The Cowboys have announced their 53 man roster for the season. There might still be a few changes here or there but we finally have a clear picture of what the team will look like this season. With the roster complete it is finally the right time to make some predictions for the season.
Cowboys @ Jets (Sept. 11): I know the Cowboys are underdogs in this game. But the core group of players on this team seems to be at their best when people are counting them out. I think the Cowboys win this game and force everyone to realize that they will be a playoff team this season. (WIN)
Cowboys @ 49ers (Sept. 18): Let's be honest here. The 49ers will be terrible this season. There is no reason the Cowboys should lose a game like this. And they can't afford to win easy games like this one. (WIN)
Cowboys vs. Redskins (Sept. 26): Crazy things always happen when these two teams meet. I am giving the Cowboys this one because they are at home. (WIN)
Cowboys vs. Lions (Oct. 2): The Lions are no longer the laughingstock of the league. But the Cowboys will be on a roll heading into this game and playing with confidence. (WIN)
Cowboys @ Patriots (Oct. 16): I'd really like to see the Cowboys pull off the upset here. But I don't think they will be goo enough on the defensive side of the ball early in the season to deal with Tom Brady. (LOSS)
Cowboys vs. Rams (Oct. 23): I know the Rams are a much improved team. But this is another one of those games that the Cowboys have to win if they expect to be a playoff team. (WIN)
Cowboys @ Eagles (Oct. 30): The Eagles are the chosen team this year or so they believe. They get the best of the Cowboys on this day but the Cowboys will get the last laugh. (LOSS)
Cowboys vs. Seahawks (Nov. 6): This is another one of those games that a good team has got to win. The Seahawks are not expected to be good at all this year. (WIN)
Cowboys vs. Bills (Nov. 13): You can see the theme here. The Cowboys have an easy schedule this season for the most part. They have to win here. (WIN)
Cowboys @ Redskins (Nov. 20): I can't pick a sweep for the Cowboys against the Redskins. History says something crazy will happen to let the Redskins pull out a squeaker. (LOSS)
Cowboys vs. Dolphins (Nov. 24): The defense should be getting very good by this point in the season. Chad Henne will be overwhelmed. (WIN)
Cowboys @ Cardinals (Dec. 4): It still turns my stomach to think about how the 2008 season unraveled thanks to an overtime loss against the Cardinals. I think the Cowboys pull this one out in a close game. And Romo survives this one. (WIN)
Cowboys vs. Giants (Dec. 11): The Giants are in a transition year with their roster. But they will still be dangerous. I give the Cowboys this one because they are at home. (WIN)
Cowboys @ Bucs (Dec. 17): This will be a tough game. The Bucs are an up and coming team. It might be a battle for a playoff spot. I give it to the Bucs. (LOSS)
Cowboys vs. Eagles (Dec. 24): The Cowboys clinch a playoff spot with a win here. The dream team falls in a close game. (WIN)
Cowboys @ Giants (Jan. 1): The Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot and the Eagles have clinched the NFC East. So the Cowboys rest many of their starters. (LOSS)
I probably have a pretty optimistic outlook on the overall record but the schedule is fairly easy this season for the Cowboys thanks to a 6-10 record last year. With so many more winnable games on the schedule I don't think 11-5 is out of the question. I see 10-6 at worst. But either way I think the Eagles will win the NFC East and the Cowboys will make the playoffs as a wild card team. I expect at least one playoff victory.
Is it realistic? Maybe, maybe not. There are a lot of unknowns heading into the season. But I have a lot of confidence in the new attitude and focus that Jason Garrett has brought to the organization.