The Cowboys figure to be one of the best teams in the NFC this season, and even though it's the Philadelphia Eagles getting most of the media love, it's hard to ignore how good Dallas looks.
But USA Today has apparently decided to try to stir up some controversy, because their win total projections came out today and what they have down for the Cowboys doesn't make any sense.
Cowboys Win Total Projection
You're not reading that wrong — they're projecting Dallas to finish just one game over .500. Really.
They must have taken a look at last year's record, decided Ezekiel Elliott was good for a full win on his own, subtracted one because Brandin Cooks will make our passing game worse and figured that signing Stephon Gilmore subtracts another win. How else could you land at nine?
It's not like I'm just being a homer, either. Vegas has the Over as a heavy favorite on the Cowboys' 9.5-win total line.
This offense is more dangerous than ever with Tony Pollard in a full-time RB1 role and Cooks taking the top off defenses. On the other side of the ball, Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and Gilmore combine to be maybe the best defensive trio in the NFL.
That 9.5-win line honestly feels like it's kind of a joke. This is an upgrade from last year's 12-win team and the NFC is softer than ever this season. Drawing the AFC East makes for some tough scheduling, but also getting the NFC North is a huge treat that should bring some easy wins to the table.
It's not like last season's 12 wins were a fluke, either. Dallas was one of only five teams to finish the season with an average margin of victory of at least +7.0 points, ranking fourth at +7.1. You don't outscore your opponents by a full touchdown per game unless you're the real deal.
A line of 9.5 wins is also wildly disconnected from another (more important) betting line, which is that the Cowboys rank No. 3 in the odds to win the entire NFC.
A top threat to win the conference that has made some offseason upgrades after winning 12 games and dominating opponents last season? Yeah, I love hammering that over 9.5 wins line.
The best place to make that bet is at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you sign up through the Sport DFW link, they'll award you $150 in bonus bets just for placing a $5 wager. That payout is instant too, so you don't even need to wait to find out if you won your bet to get the bonus!
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.