Last Year: 12-4, first place in the NFC East, lost in Divisional Round to the Packers.
Key Acquisitions: Greg Hardy (jerk), Darren McFadden (RB), Keith Rivers (LB).
Key Losses: DeMarco Murray (RB), Anthony Spencer (DE), Sean Lee (Let’s be honest, it’s probably inevitable).
Last year’s Cowboys weren’t supposed to happen. In 2013, they had just come off an 8-8 season with them blowing a chance at the division in the final game for the third year in a row. Romo had back surgery. They had one of the worst defenses in history the year prior, and hadn’t gotten any real talent to fill the holes. Their best defender (Sean Lee) went down before the season started. Their starting running back (Murray) could never stay healthy. Jason Garrett was still a bad coach and was now very much on the hot seat. Then they had a disaster of a game against the 49ers to open the season, and we all laughed. Then everything changed.
They beat Seattle. In Seattle. A feat considered nigh “impossible,” yet the same Cowboys who were supposed to be mediocre at best pulled it off.
Then, over the course of the season, they proved it wasn’t a fluke. Murray set all sorts of records and stayed healthy. Romo finally got some recognition for being good. Most importantly, they had the best offensive line in football, and rode it all the way to the playoffs. Then they won a close game against the Lions, thanks to some questionable officiating, and then they lost to the Packers thanks to a questionable rule. (Dallas fans can whine all they want. According to how the rule is written, that was not a catch. The refs technically made the right call. The argument Cowboys fans need to be making is that the rule is stupid.)
This year, expectations are officially sky high, and it looks like they only got better. They grabbed La’el Collins (a first round prospect) as a UDFA, thanks to some weird legal issues causing his stock to plummet. They grabbed first round talent Randy Gregory in the second round, thanks to red flags over his weed habits. They also got Greg Hardy, for part of the season anyway. They may have lost Murray, but still have the best line in football, which might just be enough to make McFadden stay healthy for once. The NFC East is filled with dysfunctional competition (Washington), mediocre fingerless competition (New York), and who knows what the hell competition (Philly). The Cowboys look to be an NFC favorite, but now officially have everything to lose. After a decade of heartbreak, Cowboys fans are bitter and ready to get revenge on all the haters.