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The Dallas Cowboys Went Winless in the 2014 Preseason. What Does it Mean?

Tony Romo can't win the big one in the preseason

Dallas finished off the exhibition season without a win for the first time since 2000. Commence further gnashing of teeth for America’s Team. But does it matter?

In Dallas’ case, they lost to Denver 27-3 in the final meaningless preseason game. In the third preseason game, they lost to Miami, but it involved giving up 14 points at the end of the game, when the starters were out. It was a lackluster 6-3 lead for Dallas over the Dolphins at halftime while Tony Romo was in the game. If Dallas wins that meaning game as far as the result goes, they are just one of many 1-3 teams.

Their leading preseason passer is Brandon Weeden, the leading rusher is Ryan Williams, and the leading receivers are Jamar Newsome and LaRon Byrd. Needless to say, this is not the Cowboys team that will be featured prominently on opening day.

But does a winless preseason mean anything?

Using these results from footballgeography.com, and adding in last year where Pittsburgh and Atlanta went winless, we have 39 teams since 1994 that have not won a preseason game.

Here’s some info on those teams.

  • 14 of the 39 teams had made the playoffs the year before, and the average win total the previous year was 8.1 wins, so roughly average distribution.
  • Only 8 of the 39 made the playoffs after going winless (20.5%), and the average win total the next year was 7.2 wins.
  • Most of the culprits were the previous year playoff teams, where only 5 of 14 returned. The previous year’s playoff teams won 7.9 games on average.
  • Non-playoff teams with 6 or more wins the previous year, like Dallas, averaged 7.4 wins after going winless, and averaged 7.5 wins the previous year.

Take all that for what it’s worth. In Dallas’ case, the over/under on wins is at 7.5, and there is pessimism about the defense which was bad last year and doesn’t look to have improved. I’m not sure the winless preseason tells us much, though, that we did not know.

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