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Dallas looms as dangerous

No team at .500 or worse has a better shot to break out than the Cowboys

Originally Published: October 29, 2011
By Chris Sprow | ESPN Insider

This is no time to discuss win odds around Dallas. You're bound to run into a situation like you saw in the movie "Airplane!," when Ted Striker tells stories of lost love to those seated next to him. They all meet their demise in a bout of depression.

That's because, on several occasions in Game 6 of the World Series, the Texas Rangers maintained over 90 percent odds to finish the game. And the Cowboys have added to the misery. They maintained win odds well over 90 percent in Week 1 against the Jets, holding a 14-point fourth-quarter lead. NFL teams win about 98 percent of games when they take a 24-point lead into the third quarter, as Dallas did over Detroit. As great as Tom Brady is, the Cowboys held win odds safely above 50 percent late in the fourth quarter of their Week 6 visit to New England. Even at 3-3, the Cowboys' season thus far has been defined by missed opportunities.

But entering Week 8, there are 15 NFL teams at .500 or less, and none are better, or have as good a shot at making playoff noise, as the Dallas Cowboys.

And while there are plenty of reasons, narratives really, for why Dallas can't compete this year, each has a counter-argument, a case that things in Dallas are far better than they seem, the Rangers be damned.

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