Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Gavin Escobar (89) scores a third quarter touchdown against the St. Louis Ram at AT&T Stadium. This touchdown was the first of Escobar;s career. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys: Bold Predictions for 2014 NFL Season


The pressure doesn’t get much higher for the Dallas Cowboys this 2014 NFL season.  Here are some bold predictions about what will happen.

Gavin Escobar out produces Jason Witten on offense

Jason Witten has dominated the Dallas scene at tight end for years.  He’s one of the best of the last decade, and he’s also 32-years old with a lot of wear and tear on his body.  Meanwhile second-year man Gavin Escobar provided a small sample size of his skill as a pass catcher last season.  With another year in the system he is poised for a breakout year, similar to what Alshon Jeffery did in Chicago.  If he gets started right in training camp and the preseason, expect the San Diego State product to surpass his veteran mentor Witten in every stat category.

Henry Melton and Demarcus Lawrence won’t help run defense

Pass rush reigns supreme in terms of importance for every NFL defense.  That is why the Dallas Cowboys signed Henry Melton in free agency and then traded up to draft Demarcus Lawrence in the 2nd round.  Melton was a Pro Bowl interior pass rusher for Chicago in 2012 and Lawrence graded out as one of the most athletic and disruptive edge rushers in the 2014 draft class.  However, despite their value to that end it’s really hard to see their value stopping the run.  In fact there is a cause for concern with the entire defensive front.  Out of the entire current roster, only two players for the Cowboys weight at least 300 lbs.  Given the rushing attacks they’ll face in Washington and Philadelphia, it’s reasonable to wonder if they have the bodies to handle them.  Here’s saying they won’t as Dallas finishes with a worse run defense than they had in 2013.

Tony Romo will throw 40 touchdown passes

At age 34 there is still no doubt from the Dallas Cowboys camp that Tony Romo is the man in charge at quarterback.  Even Romo himself stated he feels he can play another five years and is determined to make it through the 2014 NFL season completely healthy.  He should have some help to do that thanks to the addition of 1st round pick Zack Martin to the offensive line.  With improving protection up front, Romo has a chance to utilize arguably one of the best receiving corps in the league.  This he will do, surpassing his old mark of 36 touchdown passes in a season and breaching the 40 mark on his way to a fourth Pro Bowl.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Demarcus Lawrence Gavin Escobar Henry Melton Jason Witten NFL Tony Romo

  • Old Frog

    Sorry but I think all 3 are too bold.

    • Erik Lambert

      Go big or go home.

  • SmartThinking

    Of your three, the only one I think you’re remotely close on is the Melton/Lawrence duo NOT helping in the run game.

    Personally (and this is my opinion), I thought then and think now that all five or six of the named Free Agent acquisitions Dallas made this past few months were for players who were marginal at best or outright past their due date. Weeden, Hanie, and those other two defensive linemen whose names escape me are head scratchers in my book. Only Melton has any gravitas, and that was a couple of seasons back.

    • Old Frog

      I was going to say that at first but then I decided to trust Marinelli to get the job done. We will see if it’s misplaced.

      • Erik Lambert

        Marinelli will rev up their pass rush for sure but I fear for that run defense not based on his coaching ability but simple mathematics. They simply don’t have a lot of size to counter teams that like to pound the ball.

    • Erik Lambert

      When you don’t have a lot of money to spend you tend not to get the best free agents. I never expected everybody to agree with my predictions. I merely made them based on the outlook I saw for the Cowboys.

      • SmartThinking

        It’s okay, man. No need to explain yourself. It’s only professional football. Nobody on this site takes this stuff seriously anyway. Right?

        • Erik Lambert

          It’s merely a diversion until football starts. People just like to vent their frustration.

          • SmartThinking

            That was sarcasm, mon.

          • Erik Lambert

            I know.

  • David

    You should not drink and drive and you should also not drink and write columns..

    • Erik Lambert

      Don’t drink at all, actually.

  • Warren Jackson

    Bold is correct Erik …..a little to bold !

    • Erik Lambert

      Too bold until one of them comes true. None of the above stated are impossible.

  • elogam

    I have a prediction: Once again the ownership of this team will prefer making dollars to winning championships, and will strive to win just enough to keep people interested until the end of the season. I STILL believe the Cowboys threw their final two losses last season, when they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • Erik Lambert

      It’s not an unheard of phenomenon but I struggle to believe Jerry Jones would endorse such an approach, the guy who fired Tom Landry for Jimmie Johnson for the simple fact Landry wasn’t winning.

  • Matty ice

    40 tds would be nice for romo I’d love if they use Escobar I think he can really be big time for dallas if they use him right… Melton and lawerence together should be a good little force to deal with on run and pass looking forward to see what they are gonna do..

    • Erik Lambert

      It’s very possible given the weaponry Romo has. Melton and Lawrence are pass rushers. That is where they make their money. Stopping the run is not their calling card and there is really nobody else on the roster who can make that claim.

      • Matty ice

        They have to have somebody that can run stop though or it’s gonna be pretty tough for this group..

        • Erik Lambert

          My sentiments exactly.

          • Matty ice

            So another 8-8 or worse??

          • Erik Lambert

            I say 9-7 but they still miss the playoffs.

          • Matty ice

            I see I see call me crazy if healthy I see this team win 11 and make it in only with a healthy team I know were gonna have injures just hope it’s not many..

          • Erik Lambert

            It’s not impossible to win 11 games for them but I have learned not to trust that team late in the year. One happenstance is an anomaly, but multiple times is a trend.

          • Matty ice

            Oh yeah trusting them is hard to do when they display us 8-8 but I have a good feeling about this group think they show up for once and bring it they can’t keep hurting the fan base with 8-8

  • Michael Davis

    I think #1 is the least likely

    • Erik Lambert

      Like I stated above, NOBODY thought Alshon Jeffery would outgain Brandon Marshall last year in Chicago and he did. Escobar has the talent to do that and Witten is two years older than Marshall is.

      • baronmwd

        I understand this is bold article. But what makes Witten so good is not his talent, age or health but it’s his connection he has with Romo. More important it’s the confidence Romo has in him. I think we all can agree that Escobar is young, talented & healthy but he was all of those things last season. It will take a lot more then one under performing rookie season to make Romo have the confidence & Connection to look his way over Romo’s best friend on and off the field, Witten.
        Of course if Witten gets hurt and goes out for any amount of time then all bets are off as Romo will not have his security blanket to to cuddle with and will be forced to look to other TE’s.

        • Erik Lambert

          Fair points all around, baron. Witten is still the go-to guy and logically should remain so but I feel for one reason or another that Escobar will get onto the field more often and end up making more plays. Injury could certainly be that explanation.

  • Greg Hill

    Without an ability to stop the run the cowboys will then be killed on play action passes. Since the cowboys did not improve themselves in being able to stop the run, the worst defense in the NFL still resides in Dallas. Also, since the cowboys will constantly be playing from behind they will be throwing the ball a ton and 40 TDs is a good estimate. The problem there is.when they know your throwing it 75% of the the time how many ints. will romo throw or sacks he takes? The opponents DL won’t have to respect the run and romo with two back surgeries will be running for his life regardless of the high OL picks. If romo can stay healthy, he should have good stats this year. No defense= No playoffs. When dealing with cowboy fans who are mostly in denial one must be bold.

    • Erik Lambert

      Glad you see my reasoning, Greg. For the first time I trust the offensive line will be good for them this year. I really liked the Zack Martin addition even though I felt they should’ve gone defense. Romo should see good protection even when playing from behind.

  • Greg Hill

    The cowboys stated that there was not a DL available that was worthy of the 16th pick or they would have picked him. I found it interesting that of the last 16 picks of the first round, 11 of them were defensive players. One of those was a DT taken by NE named Dominique Easley from Florida who will improve anyone’s run defense. But what does NE know about the draft that Jerry Jones doesn’t? You got a minute?

  • Old Frog

    I’ll make a bold prediction. Cowboys, despite their tougher schedule, do better than 8-8.

    • Erik Lambert

      Bold indeed, but not impossible.