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NFC East projections: Where the Dallas Cowboys finish

If previous recent even-numbered years are any indication, the Dallas Cowboys will win the NFC East this season.
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No team has repeated as the NFC East Division champion since the Philadelphia Eagles won a fourth straight title in 2004. That bodes very well for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020 because the Eagles are defending East champions and there's zero chance that the New York Giants or Washington Redskins are going to factor in the division race. That it's an even-numbered season also bodes well for Dallas as it won the East in 2018, '16 and '14 but then was knocked off in the Divisional Round in each.

Dallas already has benefited from some misfortune for the Eagles as well with Pro Bowl guard Brandon Books out for the 2020 season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon in June and receiver Marquise Goodwin opting out. The Cowboys have lost fullback Jamize Olawale, cornerback Maurice Canady and undrafted rookie receiver Stephen Guidry to opt outs, but none of those guys were key contributors.

Dallas Cowboys SportsLine Projection Model Forecast/William Hill Odds

  • Model wins: 9.5
  • Model NFC East title: 54.0 percent
  • Model make playoffs: 72.8 percent
  • WH win total: 9.5 (Over -145 favorite)
  • WH NFC East title: -120 favorite
  • WH make playoffs: Yes -220, no +180

The Cowboys seem to have had a terrific offseason. No, the club couldn't agree on a long-term deal with quarterback Dak Prescott, but owner Jerry Jones can simply slap the franchise tag on him next offseason again if need be. Jones did get top wideout Amari Cooper re-signed even though division-rival Washington reportedly offered him more money. In addition, Dallas landed former Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end Everson Griffen in a bit of a surprise.

Just about every NFL expert ranked the Cowboys' draft haul as one of the league's best, with the team landing Oklahoma wideout CeeDee Lamb at No. 17 overall – he was ranked via the CBS Sports Big Board as the No. 8 overall player in the draft and top receiver – and Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs at No. 51. He ranked as the No. 28 overall player on the CBS Sports Big Board. Lamb is +1400 at William Hill sportsbook to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and Diggs is +5000 to win defensive honors.

The Cowboys needed secondary help after losing Byron Jones in free agency to Miami. Dallas also lost Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick to retirement but selected his potential replacement in the fourth round in Wisconsin's Tyler Biadasz. He was a three-year starter who won the Rimington Trophy in 2019.

An argument certainly can be made that Jones upgraded at head coach this offseason with Jason Garrett not returning and replaced by former Green Bay Packers Super Bowl-winning coach Mike McCarthy. Should Prescott get hurt, and he has proven incredibly durable, the Cowboys now have one of the most accomplished backup QBs in the league in former Cincinnati Bengal Andy Dalton.

Dallas has a chance to get off to a fast start with just one of its first seven games against a 2019 playoff team – Week 3 in Seattle. The Cowboys are 2.5-point favorites on the NFL odds Week 1 at the Los Angeles Rams.

NFL Pick: Cowboys keep the even-numbered run going, winning the NFC East at 11-5.

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