The post has been updated for clarity as new information has come available. The original version continues after the break.
The NFL has been navigating COVID-19 all season long and that has obviously presented a number of challenges. Most notable among them, from a logistical standpoint, has been the re-scheduling of different games.
While it is currently Monday it has been a few days since we last saw the Dallas Cowboys play. This of course is a result of their annual Thanksgiving Day game that took place last week, a contest that the Cowboys lost to the Washington Football Team.
Dallas was originally scheduled to visit the Baltimore Ravens seven days later (this Thursday night), but the Ravens have had a number of re-scheduled times concerning their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers that was supposed to follow the Cowboys game on Thanksgiving. It appears as if things have stabilized, but the Cowboys game has been moved again.
The Dallas Cowboys will now visit the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, December 8th
As far as original scheduling is concerned the Cowboys were first set to visit the Ravens on Thursday, December 3rd. That got changed to Monday, December 7th, and it has now been changed to Tuesday, December 8th.
Another change to the Cowboys' next game at the Baltimore Ravens. What was originally a Thursday evening matchup and then a Monday 5 p.m. ET matchup now is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 8:05 p.m. ET.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 30, 2020
We’ve said this at every turn of the season but it is important to remember that everyone’s health is the top priority here. Obviously we are talking about the football of it all and the football is quite the mess for the Cowboys.
Dallas’ game against the Ravens is now going to come five days later than originally planned which will obviously alter the way that they prep not only for that game but for the one that follows, their Week 14 (Sunday, December 13th) game on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Currently Scheduled Timeline of Dallas Cowboys games from Thanksgiving through Week 14
- Thursday, November 26th: Washington Football Team
- Tuesday, December 8th: at Baltimore Ravens
- Sunday, December 13th: at Cincinnati Bengals
Dallas will have sort of effectively netted an extra bye week as they will go 12 days between their games against the teams from the state of Maryland. Of course the tradeoff there is that Dallas will now have a much shorter time period to prep for the Bengals as mentioned and if this team is going to compete for the NFC East they are going to need every waking bit of preparation that they can muster.
Let me be clear again... health is the top priority here. What matters most is that everyone is healthy. Speaking again to the football, you can argue that the Cowboys benefitted from all of this re-scheduling.
If you were to look at the Ravens and Bengals games in a vacuum there is no question that the former would be much more difficult for Dallas. They will have 12 days between games at that point while the Ravens will only have six. Of course Dallas will have less than the Bengals will when they face off in Cincinnati, but they are the easier team to beat.
Hopefully everyone involved here stays healthy. Get ready for the first Dallas Cowboys game to ever be played on a Tuesday.
This season of NFL football has been unlike anything that we have ever seen before. As a result of the challenges presented by COVID-19, another game was scheduled to take place on a Tuesday night. The Baltimore Ravens were set to wrap up Week 12 with a road trip to face their division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday night, but this particular game seems like it is going to be moved for the third time.
The game in question was originally supposed to take place immediately following the Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day and is currently on its third scheduled day as the original rescheduling had the game set to take place on Sunday afternoon.
As a result of Baltimore’s Week 12 game getting shuffled around, their Week 13 game needed adjusting. That particular game is a home contest against the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas was originally set to visit Baltimore this Thursday night, but the game will instead happen next Monday preceding Monday Night Football.
The Baltimore Ravens will play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday, the Cowboys game remains unaffected
Monday brought with it continued concern that the Ravens would not be able to play against the Steelers. There were a number of reports from NFL insiders that noted the game seemed to be somewhat in doubt and one report even suggested that certain Ravens players were considering deciding not to play it.
Following up on this, I've heard that there's a group of Ravens unhappy about having to play Tuesday, given how everything's been handled.— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) November 30, 2020
One source told me the NFL had offered Wednesday as a compromise, but that some players wanted Thursday. No consensus was reached. https://t.co/HiHqABwJ0n
It is hard to keep track of everything happening all at once, but remember that this game between Pittsburgh and Baltimore was originally supposed to take place last Thursday night. There have been some people throughout the season to have suggested instituting a Week 18 for the league to make up games that are complicated by this year’s challenges, but there is no indication that the NFL is going to do something like that.
Say that the NFL did hypothetically decide to just yank Ravens/Steelers until a later date (again, this is hypothetical). This would free up this Thursday night for the Ravens to host the Cowboys like they were originally scheduled to, but according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that is not going to happen. Considering that the Cowboys haven’t been preparing for a game on Thursday it makes sense not to suddenly spring that on them just because it could now logistically happen.
As for the #Ravens-#Cowboys game -- originally scheduled for Thursday night, then tentatively pushed back to next Monday -- my understanding is it's unlikely the NFL would move it back up to Thursday. It'd really throw a wrench at Dallas, which is a bystander in all this.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 30, 2020
To be clear here, the priority in all of this is the health and wellness of everyone involved. Looking at the football of this all though, the Cowboys are already being negatively impacted if you want to look at it a certain way.
Consider that Dallas was going to have exactly a week after their Thanksgiving Day game to get ready for Baltimore. After the game against the Ravens the Cowboys were set to have the “mini bye” that accompanies playing on Thursday nights before their Week 14 matchup on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Even if the Cowboys wind up playing on Monday night they will now actually be operating on a short week before they travel to take on Cincinnati. As their lone Monday Night Football game is well in the rearview mirror they were theoretically done with this process this year, but due to the challenges of the 2020 season have to go through it again. Obviously a lot has happened to a lot of teams this season.
On Monday afternoon it was reported that the Ravens and Steelers will actually now play on Wednesday, six days after the game was originally supposed to happen. For what it’s worth this Sunday’s matchup between the Washington Football Team and the Pittsburgh Steelers will also reportedly be pushed to next Monday.
Ravens-Steelers postponed to Wednesday, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 30, 2020
Steelers-Ravens being moved to Wednesday, time to be determined. Also, Steelers-Washington game being moved to Monday, per sources.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) November 30, 2020
To our earlier point, any further delay to the Cowboys/Ravens game would further hinder the Cowboys’ ability to rest for their following matchup against the Bengals, and to be fair this is a team that is still very much alive in the divisional race. For now it does seem like the Cowboys will have an inordinately long amount of time between games when they face Baltimore while the Ravens will have very little.
Of course what is fair in the context of the game of football is out the window this season with so many things being re-shuffled and restructured. Again the priority is that everyone stays healthy, but as far as the next Dallas Cowboys game goes, there is a lot to sort out.