The 2018 NFL schedule has been released and we now have the exact dates the Cowboys will face off against their opponents. For the last three seasons, the Cowboys have opened the year against the New York Giants. In fact, they’ve played the Giants in five of the last six seasons. But there will be no New York/Dallas opener this season. The Cowboys will travel to Carolina instead, starting off their matchup with the first of four NFC South opponents, a division that sent three teams to the playoffs last year (New Orleans, Carolina, and Atlanta). While their NFC divisional matchup will be challenging, they draw the AFC South this year. That division contains two teams that only had four wins last year (Houston and Indianapolis), however both the them lost their starting quarterbacks for the season.
So, how will the Cowboys fare against this year’s opponents? Let’s go through each matchup and give a way too early prediction for each game.
Week 1 (Sept 9): Dallas @ Carolina (4:25 PM ET, FOX)
Result: Win. The Cowboys get the season started off right with an opening weekend victory. Cam Newton gets sacked four times, including one by his former teammate, Kony Ealy.
Week 2 (Sept 16): NY Giants @ Dallas (8:20 PM ET NBC)
Result: Win. The Cowboys swept the Giants last year as New York struggled to win games. The team picking number two overall in the draft will need more help that just the return of Odell Beckham Jr.
Week 3 (Sept 23): Dallas @ Seattle (4:25 PM ET FOX)
Result: Win. Kris Richard will get an early chance to show his former team what he can do with his new team. The Cowboy defense impresses as the Seahawks offense has lost its way.
Week 4 (Sept 30): Detroit @ Dallas (1 PM ET FOX)
Result: Loss. Crazy stuff happens whenever they face off against Detroit. The Lions end the Cowboys hot start.
Week 5 (Oct 7): Dallas @ Houston (8:20 PM ET NBC)
Result: Win. In a shootout, the Cowboys #4 outplays the Texans #4.
Week 6 (Oct 14): Jacksonville @ Dallas (4:25 PM ET CBS)
Result: Loss. The Cowboys defense plays extremely well and makes Blake Bortles look silly. Unfortunately, the Jaguars defense returns the favor. Jaylen Ramsey keeps his former teammate Allen Hurns in check and Leonard Fournette is just too much to deal with on this day.
Week 7 (Oct 21): Dallas @ Washington (4:25 PM ET CBS)
Result: Win. Alex Smith’s first interception last year was against the Cowboys. Now he’s in Washington, but he just doesn’t have enough tools to get it done.
Week 8 (Oct 28): BYE
Week 9 (Nov 5): Tennessee @ Dallas (8:15 PM ET CBS)
Result: Win. When will Marcus Mariotta break out? I’m not sure, but it won’t be in this game.
Week 10 (Nov 11): Dallas @ Philadelphia (8:20 PM ET NBC)
Result: Loss. This will be one on those matchups we will be circling on our calendars as the Eagles will be one of the biggest measuring stick of how good the Cowboys are. Unfortunately, the defending champs hold serve at home to jump ahead in the division race.
Week 11 (Nov 18): Dallas @ Atlanta (1 PM ET FOX)
Result: Win. Adrian Clayborn will not sack Dak even once in this game. How do I know that? Because he plays for New England now. Prescott is poised in the pocket and they make last year’s disappointing loss a distant memory.
Week 12 (Nov 22): Washington @ Dallas (Thanksgiving, 4:30 PM ET FOX)
Result: Win. The Cowboys are starting to pick up some momentum and complete the sweep over the Redskins.
Week 13 (Nov 29): New Orleans @ Dallas (8:20 PM ET FOX/NFLN)
Result: Loss. Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara put on a show in those beautiful color rush jerseys. The Cowboys end up on the wrong end of a weird play that ends up being the difference maker.
Week 14 (Dec 9): Philadelphia @ Dallas (4:25 PM ET FOX)
Result: Win. The Cowboys revenge their earlier loss and suddenly we have a division battle again.
Week 15 (Dec 16): Dallas @ Indianapolis (1:00 PM ET FOX)
Result: Win. The Colts were terrible last season and they will be terrible this season.
Week 16 (Dec 23): Tampa Bay @ Dallas (1:00 PM ET FOX)
Result: Win. David Irving is going to be a rich man in 2019 and his destruction of Jameis Winston will help make his case.
Week 17 (Dec 30): Dallas @ NY Giants (1:00 PM ET FOX)
Result: Win. Will this be the last game Eli Manning plays against the Cowboys? Gosh, I hope not. Cowboys play themselves into the playoffs, the Giants play themselves into a second-straight top 10 draft pick.
Dallas finishes the season with a 12-4 record and win the NFC East title.