Cowboys win total preview: All signs point to monster year
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The Dallas Cowboys should have apologized to over bettors after last season.

Dallas finished with a top-five point differential yet missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record. The team's win total was 9.

That's what we in the industry like to call a bad beat.

However, the Cowboys still have one of the NFL's most talented rosters. Will they finally break through, or will they underachieve yet again in Mike McCarthy's first year as head coach?

Let's dive into the Cowboys' win total for the 2020 season and make the case for both sides.

How Many Games Will The Cowboys Win In 2020?  Odds
Over 9.5 -130
Under 9.5 +100

Case for the over

Can you find what's wrong with this picture?

Team Point Differential Wins
Ravens +13.7 14
Patriots +11.1 13
49ers +10.1 13
Chiefs +9.7 12
Cowboys +7.1 8
Saints +6.5 13
Vikings +5.2 10

Dallas outscored its opponents by more than a touchdown per game in 2019 and still went .500. Do you know how tough that is to do?

Coin-flip contests tend to balance out, but former head coach Jason Garrett couldn't buy one last season: Dallas went 0-5 in games decided by seven points or fewer.

The Cowboys were projected for 10.9 wins based on point differential. Using estimated wins, they were pegged for 11.2.

No team left more on the table than Dallas in 2019. That should be enough to sway over bettors.

However, there's still more to like.

The Cowboys have plenty of opportunities to bag wins in 2020. They face the third-easiest schedule in the league, behind the Ravens and Steelers. Overall, their combined opponents' record from last season is 117-138-1 (.459).

The case for the under

Dallas isn't perfect.

The Cowboys' defense doesn't have to be great for them to win games, but it certainly needs to be better than last season. After ranking No. 9 in DVOA defense in 2018, Dallas dropped to No. 19 in 2019.

Another concern is the offensive line. One of the league's most dominant units over the last few years now has multiple voids to fill.

Which should you bet?

This is a good reminder to do your homework. The paper test showed eight wins for the Cowboys in 2019; the advanced metrics called for north of 11.

Everything is pointing up for their offense. They were in the top five in both rush and pass DVOA last season and are littered with skill players in their prime. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore could be the next hot commodity in the coaching ranks after morphing Dallas' offense into one of the league's best.

Because of that, the Cowboys' defense doesn't have to be spectacular. It'll be the weak link of the two in 2020, but the league's third-easiest schedule is going to do wonders.

This is arguably the easiest call on the board.

Pick: Over

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

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Cowboys win total preview: All signs point to monster year
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