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Cowboys News: Another Brutal December Looming For Cowboys In 2017?

We have known who for a while, but now we know when and where the Cowboys will be playing each week.

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Cowboys' schedule: Dallas is in for a brutal December - David Moore, Dallas Morning News

It has been said that the true mark of a wise man is how frequently he agrees with you. In this case, Mr. Moore must certainly be wise beyond measure because he and I are in complete agreement on the challenges Dallas will face during the season's home stretch.

Three of the team's final four games are on the road. The three games the Cowboys play to kick off the final month of the regular season -- at the Giants, at Oakland and at home against Seattle -- are against teams that compiled a record of 33-14-1 last season.

If the Cowboys are to be a factor in the race to the Super Bowl they will have to start out strong and finish even stronger. Champions are made during December in this game, and Dallas will certainly have a chance to prove themselves worthy as the season winds down.

Dallas Cowboys face difficult closing stretch to schedule - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Cowboys will arrive at the postseason battle-hardened should they be fortunate enough to qualify, thanks to a December slate heavy with travel.

The Cowboys close this season with three of their final four games away from home, including a West Coast trip to Oakland in Week 15. And the only home game in the final month is against Seattle, a perennially strong team. So if the Cowboys can make the playoffs again, they will be battle tested. If you want a good omen, the Cowboys last played three of their final four games away from home in 2014 and won all three.

Gut Feeling: Staff Writers Share Initial Thoughts on Cowboys’ 2017 Schedule - Dallas Cowboys Staff
All four guys at the mothership offer a take on the schedule, but not everbody is talking about December. Here's Nick Eatman:

But while everyone wants to talk about December, let’s not forget November. That’s when teams start to really make a move in the standings one way or the other. The Cowboys have four of five games at home, starting with the Chiefs on CBS, which should be Tony Romo’s first game to cover the Cowboys. But after a game in Atlanta, which will be entertaining, it’s back home for three straight against the Eagles, Chargers and Redskins. If the Cowboys are hot, they have to chance to create some distance in the NFC East. And if they’ve struggled to that point, here’s a chance to get back in the race. That stretch of home games could be huge.

Winners, losers of 2017 NFL schedule release - Kevin Seifert, ESPN
The league packed its prime-time schedule with its best draws, including the NFL's ratings goldmine, the Dallas Cowboys.

Last year's ratings slide for the NFL clearly impacted the league's schedule-making process. For the first time in five years, neither the Cleveland Browns nor the Jacksonville Jaguars will play in prime time. (They both have "national" games in the 9:30 a.m. ET slot from London.) Instead, the league packed its prime-time schedule with its best draws.

Ten teams have the maximum number of five prime-time games, not including potential flex scheduling later in the season. That list includes the obvious candidates, among them the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Cowboys -- the NFL's ratings gold mine -- also have nine late-afternoon kickoffs that traditionally draw larger audiences. Their only 1 p.m. ET kickoffs come in Weeks 4 and 17. The latter, at the Philadelphia Eagles, would likely be moved to a later time if it has playoff implications.

Way-too-early predictions for Cowboys' 2017 schedule: Why Dallas will go 10-6 - Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News

The schedule is set for the 2017 season. We have known for months that the upcoming season would feature a rough slate of contests for the Cowboys and that it would not be easy for the squad to replicate the success that the team experienced on its way to having one of the best regular season imaginable.

Jon Machota takes the first crack at prognosticating the future for the team. As the headline states, it is way too early, but none the less the attempt at tea leaf reading makes for an interesting read and good speculation.

The Cowboys fall short of winning the division, but this Week 17 victory clinches a wild-card berth. Dallas reaches the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons with a 10-6 record. The Giants win the NFC East after going 11-5 for the second consecutive season.

2017 NFL Schedule: Here's when Tony Romo Will Likely Call Cowboys Games For CBS - Will Brinson, CBS Sports

We will all be comparing former Dallas Cowboys passers Troy Aikman and Tony Romo based on their performances in the broadcasting booth during Cowboys games. We will not have to wait long for those comparisons to start. CBS will be covering the annual meeting on Thanksgiving Day and as a part of the #1 broadcast team for CBS it stands to reason that the former quarterback will be given the duty to cover his old organization.

The first game available will be Week 9 when the Cowboys host the Chiefs at AT&T Stadium. Again, no one can definitely say that Romo will be calling that game, because anything could happen with these two teams, but it is very likely that he ends up calling this matchup for CBS.

And you can all but guarantee he'll call the game for CBS on Thanksgiving when the Cowboys host the Chargers.

In Cowboys' search for immediate impact from NFL draft, there's a clear answer between DE, CB - Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News

Moving on from the schedule announcement to the next event on the NFL calendar, next week's draft, Sherrington attempts to answer the speculation on how the front office will go about answering concerns on the defensive side of the ball. Or does he?

Bottom line: The odds of a cornerback taken at 28 making an immediate impact are better than a defensive end doing the same.

Of course, if you're like me, you know Taco would be a natural. Think of the potential. You're welcome, Mico.

The obvious conclusion is, that it will depend in part on how the draft falls. This year things are as clear as mud in Dallas.

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Dallas Cowboys choose Gareon Conley - Brandon Lee Gowton & RegalEagle, Bleeding Green Nation

Some of you troll the SBN Nation sites for our division rivals, some don't. Either way this one is worth checking out. (And not just because it agrees with what I have been saying for a couple weeks.)

It is a good look at the Ohio State cornerback.The Cowboys might be the only team that has an argument for needing a pair of starting cornerbacks more than the Eagles. Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr, their two starters from last season, have both moved on, as well as safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. In other words, the Cowboys secondary will have to undergo the biggest facelift since [insert famous celebrity with self-image issues here].

Enter Gareon Conley,

While I question the taste of my colleagues over at BGN, I am not going to dispute their judgment on this one.

Should The Cowboys’ Strategy Be To Rebuild The Secondary In A Single Draft? - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys

In this timely post, Sisemore raises a good question. Is it wise for Dallas to go all in on defensive backs in the draft?

There are those of us who look at the Cowboys’ stable of edge rushers and think it’s lacking elite talent. Then there’s the other side who see the exodus of former secondary players and think this may be the perfect year to hunt for help on the back end. The closer we get to draft day the more and more the feeling of a secondary overhaul seems likely.

There are those, perhaps including Jerry Jones himself, who want a war daddy edge rushr in the first round. Others read the mass exodus of defensive backs during the off season as a sign that the consensus of the front office is to focus on the defensive backfield. In the end, Michael's conclusions seem to be logical.

Cowboys Sign Safety Robert Blanton - Todd Archer, ESPN

Regardless of how the draft may fall. the Cowboys are not placing all their eggs in one basket. To that end they signed veteran safety Robert Blanton, formerly of the Bills.

A fifth-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, Blanton, who turns 28 in September, had his best season in 2014, starting 13 games and finishing with 106 tackles and an interception.

He is a DB who can come in and give the team quality snaps and will provide some veteran experience for a unit that has precious little in that regard. Blanton will not make or break a defense, but he will contribute to the overall product.

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