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  • Writer's pictureAvoid the Vig

2023 Dallas Cowboys Season Betting Preview

As part of our 2023 NFL Preseason Preview Series, we look at the current state of each team in an attempt to identify reasons for optimism and causes for concern and, most importantly, what can be exploited in the current betting marketplace.


The Cowboys had one of the NFL’s most well-rounded teams last year. They finished top-5 in both run and pass defense and top 12 in both run and pass offense per EPA. Dak Prescott finished top-10 in EPA. One of the most obvious things holding this team back was Ezekiel Elliott, who has since been let go. Replacing him in the lead role is Tony Pollard, who finished last season 3rd in percentage of runs over 15 yards and 3rd in yards after contact. The Cowboys also upgraded at WR by trading for Brandin Cooks. Perhaps their biggest weakness was depth in the secondary, which they’ve addressed by signing Stephon Gilmore Gilmore graded out as the 6th best coverage CB by PFF in 2022. Defensively, the Cowboys are top-5 in every advanced metric we track and there is little concern they won’t live up to that billing again.


The biggest concern for the Cowboys comes on the offensive side of the ball. Dallas curiously dismissed OC Kellen Moore after his offense was top-6 twice under his direction and finished 2nd in Red Zone Efficiency this past season. The Cowboys played with the fastest neutral pace last year, but incoming OC Brian Schottenheimer and HC Mike McCarthy want to slow their offense down. There are legitimate concerns that McCarthy is trying to fix something that isn’t broken. There are also depth issues at the RB and WR positions. Combine that with inexperience at TE after Dalton Schultz’s departure, and if injuries start to pile up on the offensive side of things, it could get bad in a hurry. Dallas was also very lucky last year, finishing first in Fumble Rec% and 2nd in Net TO.


The Cowboys won 12 games last season and yet their win total is only set at 9.5. Their schedule did get harder, they inexplicably replaced their offensive coordinator with a seemingly worse choice, and they are thin across the skill position groups. But all of these concerns are on the offensive side of the ball. There is no reason to think Dallas’ defense won’t step up to the challenge even though defensive success year to year is less consistent than offense. Dak has a propensity to turn it over under the bright lights and I’m too concerned with the McCarthy and Schottenheimer combination to take any pool futures and expect a Super Bowl run at the current price, but on a week-to-week basis, I fully expect Dallas to overperform expectations.

Best Bet: DAL Over 9.5 Wins (-154)

(Play to -165)


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