According to BetMGM, the Cowboys entered training camp with the third-best odds (+650) to win the NFC behind the Philadelphia Eagles (+260) and San Francisco 49ers (+400), but star pass rusher Micah Parsons believes they should be the favorites.
"I think we are the top team in the NFC. No one can beat you except yourself," Parsons said on 105.3 The Fan's 'GBag Nation' when asked how close he believes the Cowboys are to being the top team in the NFC. "You look at our game last year, that's a game we could have won. We beat ourselves with mistakes and things like that. I think we are the top team when you talk about numbers and experience - guys we got back. I think we're the only team that gained players. We didn't lose a (former Eagle and now 49ers' defensive tackle) Javon Hargrave, and then draft somebody. We have everybody across the board. When you talked about years playing together - years of experience - I think we're up there to be that better team."
The Cowboys re-signed their key free-agent contributors from last year's team this offseason, save for running back Ezekiel Elliott, who will be replaced in the starting lineup by the more agile Tony Pollard.
Dallas brought back linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, safety Donovan Wilson and defensive end Dante Fowler, ensuring that the Cowboys' entire pass-rushing unit, which finished tied for third in the NFL last season with 54 sacks, will remain intact. Linebacker Anthony Barr is the only player to record a sack in 2022 (1) that's not currently on the Cowboys roster.
The Cowboys also made two trades to bring in All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore and speedster wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
Meanwhile, the Eagles lost several key contributors, including Hargrave, safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson and linebacker T.J. Edwards. And the 49ers lost defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, cornerback Emanuel Mosely and right tackle Mike McGlinchey.
The Cowboys suffered back-to-back playoff exits at the hands of the 49ers and finished behind the Eagles in the NFC East last season.
Parsons and Dallas will get a chance to measure themselves against the 49ers when they head to the Bay Area to take on San Francisco on Oct. 8. And they'll see Jalen Hurts and the Eagles on the road for the first time this season in Philadelphia on Nov. 5. The Eagles will visit Dallas on Dec. 10.
Parsons also discussed how much rookie pass rusher Mazi Smith will help him on defense, what it would mean for him to help bring a Super Bowl to Dallas, and much more.