Marion Barber led the Dallas Cowboys in 2009 with 932 yards rushing.
The Dallas Cowboys are bidding to become the first team in NFL football history to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Looking at Dallas’ roster and its odds, the Cowboys have a real chance to achieve this.
The Cowboys certainly seem like the class of the NFC East. NFL oddsmakers have Dallas plus 105 to win the division, according to odds at TheGreek.com. Philadelphia is plus 325. The New York Giants and Washington are grouped together as an entry at plus 145.
Dallas is plus 525 to capture the NFC title, which is the second-lowest NFL football odds next to the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints at plus 475.
The Dallas Cowboys went 11-5 last season, while ending a string of 12 straight years without a playoff victory by defeating the Eagles in the postseason before losing to Minnesota.
Dallas has the highest ‘over/under’ regular-season win total in the division at 10 ½ (the ‘over’ is plus 130).
The Cowboys are balanced offensively with Tony Romo off the best season of his career, a deep running back group and wide receiver Miles Austin having a breakout 2009. The Cowboys ranked with the Saints as the only NFL football teams to finish in the top 10 in passing and rushing.
There’s nothing wrong with Dallas’ defense either. The Cowboys finished fourth in run NFL football defense and were No. 2 in points allowed. Led by DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys also finished seventh in sacks.
The Giants are looking for a bounce back season after going 3-8 in their last 11 games, missing the playoffs for the first time in five years.
New York is 10/1 to win the NFC. The Giants’ ‘over/under’ win total is 8 ½ with the ‘over’ at minus 120.
If the Giants are going to finish better than .500, they need to regain their status as a hard-nosed physical team. Although Eli Manning had his finest statistical season in 2009, the Giants’ ground game went downhill and their defense surrendered the third most points in the league.
Star pass rushers Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora weren’t healthy last year. The Giants need to apply quarterback pressure because they play a lot of press coverage trusting their cornerbacks in one-on-one coverage.
New York has to replace middle linebacker Antonio Pierce, who was released during the offseason. Pierce provided leadership and strong tackling.
The Eagles’ ‘over/under’ win total also is 8 ½ with the ‘over’ at even money. NFL football betting odds Philadelphia, however, has odds of 14/1 to win the NFC championship.
This will be the first time in 12 years the Eagles won’t have Donovan McNabb. Philadelphia made the playoffs in all but three of those seasons. The Eagles also cut ties with running back Brian Westbrook.
Some see the Eagles rebuilding rather than reloading because of these moves. Philadelphia will be counting on three-year backup Kevin Kolb to replace McNabb and on second-year running back LeSean McCoy.
Others believe the Eagles remain serious division contenders and playoff-worthy thanks to a strong defense, the coaching of Andy Reid and the playmaking skills of wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
Washington finished 4-12 last year, but oddsmakers are expecting better from the Redskins. The Redskins are 10/1 to capture the NFC championship. Their ‘over/under’ is a more realistic 7 ½ victories with the ‘over’ at even money.
The big reasons to expect improvement are the additions of Mike Shanahan as coach and McNabb taking over at quarterback. McNabb is a six-time Pro Bowl player, but he has aging running backs and an offensive line that hasn’t been very good.
Jason Campbell was sacked a combined 81 times during the past two years when he was behind center for Washington.