Early Forecast


Name: Peter King
Current Position:Sports Illustrated/NFL writer
NFL Experience:30 years
Player to watch in 2010: "Felix Jones is bigger now. He's probably going to run the ball inside a little bit more than people would have thought, probably touch the ball 300 times if he stays healthy, which obviously with him is a big if."
Overall Forecast: "I'm picking the Packers to win the NFC, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if (the Cowboys) won the Super Bowl. They're certainly capable of winning it. They're one of the six or eight teams that you look at them and say they have the fewest weaknesses of any team in football. The unfortunate thing is when you make a pick in the offseason, it's so grab-bag, because we have no idea. Does Tony Romo step on a banana peel before the first game of the season and get hurt? The thing you like about the Cowboys right now is that especially on offense, they can probably withstand a key injury, except to Tony Romo, and survive."
Thoughts on Dez:"He has all the ability to be truly great in this game, and he's going to have the chance here. He won't be buried here. I'll tell you this, if he's better than Miles Austin, if he's better than Roy Williams, by December this year he'll be getting more chances. I don't know if he will be, but if he is, they're not going to hold him back."

Name: Kevin Sherrington
Current Position: Dallas Morning News columnist
NFL Experience: 10 years
Player to watch in 2010: " Tony Romo. It's always the quarterback in the NFL. If I had to pick a second, it'd be Ware."
Thoughts on Dez: "He's obviously a great talent, and it just depends on whether he's able to assimilate all the things he needs to know as a rookie - whether he runs the right routes and does what he's supposed to do. He seems to have everything going in the right direction now, and I do expect him to do some good things this year."
Predicted Record: 12-4
Overall Forecast: "I think I said 12-4. I predict they go to the Super Bowl. At this point, I'm just saying going to."

Name: Mike Doocy
Current Position: Fox 4 (Dallas) Sports Director
NFL Experience: 17 years
Player to watch in 2010: "It's funny. It's not often that you single out a kicker, but I think if Buehler can be consistent early in the year and show them that they can rely on them as a field goal kicker, I think that makes a huge difference. There's so many close games every year that are decided on the kicking game. I think that's one area you've obviously got to really watch."
Thoughts on Dez: "I can't remember a time where a rookie has just drawn my eye more in practice. You can't help but watch the guy with his size and his speed and his hands. I think if he can learn to handle the media and the off the field stuff, obviously he could be pretty special."
Predicted record: 10-6
Overall Forecast:"It's kind of generic to say 10 wins, but I think it's probably most realistic to say that. As always, if the injury bug hits, it could be fewer than that, or if everything breaks their way it could be more. I'm not sure there's a more deeply talented team in the league, but on paper that schedule does look pretty tough."

Name: Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Current position:Cowboys beat writer (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Experience Covering NFL: 13 years
Player to Watch in 2010: Dez Bryant.
Thoughts on Dez: Basically what you are seeing in camp you like. He is big, fast, strong, a playmaker. He is someone who can potentially be a great receiver, there is a reason why they gave him No. 88. Put him opposite of Miles Austin, Roy Williams and on the field with Jason Witten they potentially give the Cowboys an explosive receiving corp.
Predicted Record:11-5
Overall Forecast:I think they are going to win the NFC East, go 11-5 but they have a really tough road record. I don't see them getting home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, which I think is key if they want to reach the Super Bowl. Because if they would have to go to New Orleans or in Minnesota in the playoffs I think we will see what happened last year. If they want to stay at home for the Super Bowl, they need to stay at home throughout the playoffs.

Name: Bill Jones
Current Position: CBS 11 Sports Anchor/Reporter
Experience Covering NFL: 28 years
Player to Watch in 2010: Sean Lee
Thoughts on Dez: I think Dez, if he stays healthy, is going to have a phenomenal year. People talk about wide receivers slowly working their way in, it's tough for a wide receiver in his rookie season. But I think if you go back and look at last year, I think there were 15 rookie receivers in the league who had 30 or more receptions last year. I think the offensive coordinators figure out ways to get talented rookies on the field and playing key roles. I think Jason (Garrett) will do that with Dez.
Predicted Record: If Brett Favre comes back 10-6, if not 11-5
Overall Forecast: I like the depth that they (the Cowboys) have been able to put together and I think it's a tribute to the front office for keeping players around and preparing for this non-capped year and leading into the labor situation next year. So I think they are well prepared to offset the injuries that they are going to have; because every team has injuries. I am fully expecting them to make it to the conference championship game and who knows beyond that.

Name: David Moore
Current position: (Dallas Morning News)Cowboys beat reporter
Experience Covering NFL: 22 years
Player to Watch in 2010: Gerald Sensabaugh. This team needs to get more turnovers to take the next step up defensively. They're a good defense; to be a dominant defense they have to get turnovers and improve in that area. I think he would have had more last year if he didn't play five or six games with that cast on his hand.
Thoughts on Dez: Historically, very few rookie receivers have 1,000-yard seasons. So, I think that would probably be a bit of an unrealistic expectation. I think this is a guy who's going to get 700-800 yards receiving, six to seven touchdown receptions, and has good shot of returning one or two kicks for touchdowns this season.
Predicted Record: 11-5
Overall Forecast: Really the way last season unfolded, they had success for the first time in the playoffs for 12 seasons. But then the way they lost the last game I think still keeps that fire, that drive going that, 'Hey, we still have to do more.' I think you've seen that in this camp. I think they're as good as any team in the NFC going in.

Name: Newy Scruggs
Current position: Sports Director, NBC 5 Dallas
Experience Covering NFL: 14 years
Player to Watch in 2010: Anthon Spencer. If they're going to double and triple DeMarcus (Ware), and Spencer's got a free reign with a one-on-one block to the quarterback. If he beats that, he could rack up eight or 10 sacks more. Spencer off that other side is devastating.
Thoughts on Dez:If they can get production out of Dez like Percy Harvin last year, to me that's the bar. Remember (Sidney) Rice, (Bernard) Berrian, (Visanthe) Shiancoe, and then they had those packages in there with Percy Harvin. If they bring Dez along like that, I could see another year like that. That could translate into Rookie of the Year for him.
Predicted Record: 11-5
Overall Forecast: I think they will win the East again. I think Philly will be down, I think Washington will still need another year. But 11-5, that's a tough schedule. It's either 10 or 12 games against quarterbacks that have been to a Pro Bowl. It's a hellacious schedule.

Name: Tim MacMahon
Current position: (ESPN Dallas) Cowboys beat writer
Experience Covering NFL:4 years
Player to Watch in 2010: A guy whose role I think could increase and can make a major difference, I'll go with Felix Jones. I think Marion Barber will still be the starter, but Felix will end up being the lead horse. If they can get him 15 carries per game and if he can stay healthy, they have a major dynamic threat that hasn't been consistent the last couple seasons.
Thoughts on Dez:I think he's definitely an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate, if not the front-runner. I'm not so sure he'll start this season. I think it'll be like Greg Ellis and Anthony Spencer in Ellis' last year, where the veteran stays in the starting role but the young buck gets more snaps and makes a greater impact.
Predicted Record: 11-5 or 12-4
Overall Forecast: I've got them winning the NFC East. I think they are a legitimate top-tier team, and should be in the mix to contend for a Super Bowl.

Name: Brady Tinker
Current position:Fox Southwest TV Personality
Experience Covering NFL: 19 years
Player to Watch in 2010: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. He's a freaky athlete and it's a position of need for these guys. I think he is a phenomenal athlete, who created turnovers-galore at college, now it was at a smaller college. But he weighs 225 pounds, he runs a 4.3 forty, he has about a 40-inch vertical jump and he created turnovers like crazy in college. I just want to see him.
Thoughts on Dez: It's hard for a rookie to have 60 catches, 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns. But that might be the type of thing that, if it happens, is the difference maker on this team.
Predicted Record: 11-5
Overall Forecast: The schedule's really hard. I think they have to win all eight of their home games, which is do-able. And I think they have to try to win three or four of their road games. I think it'll probably be good enough to win the division. I'm worried about the Giants. I think the Giants will have a bounce-back season.

Name: Calvin Watkins
Current position: (ESPN Dallas) Cowboys beat reporter
Experience covering NFL: 5 years
Player to watch in 2010: "I'd really like to see what Felix Jones does. He's about to get increased snaps. Durability's always been an issue for him, but it appears it wasn't a problem for him at the end of last year. I'm really excited to see what he can do, because he's a really dynamic player."
Thoughts on Dez: I like Dez. He's a fantastic talent. I think Dez will be a starter here by the first game of the World Series. By October I think he'll be the starter. It'll be hard for teams to stop him, and it'll be hard for the Cowboys not to put him in the starting lineup.
Predicted record: 10-6
Overall Forecast: "I think the division will beat them up a little bit, but they'll win the division, finish 10-6, and get to the NFC Championship game.

Name: Joe Trahan
Current Position: WFAA Dallas Sports Reporter
Experience Covering NFL: 18 years
Player to watch in 2010: "I think Felix Jones has a breakout season. He's matured now. He's a stronger guy, body's matured. I think he's ready to carry a little bit more of the load, and I think they're ready to give it to him as well.
Thoughts on Dez: I think it will give Romo a big boost, because he's got great ball skills. I call it the moment of truth. Nanoseconds before the ball actually touches his hands, right at that moment of truth, there's some greatness there in Dez. I think that's going to carry him a long way.
Predicted Record: 11-5.
Overall Forecast: That's subject to no injuries. Throw the injury factor completely out. I'll give them 11-5, and I will give them the NFC East Championship.

Name: Babe Laufenberg
Current Position: KTVT/CBS Sports Director / Color Analyst for Cowboys radio broadcasts
Experience Covering NFL: 19 years
Player to watch in 2010: "It's going to be very interesting to see how Alan Ball does this year. I think he'll be fine. I thought he played well last year in his limited opportunities when he got the start there. I thought he came on.
Thoughts on Dez: He is the best rookie receiver that I personally have ever seen in terms of ability. Now, I wasn't watching Jerry Rice practice day in and day out.
Overall Forecast: I'm not a big fan of predictions, because things change. Injuries play such a huge part in it. Even though you see kind of the stars coming back, to me the misconception is that they're the same team. Teams change year to year, and I think we get mesmerized by the names on the back of the jerseys."

Name: Todd Archer
NFL Experience: 14 years
Current Position: Dallas Morning News columnist/blogger
Player to watch in 2010: "I think DeMarcus Ware is the staple to everything Wade does on defense. You need a pass rusher. You need a guy that can always get to the quarterback, and if they were to lose him, I think they'd be in trouble."
Thoughts on Dez: "He's been outstanding. It's good for him he doesn't have to be the 80-catch guy and carry the team. That's where I think most rookies struggle. But I think you've got a guy who can make a lot of plays out of nothing."
Predicted Record: 10-6
Overall Forecast:"I think it's a tough schedule, a really tough schedule especially toward the end. I think they'll be 10-6 and be a wild card team, but to disappoint everybody, I don't see them going to the Super Bowl. I think they can win a playoff game again."

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