The Dallas Cowboys will open their season at home against the San Francisco 49ers, who will look to sweep offseason distractions and injuries under the rug.
The Dallas Cowboys finished 0-4 in the preseason, indicating that they are in for a rough season. Tony Romo will return as the starting quarterback as wide receiver Dez Bryant continues to be his top weapon.
Running back DeMarco Murray and tight end Jason Witten will also continue to be key pieces to the Cowboys offense.
However, the defense is expected to take a step back after performing horribly last season. Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and defensive end Jason Hatcher left in free agency, and inside linebacker Sean Lee is out for the season with a torn ACL.
To add insult to injury, cornerback Orlando Scandrick was suspended four games for substance abuse and rookie defensive end Demarcus Lawrence will be out with a broken foot that has an expected timetable of 8-12 weeks of healing.
The 49ers have had issues of their own as well with the offensive line struggling in the preseason and making quarterback Colin Kaepernick struggle. Guard Alex Boone may be rusty coming off a lengthy holdout.
The offseason has also been filled with distractions, most recently with defensive end Ray McDonald being arrested for domestic violence. He will likely be suspended six games under the new league policy on domestic abuse.
Outside linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended nine games for a series of arrests, and inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman will be out for six games as he continues to recover from a knee injury.
If the 49ers offense can take advantage of a Swiss cheese Cowboys defense, they should have no problem winning their season opener.
Prediction: 49ers 31, Cowboys 20