8.5 wins: Over their heads or under radar?

The first projected win totals of the 2012 NFL season emerged from Nevada this week.

Green Bay and New England are the early leaders at 12 wins apiece -- the Packers enjoying a slight edge for those who favor the over. An over/under of 10 wins has been set for Houston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and San Francisco.

Dallas, with its new-look secondary, can put 8.5 win in its sights. ESPNDallas.com's Cowboys writers are split on whether the team can surpass the number:


I think this is a 10-win team and that will put them in the playoffs. The schedule is difficult but there is a chance to get off to a good start, and the softer part is in the middle of the schedule where they can put themselves in good position for December. I wouldn't say the Cowboys are a championship team, but they can get in the tournament.

TIM MacMAHON (Under)

I'm predicting another 8-8 season for the Cowboys, so give me the under, as long as I don't have to put any money down. I don't really have great football reasons to foresee another .500 season for the Cowboys, just a gut feel. Dallas turned the team's most glaring weakness -- the cornerback corps -- into a strength. They have an impressive arsenal of offensive skill players and hope they can stay healthy. But I've been conditioned to expect the underwhelming from this franchise.


The Cowboys still have too many holes and question marks on their roster to believe they're going to be one of the NFL's surprises this year. They play 10 games against quality quarterbacks this season and that doesn't include four games against Washington's Robert Griffin III, Cincinnati's Andy Dalton and Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman. Add four games against the rugged AFC North, not including the Cleveland Browns, and the Cowboys could be an improved team and still have the same record as they did in 2011.


The Cowboys are an improved team from last year and that should help them with a daunting schedule that includes tough non-divisional road games at Baltimore, Atlanta and Carolina. The late-season schedule that bothered the Cowboys in years past won't be a problem this year. The Cowboys will handle it and win 10 games.

It's your turn. Are you taking the over or the under?