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Dallas Cowboys Recover from Slow Start to Become NFC East Favourites

Steve Shoup

The Dallas Cowboys were in danger of having their season effectively ended when they went into their week 10 encounter with the Philadelphia Eagles but not only did they win that divisional match-up to keep their hopes of the playoffs alive, they are now on a three-game winning streak and in control of the NFC East.

Jason Garratt made the brave move to cut their leading receiver Dez Bryant in the off-season and his team appeared to suffer for not having a big threat on the outside for Dak Prescott to throw to. The Cowboys put that straight just before the trade deadline by bringing in Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders. On face value at the time, that move appeared to be very expensive as they gave up a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft for a player who has far from set the league a light in the last couple of years.

Cooper has really settled in well in Dallas though and has been a big part of the reason the team is now finally starting to click together. The former first-round pick scored two touchdowns against Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day in his side’s 31-23 victory. Not only has Prescott benefited from having a go-to man down the field, but running back Ezekiel Elliott is also now finding his form as teams are having to put together a plan that isn’t just about stopping the 2016 leading rusher in the league.

Dallas are now 1.57 with MoPlay to win the NFC East and that is a result of their victory over the Redskins where they levelled up their head-to-head with Washington. Unfortunately for the Redskins, number one quarterback Alex Smith is out for the rest of their season which has really hampered their push to top the division.

The Cowboys still have a number of division match-ups which are going to be key in determining who wins the NFC East. Reigning Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles have to travel to the AT&T Stadium where they will be desperate to level their series with Dallas. A win in that contest would the Cowboy in a strong position to finish above their rivals at the end of the year.

Arguably the toughest of the remaining fixtures for Dallas is their home tie against New Orleans Saints. Since losing in week one in a surprise defeat to Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Drew Brees’ team have not looked back and have been on an incredible run of 10 victories to elevate themselves as the number one seed in the NFC. This will be a huge test for the Cowboys defence as the Saints have been scoring points with ease, with 130 points coming from their last three games.

Cowboys will end the 2018 regular season in New Jersey where they will take on the New York Giants. It has been a miserable season so far for the Giants and at that point, it is likely to be a dead rubber for the hosts, therefore, Dallas will be favoured to win that contest.

Dallas do not have a great record in the off-season in the last ten years so they will be desperate to put that right in January.



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