Here’s a complete shocker: the Dallas Cowboys‘ win/loss total at most Las Vegas sportsbooks is currently set at eight. So basically, Vegas is projecting the Cowboys will end the year with an 8-8 record, which I’m willing to guess that absolutely NO ONE would have guessed. The question now is, what’s the right bet to make on the Cowboys in 2014? Well, that all depends on what you think about a few different things relating to the Boys.
One thing worth pointing out right out of the gate though, is that just because the line on the Cowboys’ wins is set at eight, doesn’t mean that people expect it to end that way. The under on eight is a big favorite with odds of -150 on most sites, while the over is +120. So, if you think that Dallas will top eight wins, you can get good odds on it, but if you think they’re going under, you’ll have to take a pretty good-sized risk on your bet.
The first thing that you need to figure out is what you think about this defense in 2014. After losing Sean Lee, basically everyone locked them into winning fewer than eight games. Remember though, last season the Cowboys played with an injured DeMarcus Ware, and Lee missed games. The Cowboys’ defense has a ton of young players on it, but they also made the change to make Rod Marinelli the defensive coordinator, which should benefit the young players as well as the secondary.
The offense isn’t a worry for me. Tony Romo will be 100 percent by Week 1 (if there was something more than 100 percent I’d take that, because you know he’ll be ready to get back on the field), and the rest of the offense has plenty of playmakers. I believe that Dez Bryant will show us why he’s one of the best wide receivers in the NFL once again, Jason Witten will prove to be Mr. Reliable all over again, and we will see DeMarco Murray finally stay healthy all year. Is that asking a lot? Probably.
The offensive line is improved with Travis Frederick going into his second season, Tyron Smith playing at an elite level, and the team drafting Zack Martin. I have very few concerns about that line, and I think it’ll make both Romo and Murray’s lives a whole lot easier in 2014.
The last thing to mention before the final prediction is the addition of Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator, which should also benefit the big names on the offensive side of the ball.
If you look at the Cowboys’ schedule in 2014, there are some tough games, but also some very winnable games. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see this team end with nine or 10 wins, and either win the NFC East or be a very big surprise as a Wild Card team. Watch the Cowboys in 2014, and enjoy those odds on the over on eight wins.