When the NFL announces its schedule there are a few things that are essentially guaranteed about it. One of them is that the Dallas Cowboys will play the maximum amount of games on prime time. These are the Dallas Cowboys that we are talking about. They are America’s Team. Whether they are good, bad, or somewhere in between, the Cowboys are the draw of the National Football League. Or at least they used to be.
Week after week the Cowboys have found new ways to not just lose, but to lose in catastrophic fashion so far in 2020. They have lost many of their stars, but that has happened in seasons before. Typically the weight of The Star carries the group through thick and thin in that capacity, but it appears that those days are a thing of the past.
The NFL announced on Wednesday that they are flexing out of the Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers Week 15 game on Sunday Night Football. They are putting Dallas and San Francisco in the 1 PM ET hour where the less popular teams play and are instead choosing to highlight the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants.
NFL has flexed Week 15 Browns-Giants game to Sunday night on NBC. Niners-Cowboys moves to 1 ET on CBS. Jets-Rams kicks off that day at 4:05 ET on FOX.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 9, 2020
This is a new low for the Cowboys if we are being quite honest. The same can be said of the San Francisco 49ers obviously, but this is a game set to take place at AT&T Stadium. Jerry Jones has now seen the league he has helped elevate choose someone else’s house over his own for a night to showcase to the world. If nothing else has stung to this point, this surely has to.
Consider that in the long running history of Sunday Night Football since it began its current iteration in 2006, the Cowboys have been one of its featured teams. It is typically a ratings draw for a network to have Dallas play over their airwaves. Such has certainly not been the case for the Cleveland Browns of all teams. It is not hyperbolic to say that this is an unprecedented situation.
The NFL made Sunday Night Football its featured game of the week in 2006. Next week will be the Browns' third-ever appearance. The Cowboys have appeared 47 times— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) December 9, 2020
First time since NBC SNF started in 2006 that the Cowboys have been flexed out. https://t.co/w2EpoTMw2E— 506 Sports (@506sports) December 9, 2020
To be clear, the Cowboys have been flexed out of a notable window in recent memory. Back in 2017 their late afternoon game against the Giants (the late afternoon window can often be the biggest draw of the week) was pushed back to noon in favor of a matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars. That is now twice in four seasons that games featuring the likes of Jacksonville and Cleveland have been given higher priority than Jerry Jones’ Cowboys.
It was an embarrassing affair for the Cowboys on Tuesday night in Baltimore, but this is insult to injury. Even when the Cowboys were bad they were the talk of the town in the NFL. Now they are just a normal, boring, really bad football team.
This is the new normal apparently.