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Ready for Cowboys vs. Bills Super Bowl, Part III?

One stats-fueled computer model indicates we're headed for a Dallas-Buffalo Super Bowl in February

FRISCO - From data-driven formulas to subjective power rankings, there is no shortage of opinions about NFL teams these days. The old-school method of merely checking the standings has - sorry, Bill Parcells - become obsolete.

"You are," the former Dallas Cowboys' coach regularly shrugged, "what your record says you are."

Using Parcells' relatively medieval perspective, the Cowboys are the fourth-best team in the league with a 7-2 record (behind only the Packers, Cardinals and Titans at 8-2). But one of the many companies spewing advanced analytics says they are even better. Good enough, in fact, to play in Super Bowl LVI.

Ready for Cowboys-Bills, part III?

First, of course, the banged-up Cowboys have to deal with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs Sunday in Kansas City. But ...

Football Outsiders inputs countless statistical metrics into its computing systems and then runs probably a gazillion simulated games. It's all very War Games, but Cowboys fans will love this weird science.

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According to Football Outsiders' projections, the mostly likely matchup February 13 in SoFi Stadium is Cowboys-Bills.

"Our research shows that clobbering bad opponents is a better indicator of a Super Bowl team than winning close games over good opponents," FO editor-in-chief Aaron Schatz said Tuesday in an appearance on ESPN's Daily Wager. "The Cowboys have done both. We really like them, and actually they'd be even stronger in our simulations if we threw out the game started by Cooper Rush."

While traditional oddsmakers in Las Vegas still give the 6-3 and defending champion Buccaneers the best odds of winning the NFC and meeting the Bills, Schatz disagrees.

"We think they are better than the Bucs," he said. "The Cowboys have real value."

The Cowboys - back before computers and the internet - walloped the Bills in Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII by a combined 82-30.