The Dallas Cowboys enter 2017 with the second-best odds (8-1) to win Super Bowl LII from the Westgate Las Vegas Super Book. Considering the Boys are returning the core of last season’s 13-3 team, that’s not surprising. While Vegas is optimistic about Dallas’ chances, we’re not buying the hype. These are the top five reasons why the Cowboys will disappoint in 2017.
LACK OF SECONDARY DEPTH
Free-agency was not kind to the Dallas secondary, as Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox all departed. Furthermore, cornerback Nolan Carroll is facing a potential DWI-related suspension. That’s not exactly good news considering Dallas will face Odell Beckham, Alshon Jeffery, Jamison Crowder and Terrelle Pryor all twice in division play, as well as Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson.Image via Bleacher Report
Quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliot were a deadly tandem last season as rookies, but at least one could experience a sophomore slump in 2017. While Dallas still boasts a great offensive line, the losses of Doug Free and Ronald Leary could hold Elliot back.
Our bet is on Prescott, though. Sam Bradford, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton — the last three QBs to win AP Rookie of the Year before Prescott — all experienced sophomore slumps. Defenses now have a year of film to analyze his tendencies, unlike last season when he seemingly came out of nowhere to win the starting job. The offensive line losses, tougher schedule and weaker Dallas defense could also trip him up.Image via Bleacher Report
IMPROVED N.F.C. EAST
The Giants beat the Cowboys twice last season and appear to be an even better squad in 2017. The Eagles added several playmakers on offense and appear to boast a much-improved pass defense. The Redskins nearly beat Dallas in both games last season and will be dangerous again this year. The N.F.C. East may the toughest division in football this season, making another two-loss regular season unlikely for the Cowboys.Image via Notey
Speaking of opponents, Dallas appears to have a lot of good ones on its 2017 schedule. In addition to a tough division tilt, the Cowboys will face four defending division champions and another two playoff squads. Opening the season against the Giants and Broncos is not ideal, and their stretch of three games in 14 days in the middle of the season will be trying. Dallas’ final four games — which include three road games and three match-ups with playoff teams — could prevent it from building momentum before the playoffs, as well.Image via Opptrends
Every team is different, but history does matter in the NFL. Consecutive big seasons have been rare in Dallas in the past 20 years. That, along with the obstacles facing them, makes us skeptical that things will be different this time around for the Cowboys.Image via Bleacher Report