Dallas Cowboys 2022 preview: Over or under projected win total of 10.5?

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) participate in drills at the NFL football team's practice facility in Oxnard, Calif. Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) and running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) participate in drills at the NFL football team's practice facility in Oxnard, Calif. Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Each Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday through Sept. 2, we will take a look at the projected win totals for each team in the NFL.

NOTE: All over/under win totals are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

DALLAS COWBOYS

2021 record: 12-5

2022 bye week: 9

Most impactful addition: DE Dante Fowler, T Tyler Smith (first round of draft)

Most impactful departure: DE Randy Gregory, WR Amari Cooper, OT La’El Collins

Easiest part(s) of schedule: There are spots in this schedule where not only back-to-back wins are likely, but potential nice win streaks if they can win the toss ups. That includes Weeks 3 and 4 with a trip to the Meadowlands to face the Giants before a home game against Washington.

Dallas also will host Detroit and Chicago in consecutive weeks at the end of October before their bye. From Thanksgiving until the week before Christmas, they get the Giants, Indianapolis and Houston for three straight home games before a trip to Jacksonville.

Toughest part(s) of schedule: For the second consecutive season, the Cowboys open up with Tampa Bay in prime time – this time on the first Sunday night of the season.

And just as they have multiple back-to-back games they certainly will be favored, they have a few danger zones, as well, such as Weeks 5 and 6 at the Rams and Eagles, Weeks 10 and 11 at Green Bay and Minnesota and a Christmas Eve game at home against Philly before traveling on short rest the following Thursday to Tennessee.

Caesars over/under win total: 10.5 – Over +125 / Under -145; odds to win Super Bowl LVII at +1800

Book it: OVER. Maybe I am being stubborn, because since February I have been saying this would be the team to watch in 2022, or maybe the team every sports fan in America either loves or loathes is that damn good.

There are roadblocks in this schedule, but overall it’s not all that difficult. And neither is the NFC East, except for potentially the Philadelphia Eagles. (The jury is out.)

Despite the loss of offensive linemen La’El Collins and guard Connor Williams, Pro Football Network says the Cowboys have the fourth-best line in the NFL, and they’ll need to make sure Dak Prescott is protected while Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard (who will see plenty of carries) have holes to run through.

Expert analysts rave over the pick of Smith at tackle, and think he could be one of the top rookies this season. Wide receiver Jalen Tolbert of South Alabama could be a steal from the third round and likely will start immediately.

This team had the top-ranked offense in the NFL last season, so clearly any problems they had were on their 19th-ranked defense. They replace Randy Gregory with Dante Fowler, who was released by the Falcons after last season following a disappointing 2021 campaign in which he finished with 4½ sacks and only 16 solo tackles. Also, second-round pick Sam Williams should help Demarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons. Can Trevon Diggs be an interception machine once again?

Don’t laugh, but this very well could be a bargain for a Super Bowl future at +1800, especially if Philly trips early and makes things easy on the Cowboys. They’ll need a good draw in the playoffs, but they’re on my list. That being said, that win total could be a trap, and I likely won’t play it. No matter how much you dislike them, you simply cannot play the under at -145 unless that 10.5 total comes down to 10, which is highly unlikely.

Projected finish: 11-6

Categories: Upstate Action

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