The Cowboys usually enter the season with unreasonable expectations and hype, but with a win total that sits at a modest nine and other teams garnering the lion’s share of the spotlight, the team is OK being an under the radar contender. When asked about the public perception of the team’s expectations by USA Today’s Trysta Krick, Amari Cooper could only laugh.
“I’m not sure but one thing I can say is Vegas isn’t always right,” Cooper said with a chuckle. “I kind of like being the underdog. People don’t expect much from you and you just go out there and shock the world as oppose to people having us picked to win 14 games or 13 games.”
The Cowboys have won the NFC East three out of the last five seasons, but the Carson Wentz led Philadelphia Eagles are the favorite out of the division to make the playoffs in recently released odds from Caesars.
The Eagles are among the solid favorites to make the postseason at -200, while the Cowboys are a nice bet at +110. The New York Giants at +360 and Washington Redskins at +525 are among the long shots to make the playoffs.
Dallas Cowboys Are Loaded with Pro Bowl Talent
While some were added as injury replacements, the Cowboys had eight players to receive Pro Bowl recognition last season in Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Byron Jones, Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence and Leighton Vander Esch.
NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt recently named the Cowboys as the second most talented roster in the league.
“The Cowboys’ personnel department — fronted by Stephen Jones and Will McClay — should take a bow for building the foundation of a strong roster through the draft, headlined by running back Ezekiel Elliott, left tackle Tyron Smith, right guard Zack Martin, quarterback Dak Prescott, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith and cornerback Byron Jones, among others,” Brandt wrote.
However, this season might be do-or-die time for the Cowboys. Multiple big-name players are due contract extensions, notably Prescott, Elliott, Cooper and Jones. And the team already delivered a huge deal to Lawrence in the offseason, signing him to the richest contract in franchise history.
There’s a possibility everyone gets paid, but even if that happens, it will be a major challenge to put together a roster with a solid amount of depth. The team also gave up a first round pick in this year’s draft to acquire Cooper last season, which is one less body on an affordable deal to take advantage of going forward.
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