The Dallas Cowboys made it to the divisional round of the NFC Playoffs last season where they fell on the road to the Los Angeles Rams by a score of 30-22. The team closed out 2018 looking like one of the best teams in the NFL, and a home Wild Card win over the Seattle Seahawks only heightened the enthusiasm.
The club will enter the 2019 season with heightened expectations, even more so than normal for the franchise known as America’s Team. The Cowboys are one of the favorites in the NFL betting sites to win the NFC East – right behind the Philadelphia Eagles – and among a gaggle of teams expected to be in the playoff mix in the conference.
So what will the coming season bring for the Dallas Cowboys? We’ll take a walk through that in a second, but let’s first take a look at the season that was for the team from Big D.
Dallas Cowboys 2018 Season Recap
Record: 10-6 | Standings: 1-NFC East | Playoffs: Lost Divisional Round
Last year didn’t start off great for the Cowboys. They lost two of their first three games and would head into the Week 7 bye with a mark of 3-4. Frustratingly, the team’s last two losses prior to the bye were both field goal differences when the final whistle blew.
The club dropped a 28-14 home game to the Tennessee Titans in Week 9 to fall to 3-5. Doom and gloom prophecies abounded at that point, but the team didn’t buy in. Instead, the switch was flipped in the opposite direction in emphatic fashion.
Dallas would rip off a five-game winning streak from that point, a stretch which included an impressive 13-10 home win over the New Orleans Saints. The team would slip up with a 23-0 road loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15, but they bounced back to win their final two.
A record of 10-6 and an NFC East crown led them to be matched up with the Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. The visitors were uo 14-10 after the third quarter, but rushing TDs from Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott spurred the Cowboys to a 24-22 victory.
The reward was a road date with the Rams in the divisional round. The Rams rushing attack proved to be too much, in spite of the Cowboys run defense being a strength of the team over the second half of the year. Dallas fell by a score of 30-22 to bring the season to an unceremonious end.
It was a disappointing end to be sure, but a little perspective is also needed. This is a club that was looking like an also-ran at the midway point in the year. There’s no shame in dropping a road game to the Rams either, as the team would ultimately represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
The strong close to 2018 should be a building block for this year, as should the sting of the playoff defeat to the Rams.
Dallas Cowboys Offseason Moves
The Cowboys reserved their biggest splash of the offseason for the resigning of one of their own core players. All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was a coveted commodity on the market, but the Cowboys were able to hang onto him for a cool $105 million contract with $65 million guaranteed.
The club would bolster the defensive line during free agency with the additions of Robert Quinn, Kerry Hyder, and Christian Covington. The offensive line would also get a shot in the arm with the addition of Cameron Fleming, as well as third-round draft choice Connor McGovern, a guard from Penn State.
The team’s first selection came in round two where they snagged defensive tackle Trysten Hill out of UCF. The franchise also unveiled a surprise in the offseason when it was announced that tight end Jason Witten would be returning to the team after taking a year off to work in television.
Among the departures from the team was slot receiver Cole Beasley, who jumped ship to join the Buffalo Bills. The team wasted little time in finding a replacement, as Randall Cobb was signed in free agency to provide Prescott with another weapon.
The club would also lose linebacker Cameron Fleming and running back Rod Smith to other squads. Overall, it was a productive offseason for the Cowboys. The defense was a strength of the team in the latter part of last year, and it looks like they made some strides towards making it even stronger.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Schedule
|1||Sun. Sept.8||vs. New York Giants||4:25 PM||FOX|
|2||Sun. Sept.15||at Washington Redskins||1:00 PM||FOX|
|3||Sun. Sept.22||vs. Miami Dolphins||1:00 PM||FOX|
|4||Sun. Sept.29||at New Orleans Saints||8:20 PM||NBC|
|5||Sun. Oct.6||vs. Green Bay Packers||4:25 PM||FOX|
|6||Sun. Oct.13||at New York Jets||4:25 PM||CBS|
|7||Sun. Oct.20||vs. Philadelphia Eagles||8:20 PM||NBC|
|9||Mon. Nov.4||at New York Giants||8:15 PM||ESPN|
|10||Sun. Nov.10||vs. Minnesota Vikings||8:20 PM||NBC|
|11||Sun. Nov.17||at Detroit Lions||1:00 PM||FOX|
|12||Sun. Nov.24||at New England Patriots||4:25 PM||FOX|
|13||Thu. Nov.28||vs. Buffalo Bills||4:30 PM||CBS|
|14||Thu. Dec.5||at Chicago Bears||8:20 PM||FOX|
|15||Sun. Dec.15||vs. Los Angeles Rams||4:25 PM||FOX|
|16||Sun. Dec.22||at Philadelphia Eagles||4:25 PM||FOX|
|17||Sun. Dec.29||vs. Washington Redskins||1:00 PM||FOX|
The Cowboys will open up with a pair of games versus NFC East rivals. They open up at home versus the Giants before hitting the road to take on the Redskins in Week 2. After that, it’s a winnable home date with the Dolphins, followed by a tough road test with the Saints to close out September.
The club will face a pair of challenging home games versus the Packers and Eagles before their Week 8 bye. In between those two contests is a road date with the Jets. Five games are on tap for November, including a Thanksgiving Day home tilt with the visiting Bills.
Dallas will have a nice little break after that, but the team will face a gauntlet over the next three weeks. A road date with the Bears is followed by a home game with the Rams, and the stretch will wrap up on the road versus the Eagles.
The Cowboys will close out the year with a home date versus the Redskins. At first glance, it looks like a challenging schedule which is devoid of a lot of breathing room. The first-half of the year looks more manageable as of right now, but that could change based on how the season breaks for other clubs.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Outlook
The NFC East looks like a two-team race between the Cowboys and Eagles. Assuming that the two clubs split their pair of games seems pretty fair. For the four games with the Giants and Redskins, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for Dallas to go 3-1.
For the interconference portion of the schedule, the Cowboys will face off with the AFC East. The Dolphins and Bills will be coming to Dallas, while the team will be on the rod for the Patriots and Jets. A mark of 3-1 in those games doesn’t sound far fetched.
The remainder of the Cowboys schedule comes against NFC opponents, and it looks pretty daunting. The club will be home for the Packers, Vikings, and Rams, but hit the road to take on the Saints, Lions, and Vikings. A record of 3-3 for those games may be a safe projection, while 4-2 is likely a best case scenario.
The defense was the most impressive part of the team for the end of 2018. In bad news for the rest of the league, it looks like it could be even better this time around. Lawrence is back in the fold, and the club has also shored up some holes elsewhere on defense.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Win Total Odds and Pick
Here is the benchmark that the oddsmakers have set for the Cowboys this year.
Total Regular Season Wins:
Betting odds provided by: MyBookie.ag
It’s a down year for the NFC East overall, so it’s not out of the question for the Cowboys to go 4-2 or better in the division. The rest of the conference schedule is tough, but 4-2 or 3-3 for that run of games seems reasonable.
Games with the AFC East could be tricky if the Bills and Jets improve as expected, but we’ll consider 3-1 to be a fair projection as of right now. Add it all up, and we have a minimum of 10 wins, which places us on the Over for the Cowboys.