Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Week 1: Embrace the 0-1 start

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The excitement around the Dallas Cowboys has reached fever pitch this summer. Getting a re-do on last season’s debacle where we saw injuries befall all corners of the roster, up to and including Dak Prescott, the most irreplaceable man on the team, Cowboys Nation has never been so eager to get a season rolling.

Opening up against Tampa Bay has done nothing but fuel the fire for America’s Team. A prime time game, against Tom Brady, with most of the Dallas roster available for the first time since 2019…Yes, please.

Odds are the Dallas Cowboys will lose and that’s perfectly fine.

Now, I don’t want to poop in the punchbowl or anything but the realist in us all should recognize the Dallas Cowboys are big-time underdogs against the defending Super Bowl champs. The Bucs aren’t just a well-oiled machine but they are returning all 22-starters this year – something not seen in the NFL.

We shouldn’t expect crisp play or victory against such a formidable opponent this early in the season.

Conversely the Dallas Cowboys are breaking in new coaches, new starting players, new schemes, and for icing on the cake, many are using newly-repaired limbs and tendons to do it. The Dallas Cowboys are anything but well-oiled, they’re more like a flashy kit-car on their maiden voyage: It could all go swimmingly or it could breakdown driving out of the garage.

The point here is, we should be ready for anything and prepared for this to take a game or two before things start humming for the Cowboys. We probably shouldn’t expect crisp play or victory against such a formidable opponent this early in the season.

Clearly, anything is possible and on any given Thursday (Thursday?), anyone can win, but chances are the Dallas Cowboys come out 0-1 and do so in pretty unimpressive fashion. Is that cause for panic? Of course not, it should be expected. Frankly, I have the Dallas Cowboys starting off 0-2 this year AND STILL winning the division and making a playoff run.

As you can see in the chart above, a 0-1 start isn’t great for a team’s postseason hopes. But let’s not get mixed up between correlation and causation here. Bad teams tend to lose more and good teams tend to win more. So going by the probabilities, we can assume most of the those 0-1 teams aren’t very good and most of those 1-0 team are pretty good. This only becomes more extreme when a team’s record moves to 0-2 and 2-0.

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Looking at the Cowboys schedule this year, we can see things lighten up considerably for the Dallas Cowboys. Not only does their schedule get much easier but they play in a weak division and get an extra game this year. All of those items bode well for a team starting out in the hole. Even if the Cowboys start 0-1 (or 0-2), we should still like their chances this season simply because they are a good football team (or at least will become one in the near future).

Take this article and stick it in your back pocket. If the Dallas Cowboys win in Week 1, tear it up and never think of it again. But if they lose don’t make it a bigger deal of it than it is. The national media will misread the stats and interpret causation from it in order to draw readers/listeners/viewers, but we’re better than that. As long as this team can stay healthy they’ll be competing for a playoff spot. Slow start or not.

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What’s you’re prediction Cowboys Nation? Will Dallas win? Will they lose two in a row? Under what circumstances will you be concerned?

  • Published on 09/09/2021 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 09/08/2021 at 19:25 PM