It is never too early to look at next season! As we discussed here, the Dallas Cowboys have the tenth-most difficult schedule based on last year’s wins and losses. The scheduling process did no favors this year as the two most competitive divisions in football (NFC East and AFC West) are paired against each other this year. Additionally, the Cowboys face a tall task this year by playing a pair of division winners in Green Bay and Atlanta.
The order of the games has not been decided. This is an arbitrary list, first examining the home games, followed by the away games.
New York Giants (1-0): The Dallas Cowboys will make up for a pair of losses to the Giants last year with a resounding win this year. Based on recent history, this likely will be the home opener for the team.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-0): The Eagles come into town another year deep with their second-year head coach and quarterback. While they lack star power, Philadelphia puts up a challenge but Dallas pulls out a win.
Washington Redskins (3-0): Fortunately the Dallas Cowboys have the privilege to play the Redskins two times per year. Gone are the days of RG3 tormenting Dallas and in are the days of some beatdowns. The Cowboys will complete the trifecta and sweep the division foes at home with a win.
Green Bay Packers (3-1): This game poses a unique challenge to the Cowboys and a lot more than just skill will be on the line. The Packers have knocked Dallas out of the playoffs two times in the last three years, and they will continue their winning ways with yet another game-winning Mason Crosby field goal to end the game.
Los Angeles Rams (4-1): The Rams will get an up-close view of what a real franchise quarterback looks like as Dak Prescott leads Dallas to an easy victory.
Seattle Seahawks (5-1): The Dallas Cowboys are built to beat aggressive teams like the Seahawks because their play-action ability is unique. Does the Seahawks vaunted secondary challenge Dak Prescott to beat them by stacking the line and pressuring Zeke Elliott, or does the secondary have to respect Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten? Dallas narrowly pulls out a late victory at home.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-1): The Chiefs pose significant problems for the Cowboys because of their speed on both offense and defense. While Dallas has the stronger offense, and a far more reliable running back, the Chiefs defense performed well against many top ten offenses last year, including the Raiders (twice), Falcons, Saints and the Chargers (twice). All this being said, Dallas will limit Travis Kelce and win in Big D.
Los Angeles Chargers (6-2): Goofy logo or not, the LA Chargers will come into Dallas seeking a statement non-conference victory against the Cowboys. In an upset, the Cowboys make one too many mistakes and let a Chargers team win on their home field.
Away Games (5-3)
New York Giants (6-3): The last time Dallas swept the Giants in the regular season was the 2014 season. While it would be extra sweet to do it after going 0-2 last year, the Giants continue to torment the Dallas secondary behind a big game by Sterling Shepard.
Washington Redskins (7-3): Let’s keep this simple. The Cowboys continue their dominance in DC (last loss in 2010) and beat the Redskins for a season sweep of their rivals.
Philadelphia Eagles (8-3): The last time the Cowboys went to Philadelphia, it was an inconsequential week 17 game last season. This time, the stakes are potentially higher and the Dallas defense balls out and leads Dallas to a 5-1 division record, a significant improvement after going 3-3 last season.
Atlanta Falcons (8-4). It is unclear if the Falcons will be the defending Super Bowl champs, but what is clear is that they will dominate the Cowboys behind the best offense in football. Cowboys fans will be reminded of the last time these teams faced each other when Devonta Freeman had three touchdowns while Julio Jones had two touchdowns.
Arizona Cardinals (9-4): The Arizona Cardinals have a packed team but severely underperformed last season. The Cowboys have not beaten the Cardinals since 2006 but that will change as Zeke leads Dallas to an important conference victory.
San Fransisco 49ers (10-4): The Cowboys will continue their winning ways against the 49ers with a resounding victory. The only difference this time around is that they will not face an early 14 point deficit.
Denver Broncos (11-4): This game could be particularly interesting if Tony Romo finds himself in Denver. The last time these teams faced off was a classic high-scoring matchup. That likely will not be the case this year as the Broncos secondary is excellent and the Broncos offense only goes as far as their quarterback play. While Von Miller meets Dak and Zeke in the backfield more times than we would like, the Cowboys pull out a narrow victory.
Oakland Raiders (11-5): In many ways, the Raiders and the Cowboys are parallel teams with similar philosophies. Draft young stars, build an impeccable offensive line and control time of possession. A healthy David Carr and a beastly Khalil Mack will give Dallas plenty of challenges and a late game winning catch by Amari Cooper puts the icing on the cake as the Cowboys lose at the Coliseum.
Will Dallas be able to win 11 games? Will that be enough to win the division? Will the superstar rookies have a sophomore slump? What do you think?