Dallas Cowboys and 5 Teams That Will Rule the NFL in 2012
We are two months away from the start of preseason, but it is never too early for predictions. Many teams are already gearing up to improve upon their last season's record.
The Dallas Cowboys have been predicted to be contenders for the past five years, and this year should not be any different. Along with the Cowboys, let us take a look at the teams that have their eyes on league domination.
America's Team missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year last season. However, they are primed to make a run at league domination.
Owner Jerry Jones chose to say that "there is an urgency" and that his team's "window is closing." This should motivate his team to go out and prove themselves because their jobs are on the line more than ever.
Plus, the defense should be much improved. They spent their sixth overall pick in the draft on the extraordinary cover cornerback Morris Claiborne. Also, the defense should be adapted to the complicated Rob Ryan scheme, since it is their second year in it.
The Cowboys are expected to return back to prominence this season.
San Francisco 49ers
Last season, the San Francisco 49ers looked like the 49ers your parents were used to seeing in the '80s. They dominated with a 13-3 record, and this season you should expect them to do much of the same.
They fell one game short of a Super Bowl appearance last season. Acquiring Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs, their offense has the chance of matching the potency of their already potent defense—not to mention they still have Vernon Davis. They now have the opportunity to truly dominate through the air and on the ground.
The 49ers have no excuse to not repeat their success next season.
The Chicago Bears were a mediocre team last season, only achieving an 8-8 record. However, old friends have a chance to rekindle their flame on the offensive side of the ball. WR Brandon Marshall came over in a trade and is now back with his old buddy from Denver, Jay Cutler.
RB Matt Forte still has a contract dispute, but assuming he will return, the Bears offense shall be ranked among the top. There is no need to worry on the defensive side of the ball as long as LB Brian Urlacher and DE Julius Peppers stay healthy.
Cutler has been a solid quarterback in Chicago even though he has lacked a top-tier receiver. Now that Marshall has arrived, expect Cutler to be even better.
No. 18's new home. The Denver Broncos seem to have a new found confidence in themselves since Peyton Manning has joined the team.
Many players are praising Manning's throwing abilities and work ethic. Last season, Tim Tebow led them to the playoffs with many late game heroics. This upcoming season, don't expect the Broncos to rely on the last minute miracles.
Manning is coming into this season with something to prove and ambition to win at least one more ring before he retires. The Broncos will do everything they can to help make that happen for him. They will be a serious contender in the AFC.
The surprise team of last season, the Houston Texans will no longer be a surprise. They managed to go 10-6 with their third string rookie quarterback.
With a returning Matt Schaub at quarterback and one of the league's top rushers, Arian Foster, they should be even better. The Texans defense was also a key to their success. They were ranked fourth in points allowed and ranked second in total defense.
Although the defense did lose DE Mario Williams in free agency, they should have around the same production this season. And in what looks like a weak AFC South, the Texans as a team should have the same production in the winning column this season.
New England Patriots
Yes, they lost the Super Bowl, but do not expect a hangover from the New England Patriots. The Pats ended the season with a 13-3 record and fell four points short of another championship.
As long as Tom Brady is wearing a jersey, the Pats will always be contenders. They added more receivers to what was already a loaded receiving core, giving Brady more weapons to use.
The defense was a letdown last season, but they stepped up when it was time to do so. They spent both of their first-round picks on defensive players, so they are making the effort to improve it.
Combine an improved defense with the league's easiest schedule and that should equal total league domination by the Pats.