GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The NFL's most likely from worst-to-first team could be a Super Bowl darkhorse


It wasn't that long ago when Dallas broke free of their seemingly perpetual status as an 8-8 team and won the NFC East with a 12-4 record.

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They followed up that season with a 4-12 campaign, but ESPN Insider Aaron Schutz gives cause why not to be concerned:

"The main difference between (last year and two years ago's) teams was health on offense. The Cowboys ranked about the same in defense and special teams each year, but the offense imploded without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant healthy (and, to a lesser extent, without DeMarco Murray to draw defensive attention)."

The health of Bryant and Romo are paramount to the Cowboys successes as evident by the differences in DVOA in 2014 and 2015. Only they're not just getting Bryant and Romo back in the fold on offense.


"The Cowboys don't just get Romo and Bryant back; they also add Ezekiel Elliott to give them a better running game, more like the one they had in 2014."

This isn't to say the Elliott will rush for nearly 1,800 yards or Dallas' defense will be a top-tier unit, but that the Cowboys could easily return to their 2014 form and pose a legitimate threat as Super Bowl contenders.