Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images
There is doubt about America’s Team.
It happens every year.
Of the 12 teams that make the playoffs, there are always new faces. Generally we also see one division winner that tops all of their rivals after finishing last place the season prior. The league wants parity, and more often than not we tend to get that.
Who will be the odd team out in 2019? Last season SB Nation introduced a tool called FanPulse that allowed fans to vote on various topics so that their voices can be heard (sign up to be part of it right here) and its return brings with it data on who fans feel will miss the playoffs. Fans were asked who they feel is most likely to not repeat as division champions this season, and the Baltimore Ravens came in with the most answers. The Dallas Cowboys finished just behind them, people are doubting America’s Team.
- Baltimore Ravens………….. 27.37%
- Dallas Cowboys…………….. 26.52%
- Houston Texans…………….. 20.52%
- Chicago Bears………………. 12.55%
- New Orleans Saints……….. 4.69%
- Los Angeles Rams…………. 4.13%
- Kansas City Chiefs…………. 2.31%
- New England Patriots…….. 1.90%
There is a lot of love nationwide for the Cleveland Browns this season which would explain why people are so down on the Ravens. The Houston Texans are also among the teams doubted and with the Indianapolis Colts finishing so strong, it’s easy to understand why (although this Andrew Luck injury is worth monitoring).
Obviously the Cowboys are a team that shares a division with the Philadelphia Eagles, a team who won the Super Bowl two years ago and a playoff game last year; however, the quarterback that produced the most critical victories for Philadelphia is now in Jacksonville. That’s worth considering (Carson Wentz is certainly talented in his own right).
Cowboys fans aren’t too confident in their own team, to be fair
While the temperature on Dallas might be low around all football fans, it’s not exactly burning up among their own fan base. FanPulse has also been tracking how Cowboys fans have felt throughout the course of the entire offseason and people are actually less confident now than they were following the draft.
You’ll note that the highest point of optimism reached since the 2018 season ended for Cowboys fans was just before the draft. There’s no doubt that a lot of people preferred a safety (perhaps Juan Thornhill or Taylor Rapp) to Trysten Hill with the team’s first pick, but still, the Cowboys have added a lot of talent over the course of the offseason as a whole.
Sometimes that’s not enough though and it can feel like the sky is falling. Given the current state of the Cowboys with contract negotiations encircling star players such as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper, it’s understandable for hype to not exactly be running high.
What’s more is the Cowboys are also dealing with a few injuries at the moment. Amari Cooper has a heel bruise that people are holding their breath over, and Robert Quinn is both injured and suspended. Things like that can lower morale and with no regular season football for three weeks (we’re close!) idle thoughts began to control how we feel more than anything else.
Still, the Cowboys have one of the best rosters throughout the entire National Football League. There should be a larger sense of confidence for a team that’s coming off of what they are and with games against the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and Miami Dolphins to start things off. In fact, speaking of other NFC East teams, confidence surrounding the team’s division rivals (save for Washington) is much higher than you’d expect.
Confidence for NFC East teams
There will likely be many who are surprised at just how confident New York Giants fans are in the state of their team. It’s worth pointing out that their rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had a fantastic debut during the first week of the preseason and that can always be a great boost. It helps overlook things like that Golden Tate is suspended for the first four games (including the season opener against the Cowboys).
Overall these days, the confidence of Cowboys fans seems to be an ever-shifting thing. Some days are better than others, we’re all just trying to make it to the regular season.
How confident are you in the Cowboys? Do you think this is a fair representation?