2021 Dallas Cowboys Predictions with Odds to Win Super Bowl
Maybe this is the year the Cowboys finally get over the hump and make a deep playoff run. This could also be the year we inhabit Mars and start shipping people there to live. Or maybe this is the year I win the Powerball lottery.
For what it’s worth, I don’t mind when the Cowboys are good. They give us something to talk about as they are never void of any drama even during a “good season”. The issue is, between injuries, a lackluster defense, and a coach who is clueless, the Cowboys continuously perform well below expectations and produce the kind of banter I opened with. Yes, I’m saying I’m more likely to get shipped to Mars and/or win the Powerball than the Cowboys are at winning the Super Bowl.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
The Cowboys will open up the NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 9 with a trip to the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From there, the Cowboys head west to LA to take on the Chargers before returning home for three games against the Eagles, Panthers and Giants, respectively. The team heads to New England in Week 6 before having their bye in Week 7 and playing six of their last 11 on the road. As of writing this, the Cowboys are +2800 to win the Super Bowl, +1200 to win the NFC and +110 to win the NFC East.
Let’s take a look at what to expect from each unit heading into this season.
Key Players: Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper
Before Dak Prescott went down injured in Week 5, the Cowboys were feeling good about their chances, despite starting the year 2-3. Dak was having a solid start, tossing nine touchdowns to just five interceptions, and he was completing 68 percent of his passes. He was doing things with his feet, too, as he found the endzone three times and contributed 93 yards of offense. Then disaster struck, and the Cowboys offense simply wasn’t the same. The big question everyone has surrounding Prescott involves the kind of form he will be in as he returns from that gruesome ankle injury. All reports say that the ankle injury is a thing of the past and that he’s 100 percent and eager to get back on the field. I’m a glass half-full kind of guy, so I’m going to have to see it to believe it. Prescott has an offense around him that can help ease the load, and a bounce-back season is a possibility when you have the likes of Amari Coopers, CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott to rely on.
Speaking of Elliott, if the onus was ever on him to produce a standout season, it would be this year. Elliott had just 979 yards rushing and six touchdowns in 15 games last year. Those are all career lows, but it’s understandable considering defenses were stacking the box against him. And because the defense gave up 30 points per game, there was no sense sticking with the run game.
As for the receivers, Lamb and Cooper had themselves solid seasons last year despite the QB carousel. Cooper caught 92 balls for 1,114 yards but just five touchdowns. Lamb caught 74 balls for 935 yards and five touchdowns in his rookie year. These numbers were mostly with Andy Dalton under center. Therefore, with Prescott back in the mix, the pair should be able to exceed those numbers and help the Cowboys win some football games.
Defense & Special Teams
Key Players: Demarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith.
Defensively, the Cowboys were a disaster last season. They failed to live up to expectations last year for what I believe were two reasons. The first was injuries to the defensive unit, and the second was the injury to Dak, which likely caused the defense to mail it in. The defense was ranked 28th in the league in terms of points allowed per game, giving up a whopping 29.6 points. They were even worse in terms of stopping the run as they finished with the second-worst run defense, allowing teams to run for 158.8 yards per game. Through the air, the Cowboys were a respectable 11th, giving up 227.6 yards per game. There should be no excuses for this team to hang their hat on this year as they return as a healthy unit and Dak will be under center from Week 1. As for special teams, the Bengals will rely on Greg Zuerlein to kick extra points and field goals, and we believe he will provide consistency in the kicking game.
The Cowboys’ season hinges on the defense. If it is even half as good as it was last year, the Cowboys will be in the thick of the playoff hunt thanks in large part to their offense. I am a little skeptical about how Prescott will perform in the first few weeks, but I think the Cowboys can withstand those weeks and make a run throughout the middle and latter part of the season. I do see the Cowboys getting to the postseason, but only because they’ll win the terrible NFC East.
Get all of this Weeks Free NFL picks
Get all of this Weeks Expert NFL Picks