The NFL announced on Tuesday that they are going to reveal the 2018 season schedule on Thursday evening. Seriously, and people love it.
Schedule release is always a fun time for football fans because it’s time to start figuring out which games you’re going to attend, what trips you’re going to make, how to plan your viewing schedules, you get the idea.
What will the Cowboys schedule look like this season? We’ll have to wait a bit longer to know for sure, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun in the meantime. I’ve predicted the team’s schedule in seasons past, and 2018 is no different! Here’s my official prediction.
The Cowboys play the AFC South, NFC South, Detroit Lions, and Seattle Seahawks besides their NFC East division rivals this season. You’ll note that I’ve given them five primetime games (the maximum amount) in addition to their annual basically-a-primetime-game Thanksgiving Day contest.
Dallas has opened at home against the New York Giants in each of the last three seasons, and they’ve opened at home in general the last five in a row. Last time the Cowboys opened on the road was in New York when the G-Men raised their banner (the Kevin Ogletree game!), and considering the Giants have taken a step back... it feels like the NFL might finally move on from their Week 1 tradition.
While it stands to reason that some of the AFC South games could be potential primetime contests, it’s rare that the NFL schedules interconference games for these stages. Remember that Dallas visited Oakland on Sunday Night Football last year, but that was only the second time they’ve played an AFC team on SNF since NBC took over the package in 2006 (the other was the 2011 season opener against the New York Jets).
I’ve got the Cowboys visiting the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday Night Football seven days after hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thanksgiving (the original Salvation Army bucket game). FOX is a player on TNF this season and they have more influence on what games can exist there of a greater variety (typically TNF isn’t so top-notch). The network might be willing to hand over a golden goose of sorts between Dallas and Seattle to their Thursday night crew in hopes of strong early December ratings.
There are a number of people who believe Dallas will open the season in the NBC broadcasted Thursday night game to begin the season when the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles raise their banner. While it’s understandable that the NFL could do this, it doesn’t give them the biggest bang for their buck. People are going to watch the season opener no matter what, there’s no need to burn Cowboys/Eagles (a massive ratings draw) in that slot. It’s a wiser move on their part to save Dak versus Wentz until much later, especially considering the Eagles quarterback might not even be healthy to begin the season.
There you have it, BTB. An official schedule prediction. What do you think?