The Dallas Cowboys‘ 2022 schedule was released at the beginning of May. Most analysts deemed the Cowboys to have one of the easiest schedules out of all 32 teams. In fairness, Dallas should have a relatively easy time going against the Houston Texans, New York Giants, and Jacksonville Jaguars.
However, we also discussed that there are some pretty scary matchups on the docket for America’s Team as well, as they have to take on the Tampa Bay Bucs, Los Angeles Rams, and Cincinnati Bengals. But, what about the rest of the schedule? Why are the Cowboys expected to have a lower win percentage than last year?
One of the reasons may be some of these more overlooked games on the Cowboys’ schedule. These are games that America’s Team certainly has a chance to win but may end up being more challenging than initially thought. Whether that’s because of when these games are, who they’re against, or what will be at stake, these three games could be sneakily challenging for Dallas.
3 games that may be unexpectedly challenging for the Dallas Cowboys in 2022
3. Cowboys @ Titans, Week 17
While a lot of eyes are on the Green Bay game or road game against the Rams, this late-season matchup is certainly one to watch out for, too. Tennessee also went 12-5 last year and ended up as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They had one of the most dominating defenses in the entire NFL last year and have made several offseason moves to improve for 2022.
A very important note about this game is that not only is it on the road, but it will also be a shortened week. The Cowboys will take on the Eagles the week before on Christmas Eve, then only have two practice days and a travel day before heading to Tennessee for the very last Thursday Night Football game of the season.
The perks for Dallas are that Ryan Tannehill isn’t the best quarterback in the world and the team did just lose A.J. Brown. However, running back Derrick Henry is powerful enough to do damage on his own. Plus, the Titans used their first-round draft pick to pick up WR Treylon Burks – a receiver from Arkansas who was on the Cowboys’ radar. They also got Robert Woods from the Rams, which should give their WR corps some comfort.
Add the fact that this game will be in Nissan Stadium under the bright lights of Thursday Night Football, and Mike Vrabel is not going to want his team losing at home. This game has humongous implications for both teams. If the Cowboys don’t sweep the NFC East like they did last year, this could be a must-win game for their playoff chances. The Titans likely won’t end up atop the AFC again, but they are certainly always a well-coached team to watch.
Between the dominance of Henry against a defense that already struggled against the run in 2021 and the new offensive talent, this will be a really tough game for Dallas.