While the week one loss was heartbreaking and just void of the late-game heroics needed for victory in the NFL, the Cowboys did show that they are capable of keeping up with the best teams in the league. In fact, they were two fourth-quarter blunders from beating a team that has made it to two straight AFC Championship games. Not to mention that the game was in New York on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 in front of a home crowd of proud Jets fans, played against a team coached by the twin brother of our defensive coordinator, and it’s hard to think the Cowboys even had a chance.
Yet, they still looked to be a contender for four quarters of football. As the season progresses, look for the Cowboys to be a sleeper team to improve on their 6-10 record from last season. In 2010, with quarterback Tony Romo’s injury and severe coaching debacles, everything seemed to go wrong. 2011 shows new leadership and poise, and the Cowboys are excited to redeem their week one loss.
Last season, the Cowboys had the third hardest schedule in the NFL at 137-117. At a .543 opponent winning percentage, it becomes increasingly difficult to compete. According to the same chart based on 2010 total wins, the Cowboys have an easier road in 2011 as they face the 15th hardest schedule at 129-127. A .504 winning percentage is significantly more manageable, and look for the Cowboys to capitalize on these games.
In terms of the quality of play to expect from the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas fans should be in store for big things this season. Missing one of these games would have you thinking, as Deion Sanders says in this odd commercial for DirecTV, “It’s Sunday, man, you guys are blowing it!”