One of the most popular franchises in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys enjoy plenty of support throughout the States and even around the world. While their popularity doesn’t always translate to results, they did have a stunning record from the 2016 regular season. Finishing with 13 – 3, they suffered a close defeat to the Packers in a 34 – 31 game at the divisional playoffs. With these results, 2016 wasn’t exactly a season to regret, but it is one where they could have capitalized better, and maybe come out with a slightly better result.

So, with a team as good as the Dallas Cowboys are, will they improve in the coming season? Let’s take a look at what the experts think.

Fox Sports 2017 Prediction with Nick Wright

Nick Wright is going all out with his forecast for the Cowboys, with a predicted record of 12 – 4.

While some might see that as a downgrade compared to last year, it can be put into context by seeing some more of what Wright had to say. He called Dak Prescott’s performance as one of the best by a rookie, he praised Ezekiel Elliot as a running back, and also singled out Dez Bryant as an excellent performer in wide receiver. Wright and Fox Sports are so confident in the Dallas team that they’ve predicted that they’ll make a Super Bowl appearance at the end of the season.

Bleacher Report Calling the Numbers on the Dallas Cowboys for 2017

Richard Janvrin from the Bleacher Report is not as optimistic as the Fox News Prediction. In fact, he’s calling a relatively mild prediction of a 9 – 7 record in 2017.

The relatively low prediction comes from the view that Dallas has lost too much talent in the off season, and new acquisitions and retentions may not be enough to offset the talent drain. Even so, Janvrin still thinks that Ezekiel Elliot and Dez Bryant will be two particularly good players to watch this year. A tough game could come from the Falcons in Week 10. Janvrin doesn’t think that the Dallas Cowboys have got what it takes to go up against the front seven of Atlanta. Other important games will be the Week 1 start against the Giants, and a late game vs the Seahawks in Week 16.

ESPN’s Todd Archer Predicts the 2017 Cowboys Season

ESPN is another major media outlet that does not see the Cowboy’s equaling their 2016 record. Todd Archer believes that last year’s season was made up of a relatively soft schedule that worked to the advantage of the Cowboys. This year, they might not have such an easy road throughout the season. He believes they may falter when playing against teams like the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons, however, in his prediction the Cowboys will still make it to the playoffs.

Archer has noted that the Dallas Cowboys can be strong on the road. Last year their road game record was 6 – 2, and most teams couldn’t dream of equaling that kind of consistency when playing away from home. If we look at the team historically, even to 2014, the team were 8 – 0 on their road games. This could provide a lot of confidence, especially considering that the team is in for a challenging stretch at the end of the season. The key for the Cowboys will be performing in the tough late season schedule, if they can do it, then ESPN is predicting a final record of 10 – 6.

Jonathon Jones Predicts the Cowboys Season for Sports Illustrated

Jones openly admits that he was wrong about some of his predictions for the Dallas Cowboys last year, but is still not giving them much credit as we approach the 2017 season. He’s calling a final projected record of 9 – 7.

While Jones doesn’t question that the Cowboys will be able to make it to the playoffs, he notes that one season of success doesn’t guarantee performance in the following season. The Week 14 game against the Giants will be one of the pivotal games of the season, noting that the Cowboys will have a stretch of home games before going back to New York. The Giants will be coming right off of a long trip to Oakland, and this could work in the favor of the Cowboys.

Doc’s Sports Predictions from Chris Vasile

Again, not being overly optimistic, Doc’s Sports has predicted 9 – 7 for the Dallas Cowboys, while leaning towards the over, which could make this a 10 – 6 depending on how the season goes. Keep in mind that it’s still early days and we’re yet to see any team perform on the gridiron.

Vasile called the Cowboys a ‘revelation’ in 2016. Many would agree, especially considering that they came out with the best record from the NFC East Divison. Rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott will now be a year wiser, and with experience can come an improvement in performance. The Doc’s Sports prediction notes that the offensive game of the Cowboys will continue to mature, and the defensive game will continue to improve with more depth than what was displayed in 2016. While not looking too far ahead into the crystal ball, Vasile is at least predicting that the Cowboys will be able to secure the NFC East title.

It would seem to some that the relatively low predictions don’t pay the Cowboys any credit for their performance in 2016. However, the fortunes of a team can change rapidly from season to season, especially considering how common player movement is in the NFL. The consensus is that the Cowboys can perform well in 2017, but maybe the results won’t be as good as the previous year. They have a strong lineup and some rookies who are continually improving, so a division win is not out of the question. Whether or not they can make the Super Bowl as Fox Sports has predicted, is yet to be seen.