With the close of the regular season, the NFL's scheduling formula has already determined which teams will face each other, just not when and in what sequence. And given that the Vegas bookies released their early 2014 win projections for each team last week, that gives us a chance to check out the Cowboys' 2014 opponents and their projected W/L records.
But before we go there, some bad news to get started: Vegas projects another 8-8 season for the Cowboys in 2014. With that out of the way, let's take a look at the 2014 opponents.
In 2014, the Cowboys will play three home games and three away games against the NFC East. The win projection for the East mirrors last year's end-of-season standings: Eagles (9 wins) ahead of the Cowboys (8 wins) and the Giants/Redskins (both 7 wins).
The Cowboys will play one game each against the NFC West: Seahawks (11), 49ers (11), Cardinals (7.5), Rams (7). Again, this pretty much reflects last year's end-of-season standings.
The Cowboys will also play the AFC South, which is projected to be much weaker than the NFC West: Colts (9.5), Texans (8), Titans (6.5), Jaguars (4.5). Lots of confidence in the Texans from Vegas in this division.
Finally, the Cowboys will play the second-place teams from the NFC North (Bears - 8.5 wins) and NFC South (Saints - 9.5 wins).
The home and away matchups have also already been determined. Per the NFL Record & Fact Book these are:
- Home: , , - , - , - Saints
- Away: Eagles, Giants, Redskins - , - , - Bears
Overall, the projected wins of the Cowboys opponents over 16 games add up to 129 wins, which is the 17th-toughest schedule. The Giants also face 129 wins, the Eagles 127.5 and the Redskins 127. That's a pretty even schedule in the division.
Here is the full list of projected wins, with some other data points added in. For your convenience, the table is sortable (just click on the blue column headers).
|Projected Wins 2014
|Team||2013 Wins||2014 Win Projection||2014 Proj. Opp. Wins|
|San Francisco 49ers||12||11||132|
|New England Patriots||12||10.5||125|
|Green Bay Packers||8||10||131|
|New Orleans Saints||11||9.5||132|
|Kansas City Chiefs||11||8||130.5|
|San Diego Chargers||9||8||128.5|
|New York Giants||7||7||129|
|St. Louis Rams||7||7||136|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||7||132|
|New York Jets||8||6.5||129.5|
What do you think?