After looking through the Dallas Cowboys‘ 2014 schedule myself, and also reading up on the opinions of others, it seems as though most think that the Cowboys are on their way to a 7-9 or 8-8 season at best. This is probably a fair assessment based on how hard their schedule is, but the Cowboys can absolutely exceed these expectations, and below are the things they’ll need to do in order to get to 10 wins this season.
1. Start off With a Bang:
What exactly I mean by starting off with a bang, is that they need to find a way to take down the San Francisco 49ers at home in their opening game of the 2014 NFL season. It’s going to be a tough, but if they can knock off San Fran and make a statement with that win, then their next two games against the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis Rams are both winnable games, setting them up to start out 3-0 and pick up some early confidence.
None of these wins are going to come easy, but if they can grab one win against these three playoff teams, then they’ll be on their way to a 10-win season. They get the Saints and Seahawks early in the season, in Week 4 and Week 6, respectively, and the Colts are in Week 16. No disrespect to the Colts, but out of these teams, they are definitely the most likely team that the Cowboys can take down, especially with the game being played in Dallas.
3. Split With Each Team in the NFC East:
In my opinion, this one is definitely more than possible. I actually think the Cowboys could end up sweeping the New York Giants, and splitting with the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles are both likely scenarios. For this situation, we’ll just assume it’s a split across the board, and the Cowboys end up at 3-3 in division play, which in this scenario is enough to get them to 10 wins.
Obviously, all of this would come with the assumption that nothing unexpected happens (which it will). So, to play it safe, the Cowboys sweeping one of their divisional opponents as mentioned above, or winning two of the three games listed in point No. 2 would be a whole lot safer, but definitely not as likely.
Now, if everything above happened, and the Cowboys won the games I expect them to, their season would look like this:
Losses (in order): Saints, Seahawks, Giants, Chicago Bears, Eagles and Redskins (six losses).
The Cowboys are fortunate enough to get the Cardinals on their home field as well, because playing in Arizona would be insanely tough. Even with that being said, I think the Cardinals could be a tricky game, and the Rams on the road also looks like it could possibly turn into a loss. If either of those games were losses, then the Cowboys would need to get a key win out of the losses already listed above, which won’t be easy.