With one-half of the season over, the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) gear up for the second half of their year next week against the Green Bay Packers (3-5). To quickly sum up the first half, you could argue no one saw them with the record they have right now.
But, hey, I will take it.
Today, I will provide three predictions for the Cowboys in the second half. One relates to their overall record, another involves a player accomplishing a rare feat, and lastly, one guy finally breaks through.
The Cowboys finish with 14 wins.
After the Cowboys return to action and beat the Packers next week in week 10, they will sit at 7-2. Heading into another tough match in Minnesota, the Cowboys have a chance to be 8-2 after ten games. But here comes the fun part.
From Week 12-15, the Boys have four winnable games (the Giants being their most challenging) that are arguably cakewalks. If they were to win those games, they could head into a Christmas Eve matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles with 12 wins.
Even if they lose again against the Eagles, their last two games against the Titans and Commanders are winnable, giving them 14 victories. While their record wouldn't crown them as division winners (barring if they lose to the Eagles twice), I think it's crazy to imagine a 14-win wild card team.
If they can't land 14 victories, the Cowboys can still finish the year hot, as their strength of schedule is among the easiest.
Rest-of-Season NFL Strength of Schedule based on my current evaluation of each team.
Green = Easier
Red = Harder pic.twitter.com/QKgd3pYGYb
Micah Parsons breaks the franchise single-season sack record.
You could say this guy is pretty good.
But when Parsons returns against the Packers, he will begin his quest toward possibly breaking Demarcus Ware's single-season franchise sack record (20), and the NFL sack record (22.5).
While I wouldn't count out Parsons breaking both, I predict that he will just short of the league record, but he will engrave his name as the new single-season sack leader in Cowboys' history.
According to Statmuse, the Cowboys will face seven teams ranked in the Top-20 in most sacks allowed. But even if Parsons isn't getting to the quarterback, the Cowboys pass rush will likely be excited in those seven games.
Don't discount Parsons, he's a different breed, and it's criminal if he doesn't win the DPOY.
KaVontae Turpin finally finds the endzone.
I'm about to give you two fun facts to tell your friends.
1) According to Statmuse, the last time the Cowboys got a punt return touchdown was in 2017, when former wideout Ryan Switzer returned it 83-yards against the formerly-Washington Redskins.
As a left tackle on kickoff return team, Cowboys WR Malik Turner helped seal lane on Tony Pollard's 100-yard touchdown vs. Raiders. One week later, he delivered the initial block on toss for TD vs. Saints. https://t.co/SQPmHEjnTd https://t.co/IapbIDn1oc pic.twitter.com/uwrh2nbSo1
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 5, 2021
If you had asked me when was the last time the Cowboys got a special teams touchdown, I would have been money on Pollard's score, but I completely forgot about Switzer.
Now, this is where KaVontae Turpin comes in.
So far this season, Turpin has shown off his speed in the return game — but he keeps falling short of the endzone. Whether it's a missed block, his teammate running into him, or the defense chasing him down last minute — Turpin is due for a touchdown.
I predict he will finally find the endzone, and Cowboy Nation will rejoice.
If you look at Lineups.com, the Titans, Texans, Giants, and Packers rank among the worst in opposing punt return yards allowed. On the kick-return side, the Packers, Colts, Jaguars, Giants, and Texans rank among the worst in kick-return yards allowed.
The numbers back up that Turpin will find the endzone. So, don't be surprised when he does.