caller won't throw five picks again, but he'll toss at least two and get roughed up while the Bears muster enough offense to pull out the ugly win.

Prediction: Bears 17, Cowboys 13

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Week 15: Cowboys vs Packers

Dez Bryant
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

At 8-5, the Cowboys return home to face another NFC North division title contender with the season on the line. Somehow, some way, the Cowboys will pleasantly surprise their fans and find a way to upset the favored Packers at home. Dallas will thrive in the comfort and warmth of AT&T Stadium after experiencing the blizzard in Chicago and Green Bay will have somewhat of a down game to allow the Cowboys to ensure they finish above .500 for the first time since 2009.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Packers 24

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Week 16: Cowboys at Redskins

Morris Claiborne
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With two games left, it will be a different story for the Cowboys in a road game against the Redskins late in the season in 2013 than it was in 2012. Expect Washington to try and throw the ball entirely too much in this game and Dallas to take advantage with a pair of interceptions, one of which is returned for a touchdown. There will be no RG3 magic in this one as Lance Dunbar scores twice in the second half on catches out of the backfield to give the Cowboys their 10th win of the season.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Redskins 17

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Week 17: Cowboys vs Eagles

Jason Witten
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Knowing they will enter the playoffs as a Wild Card with a loss, the Cowboys fail once again to win the NFC East division title in the season finale as Foles (not Vick or Barkley) throws for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns in an embarrassing Dallas loss. Romo and company will be off their game throughout the entire contest and it will cost the Cowboys the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.

Prediction: Eagles 17, Cowboys 13

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Wild Card Playoffs: Cowboys at Packers

Jason Witten
Flickr Creative Commons

Just three weeks removed from an upset win over the Packers, the Cowboys' weaknesses and playoff inexperience will be exposed in this first-round loss. Aaron Rodgers and company won't have another bad game at home and the sixth-seeded Cowboys will head back to Dallas disappointed once again. But hey, a 10-6 campaign with a playoff loss is better than another 8-8 year with no postseason appearance at all, right?

Prediction: Packers 26, Cowboys 21