Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) leaves the field in the second quarter of the game against the Washington Redskins at AT

Are the Dallas Cowboys Still the Favorite to Win the NFC East

 

Sep 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) celebrates with running back DeMarco Murray (29) after a touchdown during the second quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Mailbag

Do you still expect the Cowboys to win the division? It seems like it’s possible since DeMarco, Miles and Demarcus are now all healthy. – Carlos

I’m much less confident about it now than I was when I originally made the prediction. I expected the Cowboys to enter the bye week 5-5 and finish the season 9-7 (going 4-2 in the season’s final six).

Full Disclosure

Truth be told my preseason prediction was the Redskins winning the division and the Cowboys finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs. I revised my prediction early after noticing the embarrassment of deficiencies in the NFC East. So while I maintained the original prediction concerning the record for the Cowboys, I did have to reassess the overall landscape.

Edits to predictions are tolerable if they are rare but I hate when analysts revise their predictions every week and then expect you to be impressed when one of the million are actually right. Because of that I will stand by my 9-7 NFC East division champs prediction.

The reason I’m less confident is simple: Trending

The Cowboys are trending in the wrong direction. At this point in the season, teams are supposed to be getting better. NFC East teams like the Giants and the Eagles are clearly doing so. They are trending upward. The Cowboys are just trending down. Injuries have played a huge part in their struggles but that’s just part of the game.

Getting Ware back healthy is important. Murray and Austin (if also healthy – for real) will also help. The problem I have is with the defense. They are bad and they don’t seem to be improving. Monte Kiffin has not found a way to play to his secondary’s strengths and the pass rush is doing all they can physically do given the circumstances.

At the very least, the Cowboys need to slow opposing offenses down. I want to think they can find a way to do so, but I’ll believe it when I see it. For now this team lives and dies on the right arm of Tony Romo and that makes me a little nervous.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

Tags: Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray Demarcus Ware

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