The Dallas Cowboys’ 2014 schedule was released this past week, something that used to be a non-event but is now one of the biggest days on the NFL calendar during the off-season. The reason for this isn’t that the schedule release is all that important. Because it isn’t (other than maybe for travel purposes). The reason is because we can never get enough football in our lives, and we’ll take any excuse to talk about football.
In reality, the release of the Cowboys schedule really told us nothing of significance, because anything and everything that we think we know right now is all probably going to go out the window eventually. Sure, Dallas’ December looks tough on paper. The Cowboys travel to Chicago and Philadelphia in back-to-back weeks before returning home to host the Indianapolis Colts then finishing the season in Washington.
Playing three road games in a month is something that is concrete, but no one has ANY idea what those teams are actually going to look like in 2014, especially in December. If you had broken down the Cowboys’ 2013 schedule in April of 2013, you would’ve analyzed facing Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick in the final month of the season. You may remember this, but the Cowboys didn’t face ONE of those quarterbacks.
Last year’s Week 2 game against Kansas City, coming off a 2-14 season, was thought to be a cakewalk. How’d that turn out? Heck, even the Week 17 game was against the NFC East Champion Eagles team that only won four games the previous season.
If we’ve learned anything from the NFL in recent history it’s that every year a good number of teams go from the top to the bottom (see: the 2012 and 2013 Atlanta Falcons) and from the bottom to the top (see: the 2012 and 2013 Kansas City Chiefs) with very little, if any, warning.
I get it. It’s fun to look at the schedule and try to predict a record and figure out which games are going to be the hardest. Any excuse to talk about football. But just don’t be fooled into thinking that anyone actually has any idea what he or she is talking about. Because they can’t. Unless they have a crystal ball or a time machine.