2012 Dallas Cowboys Betting Preview
The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the most talented teams in the league the last couple of seasons and still have managed to miss the playoff both years. Coach Garrett was supposed to have the answers to their problems, but Dallas is just 13-11 under him. So the Cowboys still have just one playoff victory since 1996. For this year, Dallas once again believes it’s got the goods for a playoff run. Now, if they could just stay healthy, and stop blowing games, they might have something.
Last Year in Review
Last season was a case of “what could have been” for the Cowboys. To begin with, they blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead and lost the season opener to the Jets. Three weeks later they blew a 24-point third-quarter lead and lost to the Lions. A couple weeks later they gave up a late score to lose at New England.
But then Dallas won five of its next six and looked like it was going to win the NFC East. However, they then pulled a real beauty, icing their own kicker at the end of regulation and losing in overtime at Arizona. Then they blew a late 12-point lead and lost to the Giants. Through it all the Cowboys got to a do-or-die game vs. New York in the season finale, and they died, falling 31-14 to finish at just 8-8 and out of the playoffs, despite fielding top-half-of-the-league units on both sides of the ball.
The Pokes ranked 11th in the league in offense last year at 376 YPG, 18th in rushing at 113 YPG, while
the Dallas defense, in its first season running DC Ryan’s system, ranked 14th overall at 343 YPG and seventh vs. the run, allowing 99 YPG on the ground. We expect that unit to improve upon those numbers this season.
Overall the Cowboys ranked eighth in total yardage at +33 YPG, 14th in total rushing at +14 YPG and eighth in average time-of-possession at +1:50 per game.
Now, around the league as a whole last season, teams that won the TOP battle covered the spread 66 percent of games. But Dallas, in blowing those leads and botching a couple other covers, went just 5-10-1 ATS.
Also, as Cowboys games averaged 45 points per, they went 6-10 on the ‘over/unders’ because 10 of their ‘O/Us’ were lined at more than 45.
Individually, rookie RB DeMarco Murray ran for 900 yards, with a 5.5 YPC average, in basically about half a season; a banged-up Tony Romo still completed 66 percent of his passes and compiled a 31/10 TD/INT ratio; and Jason Witten, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin (who missed six games) combined to catch 180 balls for 2,400 yards and 21 scores.
Over the off-season Dallas lost WR Laurent Robinson, who scored 11 touchdowns last year, two starters from the O line and three starters on defense.
After ranking in the bottom quarter of the league in pass defense Dallas bolstered the secondary by signing former Chiefs CB Brandon Carr and grabbing LSU cornerback Morris Clairborne with the sixth-overall pick in the draft. However, that didn’t make CB Mike Jenkins too happy, and as of this writing he was still asking to be traded. Dallas ended up going defense with its first four draft picks.
We also thought the Cowboys made a good move in bringing in veteran Kyle Orton to back-up the oft-injured Romo.
2012 Cowboys Schedule
According to last year’s W/L records Dallas will play the 11th-toughest schedule in the league this season. They’ve got seven games with teams that made the playoffs last year, plus play-dates with the Bears and at the Panthers. The Cowboys open on a Wednesday at the Giants, later play four road games in five weeks at Baltimore, Carolina, Atlanta and Philly, with their home game vs. the G-Men packed in the middle. And in December they go Eagles-Bengals-Steelers-Saints. Dallas could be an underdog in almost half its games this season.
2012 Dallas Cowboys Betting Odds and Prediction
BetOnline is offering +250 on Dallas to win the NFC East this season, 12/1 to win the NFC and 18/1 to win the Super Bowl, while over at 5Dimes the Cowboys are playing against a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of nine (O +115/U -145).
It’s been dangerous backing Dallas the last couple of seasons, especially to one’s wallet and state-of-mind. The Cowboys blew a bunch of games last year, and caused some serious problems for their backers out there with weak hearts.
For this year Jerry and his boys think they have about everything in place for a playoff run, and they might be right. They upgraded the secondary, and we wonder what might happen if Romo, Murray and Austin are all healthy all season long. We’re leaning toward the ‘over’ on nine wins for Dallas this season.