The NFC East is expected to be extremely tight once again this year. Bovada Online Gaming in Las Vegas predicts that all four teams in the division will win between seven and nine games. Therefore, you can make perfectly valid arguments in favor of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins finishing first, or last, in the league's most popular division.
Let's do exactly that for the Cowboys, starting with the glass-half-full perspective...
ON THE OTHER HAND: WHY THE COWBOYS WILL FINISH DEAD LAST IN THE NFC EAST IN 2013
Their extremely talented defense has a new leader with one hell of a résumé
Rob Ryan is gone after two disappointing seasons running the D, and now the venerable Monte Kiffin has taken over, implementing a 4-3 Tampa 2 scheme that it seems will suit the personnel perfectly. Sean Lee and Bruce Carter were studs when healthy last year, and DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher make up one of the best four-man lines in football. Consider how much better the secondary should be with talented corners Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne entering year two in Dallas and there's little reason to think this can't be a top 10 defense in 2013.
The odds indicate they'll be healthier
Some rosters are just more injury-prone than others, and it's certainly possible that the Cowboys will continue to see guys drop like flies. But the reality is that luck wasn't on their side last season. They had the third most games lost to injury in the NFL, according to the Dallas Morning News. Simply keeping guys like Lee, Carter, Ratliff, Barry Church and DeMarco Murray healthy could be enough to put the 'Boys over the top in 2013.
Dez Bryant is about to explode
Bryant, whom I believe is the best non-quarterback in the division, became a game-changing weapon late last season. During the second half of the year he led all NFL players with 10 touchdowns, finishing behind only Calvin and Andre Johnson with 879 yards. If Murray can stay healthy and the running game can provide support, there's absolutely no limit to what Bryant and Tony Romo can do together.
Romo is due
It's simple, really. Romo is the NFL's highest-rated active quarterback without a Super Bowl. Despite what lazy critics say, he's great in big games, great in big moments, a great improviser and a great all-around quarterback. If his offensive line can hold up and he can get proper support from the running game, his receiving corps and his defense, Romo has the ability to lead the 'Boys to their first division title in four years.