Heading into camp, we’ll take a quick look through the opponents on the 2014 schedule.
Fifth up: The Dallas Cowboys
When: Sunday, Oct. 12, 1:25 p.m. at CenturyLink Field
Last season: 8-8; season ended with 24-22 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (The Cowboys dropped three of four to end the season)
What went right: Tony Romo to Dez Bryant. Despite Bryant’s past behavior leaning toward T.O. on the Diva Scale, he had an excellent year. He caught 13 touchdowns and 93 balls total for 1,233 yards. The reception and touchdown totals were career highs for Bryant. Despite Bryant’s success, Romo’s completion percentage has been on the decline for three consecutive seasons. He completed just 63.9 percent of his passes last year, though his touchdown-to-interception ratio was among the best of his career, thanks to 31 scores and 10 picks.
What did not: Defense. The Cowboys were beat through the air, finishing 30th in the league in passing yards allowed per game. They were also trampled on the ground. Dallas finished 27th in rushing yards allowed per game. It gave up a whopping and league-leading 6,645 yards last season, 2,267 more than the Seahawks allowed. Following the disastrous defensive season, the Cowboys promoted Rod Marinelli to defensive coordinator and shifted Monte Kiffin from DC to assistant head coach/defense.
2014 Super Bowl odds: 50-1
Key offseason addition: Defensive tackle Henry Melton. As noted above, any defensive help would be welcome in Dallas. Melton is basically on a one-year prove-it deal for $1.25 million in base salary. Three much more expensive option years follow. Melton was hurt most of 2013 (torn ACL), but productive prior. In 2011 and 2012 with the Chicago Bears, he averaged 6.5 sacks and 10.5 stuffs per season.
Key offseason loss: Linebacker Sean Lee. Lee tore his ACL and partially tore his meniscus May 27 during the Cowboys’ first day of organized team activities. Dallas seems to think Lee could be back this season, which is likely to land him on the PUP list. Lee had 99 tackles and four interceptions in 11 games last season.
Last regular-season meeting: Sept. 16, 2012, the Seahawks beat Dallas 27-7 at CenturyLink Field.