Blame AAU basketball, blame the one-and-done generation, blame whatever you want, but what cannot be argued is that there is an international wave taking over the NBA. Increasingly it seems like the best and most influential players in the NBA are from countries and regions outside of the U.S.
Far-Fetched Friday: Dallas Cowboys to the NFC Championship Game
This upcoming NFL season feels like it came out of nowhere. We did not get our usual cocktail of meaningless preseason games and subsequently overreacting fan bases. That might be good for the Dallas Cowboys, who enter this season with relatively little hype. For that reason, this Cowboy team is heading to the NFC Championship game.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday we look at America's team.
Last season the Cowboys had the league's best offense in yards per game, the eleventh best defense, went 5-1 in the division, and yet they finished 8 and 8 and missed the playoffs. That means the team did everything right but close out games. Those are signs of poor coaching and an inexperienced team.
This time around, the Cowboys have a Superbowl winning coach and most of that same roster from last season.
The team added another weapon in CeeDee Lamb to go along with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Ezekiel Elliot has a lot to prove this season out of the backfield, and the presence of Andy Dalton on the roster means Dak Prescott cannot afford to let performances slip. Not to mention that this is essentially a contract year for Dak and his case for the contract he feels he deserves.
The coaching staff is also an upgrade with Mike McCarthy, a considerable upgrade over Jason Garrett. You have a defense that was decent last season and returns a front 7 that is as good as any you will find in the league. There are major question marks in the backfield, especially after finishing 27th in takeaways last season, but that did not stop the team from finishing with the 11th best defense.
Their traditional rivals are also in turmoil. Washington is in disarray as an organization and does not quite have a direction yet.
The New York Giants are a few years away from relevance.
The Eagles finally got out of a tricky quarterback controversy only to jump back into one a year later by drafting Jalen Hurtz, a man some Philly fans are already wanting to see take over for Carson Wentz.
Everything is in place for a big season, but there is one big reason I am confident in this prediction.
The big key is that the Cowboys have the third easiest strength of schedule ahead of the new season. That has all the makings of a team that excels in the regular season. Secure a BYE in the first round, and at that point, anything can happen.
This season, America's team will return to the NFC Championship game for the first time since 1995.
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