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Dallas Cowboys a “Surprise Favorite” to Win Super Bowl, Have 5th Best Odds per ESPN

On paper, this team and looks to be one of the better ones they've had in the past decade. Unfortunately, the paper won't win many football games. But for now, that's all we have to talk about.

Yesterday, ESPN analytics guru Seth Walder released ESPN's 2020 projections based on their Football Power Index or FPI. FPI takes recent performance through the lens of EPA per play and takes into account the expectations that Vegas has set on individual money lines on games during the season. They also assign value to extra rest, altitude, distance traveled, seasonal effects, and absences. They then run 10,000 simulations of the season to come out with their projections.

In 's Football Power Index, the most recent Champions, the , have the best to win the Super Bowl according to ESPN's FPI at 21%. The Dallas Cowboys come in with the fifth-best odds to win the Super Bowl at 5%.

Here's what Walder had to say.

“As mentioned, is more consistent year to year. So with many of the key ingredients back — including quarterback ,   and offensive linemen  and  — there's every reason to be bullish on the Dallas offense. And it's a big reason to be bullish on the Cowboys overall. McCarthy might bring a pass-heavier approach, and while it is not represented in the model, it supports the notion even more. Dallas has a 5% chance to win the Super Bowl and a 48% chance to win the East.”

Seth Walder, ESPN

For every team in the NFL, the first thing they have to do is to win enough games to get into the . You can't make the Super Bowl until you're in the playoffs. Once in the playoffs, teams have to get a little luck and be surging at the right time to ride that momentum to a Super Bowl victory. The Dallas Cowboys have the best shot to win the at 48%. Just behind them are the at 44.7%, who also have the sixth-best chance to win the Super Bowl in 2020.

If anything can be assumed about the in the NFC East is that it will be a two-horse race in the division, and how it shakes out will likely be determined by their two games within the NFC East. The two teams have alternated the division title each of the last four seasons, with each side taking two division titles apiece.

The addition of the seventh playoff team to each conference increases the possibility of both the Cowboys and the Eagles making the playoffs. However, making the playoffs as a divisional winner and hosting a playoff game is much better than entering as a five through seven seed. The game between the Cowboys and the Eagles will once again likely decide the fate of the NFC East and which team gets to host a playoff game in the of the playoffs.

Now, preseason projections don't mean anything once the season starts. In recent years, this team's looked good on paper a lot but ultimately fell short. However, the new staff combined and a more aggressive philosophy coupled with the influx of talent on both sides of the ball should lead to a playoff appearance for the Dallas Cowboys.

Will the Dallas Cowboys finally break through and win that sixth Super Bowl that has eluded them for the last 25 years, or will the drought continue? Hopefully, a 2020 season happens, and we get to find out.

John Williams
John Williams
Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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This rating was unilaterally lambasted by every single analyst on the network. They all deemed it a glaring error that couldn’t be ignored. Imagine that … Cowboy news igniting controversy?!


And I’m sure Stephen Me Smith had a field day with it ….


Hey John, “sixth Super Bowl” would be nice, but lets pump the brakes a little bit. We don’t even really know who’s playing QB yet, even though you are sure it will be Prescott. Front office has put together a very talented team around him, but I am just not sold. Certain QBs have that CLUTCH gene, and I just don’t see it in him. Didn’t see it with Romo either. He gets that weird, bewildered look on his face when things go south, like he is overwhelmed. Does anyone else see that with him? Hope I’m wrong, its been a long time since last SB. Guess we’ll find out later this year.


VAM, I’ve been saying the exact same thing for several years. Dak even starts a lot of games with that same scared face accompanied by really profuse sweating.

I also agree that Room suffered in the biggest games and in the biggest moments of those games. I really like(d) both of them, and they are/were the perfect qb’s to restore respectability to the team, but neither of them have the assassin blood needed to kill the other teams at that one perfect moment.


I guess I wasn’t just seeing things. Thanks, Mark. Good post. Liked the “assassin” reference, which I call “clutch”.


Ok let’s start with has anyone looked at the offense this team has been running? To say it was predictable would be an insult to predictability. This was the offense from the 90’s. With far superior players and coaches. We watched them lineup up in 12 personal and slam the ball up the middle every first down. Then watch as they would go to eleven personal and put Cobb or Beasley in the slot. And run a curl. Over and over again. And let’s not forget Witten running a short rout to the sticks and falling down. These are talented players that should be set up to succeed with great coaching. Y’all want to blame someone blame the Jones family. They have been the one constant over the years. Seriously. Blame Dak or Romo. Please.

Gary b

Yea with u VAM on clutch lack dak clutch gene. U see it across all sports guys put up gaudy stats during reg season then when the lights are bright they freeze up. Either u got it or u dont. Few games last yr when we really needed Dak to step up and and carry us and he just couldn’t do it. He been living off that one fluke rookie yr when the stars lined up for him. But as I said teams are so desperate for QBs (cuz u ain’t winning without an elite one) they always get overvalued


What are you talking about? Dak just came of career highs. Carson Wentz doesn’t even hold a candle to Dak. Where has he been every single game since he was drafted? Under center. He has a very impressive Overall rating of 97.0. Last year he posted 4,902 yrds, 30 tds, and 11 int. His rating is 5 point higher than the Eagles qb. Dak is one of the most reliable and in the NFL. His career so far, is impressive. This last year is the only year he hasn’t lead us to a winning record. The reason why we lost wasn’t Daks fault, it was the fact we missed tackles, and our defense, Didn’t have Leighton Vander Esch. At this point, I just say have more faith in Dak. Jason Garret was a horrible head coach. Mike McCarthy is different. He has what it takes to lead us to a Super Bowl. He won’t let us loose to the Jets. Don’t blame Dak, blame the previous head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.


Yeah and I understand, however, Dak was not the reason we didn’t have a winning record. I was Jason Garrett. He made poor coaching decisions which ultimately lead us to losing to winning teams and ultimately the Jets.

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