On Thursday evening, the NFL released the official schedule for the Dallas Cowboys. Just like every year, some games stick out more than others.
The opponents have been set for a few months now but the official dates were not known until Thursday. So, with a quick glance over the schedule, the first thing that sticks out is the Week 10 bye. The Cowboys are expected to have five preseason games and should start camp in mid-July, which is a pretty long time without a break. While there is never truly a perfect time to have a bye week, anything can happen on any given Sunday in the NFL.
The next sticking point is the games that are played in December. The Cowboys will play in Baltimore and Cincinnati to kick off the month before playing the last two December games at home against San Francisco and the Eagles. Three of those teams made the playoffs just a season ago, so the Cowboys will have their hands full that month. Last year, potentially the worst game the Cowboys played was in frigid temperatures in New England. However, new head coach Mike McCarthy is no stranger to zero-degree temperature, so his new team may be better prepared than most.
The Cowboys will travel and play in the Rams’ new stadium in the first Sunday night game before playing their first home game against the Falcons in Week 2. The Cowboys will travel and play in the legend of doom in Seattle before coming home to play three straight home games against the Browns, Giants, and the Cardinals.
After the home stretch, the team will travel to two division rivals and play in Washington and the defending NFC East champs, the Philadelphia Eagles. Two afternoon games against the Steelers and the Vikings will be played before hosting the Redskins as one of the traditional Thanksgiving Day games. Finally, the Cowboys will end the regular season in New York against the Giants where former Dallas head coach Jason Garrett is now the offensive coordinator.
Unlike last year when the boys played three of the easiest teams and started the season 3-0, it may look different this year and could actually flip-flop; the Cowboys could be down early in the season. There is a lot to expect with a new coaching staff and a very successful offseason, but how quickly can this team adapt to the new atmosphere?
It’s difficult to predict the record this year because nobody knows if the season is going to start on time. Tickets did go on sale late Thursday evening, so the league is preparing to start on time as of now. Americans need football right now; the American sport just seems to make everything a bit better when times are hard.
The Dallas Cowboys will be looking to regain the top spot in the NFC East battle as McCarthy will strategize and try to get his new team into the Super Bowl.