Through Jason McIntyre
FOX sports betting analyst
Be forewarned: Dallas Cowboys Fans will not be satisfied with this piece.
Let’s see why I’m betting against the Cowboys next season from a gambling perspective.
The rest of the NFC East improved — Philadelphia in particular — and the Cowboys lost maybe six starters from a division winner. Are we somehow supposed to believe that Dallas will win 11 games?
The Cowboys had an incredible 2021 season, leading the NFC in point difference (+172). But they benefited greatly from turnovers, solidifying the NFL lead with a plus-14 turnover margin and leading the league in interceptions with 26. These numbers are not being duplicated from year to year, meaning a drop is imminent.
Dak Prescott threw a career-high 37 touchdown passes last year, but he attempted the fewest rushes of his career after suffering a gruesome leg injury. However, Prescott still fumbled as many times (nine) as he did in his first five seasons combined. He also lost three of those fumbles, having lost just one prior to 2021. After landing a colossal contract, Prescott was barely a top-10 QB in the NFL last season, behind the likes of Kirk Cousins and Kyler Murray, according to Pro Football Focus.
And while the Mighty Cowboys’ offense led the NFL by 530 points last season, Michael Gallup is unlikely to return from his ACL surgery before Halloween, and they lost Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson. Yes, CeeDee Lamb is back, but the loss of Cooper on the outside is massive because Lamb was devastating in his rookie year as a slot receiver. Then, in his sophomore year, he moved outside Cooper more often and dominated the cornerbacks one-on-one. Now Lamb will face the opposition’s No. 1 cornerback every week and will see plenty of doubles teams, with teams unlikely to roll covers towards James Washington and promising rookie Jalen Tolbert. Let’s just say Gallup’s health will be critical to the team’s success.
And how about one of Dallas’ greatest strengths in recent years, the trenches? Well, in Week 1 there will be two new starters on the offensive line and possibly four on defense. Replacing Randy Gregory, who was second on the team in sacks last year, will be difficult. Gregory is replaced by Dante Fowler, who is hoping for his fourth team (Jacksonville, LA Rams, Atlanta Falcons). Historically, Fowler has been shockingly inconsistent, but perhaps the game against Micah Parsons will help him duplicate his 2019 stats (11.5 sacks). If not, Dallas will have to fight hard to repeat last season’s defensive success.
The Cowboys’ only saving grace is a comfortable schedule of out-of-division games against teams with some of the lowest-winning titles in football in Detroit, Chicago, Houston and Jacksonville.
As for the NFC East, Dallas would have to go 5-1 into the division to get anywhere near the over (6-0 last year). It’s not going to be easy as the Eagles have improved greatly, adding elite receiver AJ Brown, pass-rusher Haason Reddick and once-great cornerback James Bradberry. The Giants now have one of the best offensive players (Brian Daboll) in football as their head coach. And Washington’s defense could return to being a top-10 unit like it was in 2020 when Chase Young was healthy; Also, they now have a legitimate starting quarterback in Carson Wentz.
I saved the best for last, so how’s that goodbye shot? In the past 25 years, the Cowboys have never produced back-to-back double-digit winning seasons. Let’s face it, this franchise doesn’t handle success well.
And forget about double-digit wins, how about just making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons? The last time that happened to Dallas was in 2006 and 2007.
Sorry Dallas fans. I fade the cowboys. Tell me the under win total for next season as one of my best early bets.
Jason McIntyre is a FOX sports betting analyst and also writes on the NFL and NBA draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gaming content across the NFL, College Football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, Coming Up Winners, in 2018 and 2019. Before joining FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010.
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