Sports Illustrated expects that there will be plenty of turnover among the playoff teams this season. Among the six new teams they believe will make the post season, is our own Dallas Cowboys.
There are no two ways around it: The Cowboys underachieved mightily in 2008 and became a dysfunctional team in the locker room in the second half of last season. But only one of Dallas’ losses came against a losing team, and that was at St. Louis in its first game without injured starting quarterback Tony Romo. Otherwise, the Cowboys lost to Pittsburgh, Arizona, Philly, Baltimore and the Giants — the NFL’s final four and its defending Super Bowl champion — as well as to 8-8 Washington when the Redskins were rolling early.
Three reasons why the Cowboys will be better off in 2009 jump to mind: 1) Romo doesn’t have to sweat the T.O. drama any more, and that’s going to help his head and his game; 2) explosive running back/return man Felix Jones should play more than six games this time around; 3) the Cowboys improved their porous secondary both at cornerback and safety in free agency and the draft.
Now normally, whenever Sports Illustrated picks anyone to win in baseball, football or anything else, they end up jinxing the team. Hopefully, that won’t be the case, and anyway all they said was that we’d make the playoffs so we should be in the clear.
Among the other newcomers they predict for the playoffs you have; New England, Houston and Buffalo in the AFC, and New Orleans and San Francisco in the NFC.
Among the teams that they believe will get bounced from the playoffs?
Well they include Miami, Baltimore and Indianapolis in the AFC, and Atlanta, Arizona and Carolina in the NFC.
Let me be the first to say that they are dead wrong about Miami and Atlanta, and I expect both those teams to be there again. I don’t believe Buffalo and San Francisco will make the post season.