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NFL Season Preview: Dallas Cowboys

Joe WillettSenior Writer IAugust 8, 2008

Sorry that it has been a while. I've been busy and was going to do this two nights ago, but then I realized that Brett Favre got traded to the Jets there was no way in hell that this would get more than five reads.

Now I don't think that this is going to get finished by the start of the regular season.  But who knows, if I get them out one a day, they can still get there.

Anyway, the Cowboys were favorites to go to the Super Bowl last season, and they still retain many of the same pieces that they had at this time last year.

So how are they going to respond to losing to the Giants in a big playoff upset?


Key Additions/Subtractions

Zach Thomas—From the Dolphins

Julius Jones—To the Seahawks


Key Games

Sept. 15 vs. Eagles—The Eagles and Cowboys hate each other, so this should be a good, hard-fought game with both teams going all out.

Sept. 21 vs. Packers—If Aaron Rodgers plays as well as he did last season against the Cowboys, this is going to be a good game.

Nov. 2 vs. Giants—This will be the first time the Giants and Cowboys play each other since the Giants' upset the 'Boys in the playoffs last season. Expect the Cowboys to be out for revenge.

Dec. 7 at Steelers—The only game against an AFC contender, the Cowboys can gauge their abilities against the stronger conference.


Season Outlook

The Cowboys look good this season, but there are two major questions that could be the downfall for this team.

The first big question is whether Marion Barber can carry the load for a full season instead of just in a role where he shared time with Jones.

The second question is how is Patrick Crayton going to step into Terry Glenn's role?

How these two questions are answered could decide how the season goes, because if one doesn't work out well, then the entire offense will suffer.

If Barber isn't ready for the full season, then teams will be able to sit back in coverage and make sure that Romo has nobody to pass to.

If Crayton doesn't pan out and can't stand the pressure at the second wide receiver spot, then the defense will be able to double-cover Terrell Owens and contain Barber.

However, Barber looks more like he is going to be strong than not, so the biggest question is Crayton.

If Crayton pans out, then the Cowboys have a scary good offense.

As always, the Cowboys have a good secondary, and the addition of Zach Thomas is going to help an already strong linebacker group.


My Prediction

I see the Cowboys being the team to beat in the NFC again. 12-4 or 13-3 are not out of the realm of possibility for this team.


I'm Joe W.

Joe also writes for TheDailyCub.com, a Chicago Cubs blog, and Hoops4Life.com, a basketball fan's site.

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