The Cowboys an 8-8 Team AND a Super Bowl Contender? NFL Insider Ross Tucker Explains

By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

“I can easily see them winning eight or nine games, but I don’t see 12 or 13. Maybe 10 or 11, but I like the under of 9 ½; they have to get to 10 to cash that, and I think the Cowboys are a 9-7 or 8-8 team again in my book.”

That’s Ross Tucker’s take on the Dallas Cowboys' win total for 2020, discussed with John Jastremski on Wednesday’s edition of JJ’s new Odds on Sports show on WFAN.

On Tuesday’s premiere, in discussing the Giants, Tucker noted that when it comes to both betting and on-field performance, he trusts teams that retained their coaching staffs and quarterbacks to succeed early on, because that continuity is needed in this amended preseason.

That does not include Dem Boys, and in fact, Tucker isn’t even sure that the switch from Jason Garrett to Mike McCarthy is as much of an upgrade as consensus seems to think.

“I don’t know how we got to the point where evidently everyone thinks Jason Garrett is the worst coach ever, and Mike McCarthy is Vince Lombardi,” Tucker said. “I’m not going to sit here and beat my chest and say Garrett is necessarily a better coach than McCarthy, but I don’t understand where it comes from that everyone acts like Garrett’s terrible; the last time we saw McCarthy, he was terrible, with Aaron Rodgers healthy, by the way.”

Tucker, of course, had stats to back that up.

“The last four years for Jason Garrett were also the first four years of Dak Prescott, a fourth-round pick, as his starting QB. The team went 13-3 and got to the divisional round, then 9-7, then 10-6 and got to the divisional round, then last year, a disappointing 8-8,” Tucker said. “McCarthy’s last four years in Green Bay, where he had Aaron Freaking Rodgers in his prime: 10-6, 10-6, 7-9, and 4-7-1 until he got fired after Week 13.”

And all of that is why Tucker, if he were a betting man, would take the under of 9 ½ wins for Dallas.

“I think they set the number at the right place, but Gerald McCoy is hurt, Travis Frederick retired, their cornerbacks are still questionable, and they have a whole new coaching staff other than Kellen Moore,” Tucker said. “I think the Eagles will win that division, and I think the Cowboys are a 9-7 or 8-8 team again in my book.”

Another complicating factor? Dak Prescott’s contract situation, perhaps.

“Remember how even though Kirk Cousins played well in Washington when he was on all those franchise tags and contract years, the team was always 8-8?” Tucker asked. “Last year, Dak had the best year of his career, but the team went 8-8. I don’t know what it is, but I feel that when your quarterback has a contract situation hanging over his head, it’s almost like it has more impact on the team than it does on the guy himself.”

That said, though, there’s still a chance for Dallas to bring home Lombardi Trophy number six.

“I think that they are still a Super Bowl contender, primarily because I don’t think there are any teams in the NFC as dominant as Kansas City or Baltimore,” Tucker said. “I don’t love them at 9 ½ wins, but I think Dallas can be in the mix with the Saints, Niners, Seahawks, or Eagles, maybe with the Packers.” 

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