There’s no denying that the 2020 NFL season will be one unlike any other. With no preseason games, questions still up in the air on if the season will start on time or how many fans will be in attendance at each stadium, if any at all, this will certainly be the most unique season in history. But it’s at least good to know that one thing hasn’t changed: the Dallas Cowboys look good on paper.
Over the last decade or so, that usually seems to be the case going into the season. Sometimes, the Cowboys actually live up to the hype and win the NFC East, just as they did in 2014, 2016 and 2018. But then there are the years in which expectations are very high and Dallas disappoints. Look no further than last year’s 8-8 mark for proof of that.
The good news is that this is an even year, which as you can see above seems to be good luck for the Cowboys. But can new head coach Mike McCarthy get this team back to the top of the division and possibly make a run at the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance in 25 years? Oddsmakers seem to think so.
The Dallas Cowboys have had a solid offseason
Jerry Jones couldn’t get Dak Prescott signed to a long-term deal in the offseason but the two-time Pro Bowler will be under center when the Dallas Cowboys begin the 2020 campaign against the LA Rams after signing his $31.4 million franchise tag. Jones was able to re-sign wide receiver Amari Cooper, who turned down a bigger offer from Washington to stay in Dallas, thus keeping the big three of Prescott, Cooper, and Ezekiel Elliott together.
Most agree that the Cowboys had one of the best draft classes of the year, adding wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs, and center Tyler Biadasz, who will replace former All-Pro Travis Frederick, who opted to retire after seven years.
The Cowboys also added a number of big free agents this offseason, including former Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen, which was certainly a surprise. Dallas also signed Aldon Smith to a one-year deal and he’s looked great in camp following a four-year absence. Losing Gerald McCoy to injury certainly didn’t help but it certainly wasn’t the end of the world either. Andy Dalton was also brought in as a backup to Dak Prescott and is a very good option to have should Prescott go down.
But the biggest addition may just be head coach Mike McCarthy, who seems to have brought a new energy to a team that has a ton of talent. If he can utilize that talent in ways that Jason Garrett couldn’t, the Cowboys could be very dangerous.
Even-numbered years have been good for America’s Team recently
It might sound a little superstitious but even-numbered years have been good to the Dallas Cowboys recently. In 2014, Dallas won the NFC East with a 12-4 record and won their first postseason games in five years. In 2016, which was the rookie season for both Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys again won the division, going 13-3 in the regular season before losing a heartbreaker to the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs. Two years ago, in 2018, the Cowboys took the NFC East with a 10-6 mark and knocked off the Seahawks in the first round before losing to the Rams in the divisional round.
With that in mind, Dallas has a very good chance to get off to a great start in 2020 as the team has a very favorable schedule early on. Of their first seven games, only one comes against a playoff team in 2019, that being a Week 3 matchup with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Things certainly get a bit tougher after that but oddsmakers are liking the Cowboys to take the NFC East.
Betting odds say the Dallas Cowboys will win the NFC East
With the New York Giants and the Washington Football Team both still in rebuilding mode, the NFC East is once again expected to be a two-team race between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. But recent history is against the Eagles as no team in the NFC East has repeated as division champs since 2004. Despite losing Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks to an Achilles injury and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin opting out, Philly still has a solid roster with plenty of weapons. But most are still picking the Eagles to finish second in the division.
According to VegasInsider.com, the Dallas Cowboys are a -110 (10/11) favorite to win the NFC East with the Eagles in second at +140 (7/5). As you can see, Vegas certainly doesn’t seem to be giving New York (+1000, 10/1) or Washington (+1300, 13/1) much of a chance.
The Cowboys are currently listed at +700 (7-1) to win the NFC and +1500 (15-1) to win the Super Bowl.