Cowboys have chance to get out of the gate strong

Aug 9, 2013 6:44 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the ninth of 32 preseason previews in 32 days leading up to the NFL season opener Thursday, Sept 5.

DALLAS COWBOYS

Win total last 5 years: 42

LVH over/under wins (8½)

The biggest offseason moves with the Cowboys involved coordinators.

On offense, Bill Callahan is now calling the plays instead of head coach Jason Garrett. In the first preseason game against Miami, Callahan had the Boys running the ball more and it resulted in a 4-point win.

On defense, Monte Kiffin is now in charge, replacing Rob Ryan. If nothing else, it’s out with the mullet and in with the brush cut.

Make no mistake, the Cowboys begin and end with owner Jerry Jones. Jerry is behind Tony Romo and satisfied with Garrett even though Dallas has missed the playoffs four of the last five years.

Dallas has a chance to get out of the gate strong. The first five games are against the New York Giants, Kansas City, St. Louis, San Diego and Denver. Only KC and San Diego are on the road, so a 4-1 start assuming a split with the Giants and Broncos is possible. 

Athlon Sports gave Dallas a D grade in the draft, which is par for the course. The Cowboys have often been criticized in recent years for their drafting and the knocks are justified. The hope is top pick 6-4, 312-pound center Travis Frederick (Wisconsin) produces.

Two picks that did work are RB DeMarco Murray, a Las Vegas product, and WR Dez Bryant. They just have to stay healthy.

Romo still has his security blanket, TE Jason Witten and defensive end DeMarcus Ware is one of the NFL’s best. The NFC East is always interesting with Dallas, the Giants, Washington and Philadelphia all capable of finishing first in the division or last.

If the Cowboys can establish some depth, the running game improves and Romo cuts down on silly mistakes, Dallas is overdue for postseason play. That means 10 or more wins in the regular season.

Saturday: Denver Broncos.

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