When we looked at the initial strength of schedule numbers for 2017 at the end of last season (at the time, those were still based on the opponent records in 2016), we saw that the Cowboys' 2016 opponents finished the 2016 season with a combined 134-118-4 record for a .531 winning percentage. That would have made the 2017 schedule one of the "toughest” schedules the Cowboys had in the last 10 years.
|SOS by Year|
Heading into the season, that .531 SOS was the 10th "toughest" schedule - but things have changed.
Based on the opponent records through Week 6, the Cowboys' 2017 opponents currently have a combined 47-44 record for a .516 winning percentage, which ranks the Cowboys 14th in the league.
Three of the five opponents the Cowboys have faced so far this year currently have a winning record, one has a losing record and one is tied at 3-3. Combined, the Cowboys' opponent winning percentage over the first six weeks is .517, a pretty average strength of schedule.
Had the Cowboys started 5-0 instead of 2-3, none of their five opponents so far would have a winning record, and the opponent winning percentage would drop to .414 - which just goes to show that a team's strength of schedule also reflects a considerable amount of a team's own performance. In very simple terms this means that the more games you win, the softer your SOS gets - and vice versa.
Despite facing what currently appears to be a tough four-game stretch from Week 8-11 (@ 3-2 Redskins, vs 5-1 Chiefs, @ 3-2 Falcons, vs 5-1 Eagles), the Cowboys' opponents for the remainder of the season barely combine for a winning record, currently showing a combined W/L of 32-20, or a .516 winning percentage.
A few wins here and a few losses there can quickly change the entire strength of schedule picture, both for the Cowboys and for the rest of the NFC East. For now though, the Cowboys appear to be playing a pretty average schedule this year, and probably not the tough schedule you may have been led to expect.
All of the strength of schedule data is summarized in the table below. For your convenience, the table is sortable and the NFC East teams are highlighted with colored rows. Click on any of the column sub-headers (W, L, %, PD) to sort the table in ascending or descending order.
2017 Strength Of Schedule by team (click column subheaders to sort)
|Teams||2015 SOS||Opponent records week 1-7 ||Opponent records week 8-17|
| W ||L ||%||Point Diff.||W||L||%||Point Diff.|