The Dallas Cowboys 2014 regular season schedule offers five opposing quarterbacks, amongst many others, that threaten to keep the franchise out of the playoffs again. Owner and general manger Jerry Jones will try to avoid missing the postseason for a fifth straight season for the first time in his 26 years running the franchise.
No, the coming season doesn’t quite look like the firing squad that was staring the Cowboys in the face as 2013 approached. Again not having made the playoffs following the 2012 campaign, Dallas still drew the likes of Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Super Bowl XLI MVP Peyton Manning, now with the Denver Broncos—Manning has been to three Super Bowls all in all.
Reaching the second tier of quarterback talent, Dallas still entertained franchise quarterbacks Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears, an otherwise erratic passer who just knows how to kill the Cowboys in the air. It feels like he does so on an annual basis. There was also Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions, a young gunslinger from Highland Park High School who’s also forging some fond memories of playing against Dallas secondaries. In two games against the Cowboys, Stafford has thrown for 728 yards and is 2-0, this despite throwing three touchdown passes and three interceptions.
Let’s not forget the nearly immobile Phillip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers, a savvy veteran who’s also never lost a game to the Cowboys. In two opportunities during his eight seasons as San Diego’s starter, Rivers has passed for 673 yards. He’s thrown four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Finally, there’s still the guaranteed presence of two-time Super Bowl MVP (XLII, XLVI) Eli Manning of the New York Giants. Unless you just started following the Cowboys in the last year or two, you’re well aware of Manning’s history of big performances against Dallas.
No, this year it’s not quite as bad, yet on paper there’s some dangerous spots—there’s likely to be some sleepers as well.
The following is the most dangerous five quarterbacks on the Cowboys schedule for this coming regular season.
No disrespect to Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles, but he’s .500 against the Cowboys in two tries last season having played one horrible game and one very good one, the latter ending Dallas’ season on Week 17.
Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins doesn’t appear because I have yet to see him win consistently with his arm.
Russell Wilson of the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks doesn’t make the cut either because I think there’s a decent list of other issues facing the Cowboys that are greater when they travel to Washington state in September—Seahawks’ defense, Marshawn Lynch, 12th Man, etc.
Here’s the passers who figure to be the most threatening to any postseason ambitions of the Cowboys ranked from least dangerous to most lethal.