Time moves fast. I sometimes like to look at time in a bit of a weird way. Using the Dallas Cowboys as our launching point... consider the 2014 Dallas Cowboys season. Can you believe that the 2014 season was nine years ago? Me neither.
Where the weird comes in is if we apply that same distance to the 2014 team. Nine years before then was 2005. If I had asked you how long ago the 2005 team was in 2014 you would have said 100 years easily whereas 2014 feels like just yesterday in the here and now.
Perhaps this is just a part of getting older or some other piece of wisdom. The point is that if you measure time through the lens of sports (which we often do), you can get lost in the weeds a little bit.
Welcome to the weeds!
The Dallas Cowboys will complete their first schedule cycle with Dak Prescott in 2023
Prior to the NFL adding a 17th regular season game in 2021 things were really nice and simple as far as a given NFL team and their future opponents. It isn’t rocket science now, but it is less clean.
Before two years ago the Cowboys (as an NFC team) only visited every AFC team once every eight years per the league’s rotating schedule (despite a few unique exceptions). This isn’t not necessarily the case anymore, but there are more opportunities for the Cowboys to visit AFC teams in years where they wouldn’t have previously. Consider that this season Dallas will visit New England after just having been there four years ago.
As this has mostly been the case from 2002 (realignment) to this point it is notable that the Cowboys are entering their eighth season (what was normally one full schedule cycle) with Dak Prescott under center. Eight years with a single franchise quarterback is notable.
The gist of this point is that this season the Cowboys will visit the final two teams that they have not in the Dak Prescott era, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. You may recall that the team’s last regular season trips to those venues came during the 2015 season. The Miami game was one of the lone wins on that season and happened in Tony Romo’s first game back after being lost in Week 2, while the Buffalo trip came in the season’s penultimate week with current Los Angels Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore playing quarterback for America’s Team.
There is no prize or accolade that the Cowboys are going to obtain by making it through one whole cycle with Dak under center, it is just a testament to how long he has been this team’s quarterback. While the Dak-led Cowboys will finish a full cycle this season, it is worth mentioning that he still has two places where he has not started a game at quarterback given the time that he missed in 2020. Presuming Prescott plays this season at Buffalo and Miami, he will only have the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals left to visit to hit NFL bingo as the Cowboys quarterback.