Predicting the Dallas Cowboys’ 2013 Final Regular Season Record
Dallas Cowboys: 2013 Final Regular Season Record Prediction
The NFL preseason only has one week remaining as teams will get their final looks at all of their players. September 5 marks the beginning of the 2013 NFL regular season with a matchup pitting the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens against Peyton Manning and the powerful offense of the Denver Broncos.
The regular season kicks off for the Dallas Cowboys and their fans on Sunday the eighth against division rivals, the New York Giants. The Cowboys’ first game will be a tough test on their new defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin, who is a former NFL coordinator and coach, but most recently ran the USC Trojans defense in college football. Kiffin and his defense will be put in the spotlight immediately as the Cowboys’ first game is on national television as the first Sunday night game of the year.
The next few weeks after the opener will prove to be less grueling for the Cowboys, but the middle of the season will certainly be a bear. Weeks five through twelve feature matchups against teams of the likes of the Broncos, the Detroit Lions and a rematch against the Giants who will play host to the Cowboys.
The end of the season does not get much easier as the Cowboys will finish the season against two divisional foes and also have to play the Chicago Bears in the Windy City as well as play host to the potent offense of the Green Bay Packers.
Despite a few easy opponents here and there, the Cowboys have a tough season ahead. It’s now time to get into the slideshow as I breakdown the Cowboys’ schedule week-by-week and tell you what I think their final regular season record will be.
Week 1: New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Lose, 0-1 Record (0-1 Division)
History is not on the side of the Cowboys in this matchup. Over the past five seasons, the Cowboys are only 3-7 against their divisional foes the Giants and only one of those wins has come at home. There is just something about Eli Manning and those pesky Giants that the Cowboys struggle to fend off, and I do not believe this season will be any different. With a still uncertain offensive line and a defense that still needs some time to figure out how to work together, I believe the Giants take the season opener in Arlington, Texas.
Week 2: Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs
Cowboys Win, 1-1 Record (0-1 Division)
In 2012, the Cowboys were just as good on the road as they were at home with a 4-4 record in both situations. Although that is not an overwhelming road record, the underwhelming Kansas City Chiefs do not likely stand much of a chance against the powerful Cowboys. With the standout Jamaal Charles in the Chiefs’ backfield, the Cowboys’ run defense, which was 22nd in the NFL last season in rushing yards allowed per game, will be up to a tough task. Nevertheless, the Cowboys’ offensive weapons will be too much for the Chiefs to withstand and the Cowboys will get the road win.
Week 3: St. Louis Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Win, 2-1 Record (0-1 Division)
The St. Louis Rams and the Cowboys have split their only two meetings in the past five seasons and are 11-11 all time. The Rams lost more games on the road in 2012 than they won, but not by much. The Rams have a total of 60 losses over the last five seasons but almost finished 2012 at .500 with a 7-8-1 record. Nevertheless, they had the 19th best defense in terms of receiving last year and Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten will look to expose that. Expect the Cowboys to win their first home game of the season in this week.
Week 4: Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers
Cowboys Win, 3-1 Record (0-1 Division)
The Cowboys and San Diego Chargers have not played a game since 2009, and that day the Chargers escaped with a 20-17 win in southern California. That was the year the Chargers finished 13-3, but since then, they have not won more than nine games in a single season. With underwhelming offseason moves and two unproven running backs who are in Ken Whisenhunt's – the new offensive coordinator – offensive scheme, the Chargers just have too many uncertainties and weaknesses. Look for the head coach Jason Garrett and the Cowboys to get their third win in a row.
Week 5: Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Lose, 3-2 Record (0-1 Division)
This will easily be the Cowboys’ toughest matchup to this point in the 2013 season. The Broncos are a good team that only got better in the offseason with additions like the dangerous Wes Welker and rookie Montee Ball. Oh yeah, Denver has this old guy named Peyton Manning who people say is not too shabby. Even with the suspended Von Miller missing this game, the defense is still formidable as the Broncos allowed the second least yards per game last year. As much as I want to believe the Cowboys can pull out an upset in AT&T Stadium, the honest truth is that the Broncos will likely leave Texas with a win.
Week 6: Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Win, 4-2 Record (1-1 Division)
The Washington Redskins won both of their 2012 meetings against the Cowboys but lost the three prior. Alas, none of the three games prior were during the Robert Griffin III era. Despite RGIII’s season-ending injury, he seems to be recovered and any questions of being back to 100 percent ought to be erased by Week 6. Nevertheless, the Skins and Boys had close games in 2012 and I think the Cowboys win this one at home.
Week 7: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Cowboys Lose, 4-3 Record (1-2 Division)
The Philadelphia Eagles finished the 2012 campaign with a record of 4-12, their worst performance since 1998, the year before Andy Reid became the head coach. Alas, Reid is gone and former Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly has been brought in as a replacement. Kelly’s Ducks had one of the most potent offenses in all of college football with their fast-paced tempo, and if he can channel Michael Vick’s inner beast, the Eagles might be able to scrap this one out at home. Game one of the season series goes to the Eagles in an upset after Tony Romo throws multiple interceptions.
Week 8: Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions
Cowboys Win, 5-3 Record (1-2 Division)
The last meeting between the Cowboys and Lions ended up being a shootout in Detroit. The Lions came away with a 34-30 win back in that 2011 game, but that was the only season the Lions have had a winning record since 2000. They stumbled again in 2012 as Detroit finished with a 4-12 record. Alas, the Lions added Reggie Bush who could explode with the defense concentrating on Calvin Johnson. The Detroit defense was middle of the pack last year and the team did not do much to improve that squad. As such, I do not think Detroit has what it takes to stop the Cowboys in the Motor City.
Week 9: Minnesota Vikings vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Win, 6-3 Record (1-2 Division)
The Cowboys have lost their two previous matchups against the Minnesota Vikings, but both of those came back in 2010. The Vikings finished 2012 with an impressive 10-6 record from a team that seemed to overachieve. The biggest problem the Vikings face in a meeting with the Cowboys is their pass defense. Last year, Minnesota ranked 25th in this area, and the Cowboys are certainly no slouches in the aerial department. Expect Romo and company to fill the skies with the long ball and a Cowboy victory.
Week 10: Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints
Cowboys Lose, 6-4 Record (1-2 Division)
The Cowboys lost their late-season matchup in 2012 to the New Orleans Saints by a score of 34-31. With head coach Sean Payton back from serving his one year suspension, the Saints certainly look to improve upon their 7-9 record from last season. Whether or not Drew Brees and friends can provide a potent punch on offense is not much of a question, but the Cowboys will retaliate with a stronger defense than last year. Nevertheless, look for Romo and the Boys to drop this shootout in New Orleans.
Note: The Cowboys’ bye week is Week 11
Week 12: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Cowboys Win, 7-4 Record (2-2 Division)
As I mentioned earlier, the Cowboys’ last two wins against the Giants came on the road at MetLife Stadium. Coming off the bye week, look for the rested Cowboys to take advantage of a battered New York squad that will have hosted the Packers in Week 11.
Week 13: Oakland Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Win, 8-4 Record (2-2 Division)
Despite a preseason loss to the Oakland Raiders in northern California, the Cowboys won the last regular season matchup between these two squads. That game was all the way back in 2009, so not much can be taken from it other than the fact that it was a 24-7 trouncing. Keeping in mind that Oakland finished 2012 with a 4-12 record and the team still does not have a solidified starting quarterback, do not expect much better out of the Raiders in 2013. Look for Darren McFadden to run all over the Cowboys – it is inevitable, since I likely will be benching him in my fantasy squad for this game – but for Romo to light up the sky with a slew of completed passes. The Cowboys’ stronger defense will be the difference maker in the game as Dallas will pick up another win.
Week 14: Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears
Cowboys Win, 9-4 Record (2-2 Division)
Did Tony Romo throw five interceptions in last year’s meeting against the Bears? Yes. Is Romo likely to repeat that kind of performance in 2013? No. With that being said, the Cowboys have had a bear of a time – pun very much intended – stopping Chicago from scoring the past few years. Look for this game to be low scoring with the Cowboys pounding it out on the ground and a huge performance from DeMarco Murray. Cowboys win in a nail biter and keep their win streak alive.
Week 15: Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Win, 10-4 Record (2-2 Division)
Dating as far back as 1960, the Cowboys actually have a 16-14 lead in the historical series. Between 2007-2010, the two teams faced each other once per year and split the four games 2-2. The Packers have won the two most recent games and they were en route to a Super Bowl win in 2010. Not a whole lot has changed for the Packers since then aside from a merry-go-round of running backs. With the loss of Greg Jennings, the Packers’ deep receiving corps will be forced to step up against a Cowboys’ secondary that has been updated and improved. Expect Dallas to pull off the upset as they are at home and the Packers will be tired from playing the Atlanta Falcons seven days earlier.
Week 16: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
Cowboys Lose, 10-5 Record (2-3 Division)
The pig-nosed, dress-wearing men of our nation’s capital will be out in strong force to cheer on Washington at home. That pesky RGIII will just not leave the Cowboys alone and Dallas will fall to the Redskins in this one as a stagnant offense will allow Washington to win with ease.
Week 17: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Win, 11-5 Record (3-3 Division)
Looking to exact revenge on the Eagles for their Week 7 upset, the Cowboys will come out firing, using the previous week’s painful memories as "tackling fuel" a la Bobby Boucher in "The Waterboy." Expect multiple turnovers from the Eagles as Romo and crew glide to a fantastic finish.
That does it for my list. I would love for you to leave a comment below about why you agree or disagree with any of the weeks! Thanks for reading.