After three consecutive 8-8 seasons, the Dallas Cowboys finally put it together going 12-4 and winning the NFC East division title. They were eliminated in the postseason by the Green Bay Packers making it 20 years since the franchise has played for a Super Bowl title. Could 2015 be the year? Possibly, as Super Bowl predictions in Vegas have listed "America's Team" as 10/1 favorites to win the championship, 6/1 to win the NFC Conference and +125 in NFL odds to win the NFC East. Dallas enters the season much like a year ago with a healthy Tony Romo at quarterback and one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. The Cowboys were the second-best rushing offense in the league and opposing defenses were kept off of Romo for the most part. The difference this year is they will not have DeMarco Murray, who the led the NFL in rushing a year ago with 1,845 yards.
The Dallas Cowboys did pick up Darren McFadden from the Raiders and it appears that it may be running back by committee in Dallas unless someone takes full control of the position. Dallas has third-year players Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams at the position also. Romo will still have one of the NFL’s best in wide receiver Dez Bryant who had 88 receptions for 1,320 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Bryant had used Twitter to let fans know he would not be in training camp if Dallas could not agree to long-term deal which was inked a few days after the social media rant to the tune of $70 million with $45 million guaranteed over five-years. Tight end Jason Witten returns for his 13th NFL season. Always dependable, Witten had 64 catches and played in his 10th Pro Bowl last year.
Dallas lost a number of defenders including linebackers Bruce Carter and Justin Durant and defensive ends George Selvie and Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys did, however, make one of the more notable offseason signings when they picked up former Carolina defensive end Greg Hardy. Hardy recorded double digit sacks in both 2012 and 2013 before being suspended last season for a domestic dispute. Hardy will miss the first 4 games of the season pending an appeal. Dallas drafted a quality pass rusher in Randy Gregory from Nebraska as insurance. With another outstanding season from Romo, Bryant, Witten, and the offensive line, the Cowboys offense should be able to take care of business and fulfill Super Bowl predictions as favorites. Defensively, if Dallas can stay healthy, they will be good enough to help the franchise win a second consecutive title in the 2015 NFC East.
Cowboys Update (9/12/15): Dallas are now +1200 favorites in Super Bowl predictions, +750 to win the NFC Conference and +170 to win the NFC East.