The NFL will release the new schedule on Thursday for the upcoming season and I have some interesting predictions for the Dallas Cowboys.
Last year, Dallas had a very favorable schedule, but were unable to make a postseason run. So before we get an endless run of television predictions on what each team record will be based on the schedule, I offer some schedule predictions of my own.
Something that we don’t know right now is the preseason opponents. I, for one, would love to see the Cowboys travel to Nevada and help the Las Vegas Raiders open up their new stadium.
As for the start of the regular season, opening against the New York Giants is getting to be a bore. This is one tradition Cowboy fans seemed fairly tired of.
If the league really wants to get phenomenal ratings in Week One, I’d liked to see the Cowboys travel and help unveil the new stadium in Inglewood, California and face the new-look Los Angeles Rams.
With Dallas having such a huge following in southern California, tickets to this game would be an extremely hot item. While a who’s-who list of celebrities would create almost an awards-like atmosphere. Unfortunately, this thinking could also be the reason the league doesn’t do it as such a heavy contingent of Cowboy fans would undoubtedly take away some luster from the home team.
I predict that the NFL will pair the Cowboys with a non-divisional opponent with plenty of star power to open the regular season. Perhaps the Cleveland Browns or the Atlanta Falcons traveling to AT&T Stadium. Or Dallas heading to Minneapolis to play the Vikings.
I am also predicting that the Dallas will get a bye week very early in the season. And it could actually help them.
With a new coaching staff, getting a bye week could certainly be beneficial no matter what the record says. If the Cowboys are off to a bad start, this would enable them to re-organize and find out what is working and what isn’t. If the team comes out hot, they could start adding in wrinkles to what is working so that it keeps previous game film obsolete.
As every fan knowns, the Cowboys play on Thanksgiving every year. To me, it’s an American tradition that must continue as long as there is football.
With that being said, I think this season would be a great time for Dallas to play against a team with a historic background on the national holiday. The San Francisco 49ers or the Pittsburgh Steelers would be fascinating opponents on turkey day. Getting such a non-divisional opponent on this massive stage would no doubt make it must-see TV.
Ending the season against divisional opponents might be a foregone conclusion. But I would love this game to be played at AT&T Stadium.
Early predictions have the NFC East as a two-horse race with the Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles neck and neck to the finish. Having Philly travel to Dallas would be so much more beneficial than traveling to Philly.
My prediction is that the Cowboys will host the Eagles in the last week of the season. Dallas did close out last season at home against the Washington Redskins and on the road against the New York Giants the year before.
My final prediction is that the Cowboys have harder opponents to begin the season, which again, will be to their benefit. The other 31 teams in the league will not have film of this revised team so guesswork at the coaching staff’s previous tendencies is what those early opponents will have to go on. Playing those AFC North teams in the first half of the season is something I can see happening.
The Dallas Cowboys new coaching staff can and probably will do things out of the norm to gain an advantage early on. By the time opposing teams figure out what this new version of America’s Team is doing, Dallas could be facing teams who are already well out of playoff contention.