This upcoming year is going to be an exciting one for Dallas sports fans (which is good for us, because no one wants to read about sucky teams). The Cowboys have Super Bowl expectations, the Mavericks are out to prove they are still elite, the Stars are close to returning to the Stanley Cup Finals, and the Rangers have an exciting future, building upon this season's improvement. So, we at Dallas Dedicated thought it would be fitting to formulate some odds of what the future holds for these area teams. Go ahead and check your bank account, call up the bookie (don't tell anyone we gave that advice), and put some money on these odds:
The Cowboys Win the Super Bowl: 3-2
In a perfect world, the Cowboys should win the Super Bowl. However, as the 'Boys found out last year, it is not a perfect world. The Patriots (and an aging defense) are still looming in the AFC, and no one can count out the division-rival Giants, seeing as they are returning champs. On paper, though, the Cowboys are the best team in the League. No really, even Madden '09 (with the roster updates) has the Valley Ranch squad as the number one team. Arguably the Cowboys have no weaknesses other than the wide receiver position. The team is motivated after two seasons of disappointing playoff outings. Jerry Jones has such a deep roster that, for the first time in years, he had the luxury of drafting solid backups. Dallas is returning more Pro Bowlers than any other team. Jason Garrett passed up heading coaching jobs to remain an assistant (and, of course, win a Super Bowl). And all of these are better reasons than Mike Fisher wrote on his "turned down ESPN" Cowboys preview with Deadspin.
MAVERICKS WIN THEIR DIVISION: 10-1
The New Orleans Hornets are now the frontrunners, Houston can't be counted out after picking up Artest for absolutely nothing, and the san antonio spurs, though aging, are still a threat. The Mavs re-tooled the roster a tad, which will hopefully give them that small push needed to regain their Finals-form of three years ago. A young slasher (Green) and a second threat at center (Diop) gives the Mavericks the winning formula established over the past five seasons. The only difficulty will be overcoming CP3 and the Hornets and coping with the addition of Ron-Ron to the Rockets.
STARS WIN THE WEST: 9-1
Mike Modano is still undecided on whether he will be retiring. However, the signing of Sean Avery has definitely beefed up the forward lines. The defense is filled with veteran talent, but also has young players that got serious playing time in the playoffs and showed promise (Mark Fistric, Matt Niskanen). As for goaltending, Marty will be Marty. All in all, it should be a fun season. If Dallas can win the tight head-to-head matchups against division rivals San Jose and Anaheim, the Stars could quite easily win the Pacific. The real roadblock for Dallas to have the best record in the Western Conference is the team from Detroit. The Red Wings seem to always have the advantage when up against Dallas, and for some reason always seem to shake the nerves of Turco. If Dallas keeps their composure and makes Detroit doubt themselves a little, the conference title could be captured by the Stars.
RANGERS GET A DECENT STARTING PITCHER (just one): 8-1
With so much depth in the outfield to use as trade bait, we can try to overlook the Rangers great knack for giving away pitchers who later blossom and their inability to pick up reliant slingers. Without the depth in outfield, it could be hopeless that the Rangers will improve their staff. Year after year this has been the huge problem holding back the team...and it still is. No improvements have been made. Hope for this to change in the offseason. However, there is hope in 2009!
JESSICA SIMPSON IS A CURSE: 20-1
We all want to say she is, but, in reality, she has not even been present at the heart-breaking losses (Seattle two seasons ago, New York last season). Some say her escapades with Tony in Cabo were a distraction, but we cannot forget fellow teammate Jason Witten was there, too. No one likes a girl who shoves a star QB into the gossip column limelight, but a curse? No, not yet, at least.
CHARLES RHODES MAKES THE ROSTER: 25-1
Sadly, the Mavs continue to make move after move signifying that Rhodes is not apart of the future of this team. The only hope is that Charles decides to go to training camp (and not Europe), and drastically outperforms James Singleton or Kieth McCleod. Though he is more talented than both, it is yet to be seen if the front office will be willing to take the talent for the cost of cutting Singleton's guaranteed contract, or going down another point guard.
ADAM JONES DECIDES HE STILL LIKES "PACMAN": 7-2
Why go by Adam when your nickname is Pacman? Who doesn't like Pacman? No one. Everyone does, which is why he is surely regretting hearing "Adam Jones with the tackle" over the loudspeaker. Now, if he were Tank Johnson (real name Terry), don't expect a change.
BLAKE BEAVAN GETS CALLED UP: 2-1
At this rate, the pitching staff is so awful, the Rangers will have no choice but to call up the boy wonder from single-A as soon as they can. Which would most likely lead to the destroying of his confidence and the degradation of his game, but oh well, that's the Rangers' way. Of course, it is quite possible he would be better than half of the rotation after only one start.
The 'Boys are in action tonight in the I-45 rivalry with the Houston Texans, and are looking to win the Governor's Cup. Awards for pre-season games? Really?
Be on the look out for more coverage of this game in the days to come.