Cowboys schedule 2024: Every opponent ranked from easiest to hardest

The Cowboys won't have it easy in 2024.
Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers
Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys' 2024 schedule will be released in just a few hours. While we already know the opponents that the Cowboys will face this season, the full schedule will help project their chances of repeating as division champs.

We already know that the Cowboys will play at the Browns in Week 1. In a not-so surprising twist, the game will mark Tom Brady's debut as Fox's lead color analyst. Brady wasted no time making an enemy of Dallas fans as he took a cheap shot at Dak Prescott after the big news was announced.

In terms of other leaks, ESPN play-by-play announcer Joe Buck has disclosed he'll call two Dallas games in 2024. That doesn't necessarily mean the Cowboys will play two Monday Night Football games. All we know for certain is that they'll have at least two MNF telecasts.

With the schedule release upon us, let's rank every Cowboys opponent from the easiest to hardest.

Ranking every Cowboys' 2024 opponent from easiest to hardest

14. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers made it a point of emphasis this offseason to improve their offensive line by signing guards Damien Lewis and Robert Hunt. That should help 2023 first overall pick Bryce Young, but it's hard to envision Carolina winning more than six or seven games this season even in the lowly NFC South.

13. New York Giants

The Giants might be on the come-up. They drafted stud LSU receiver Malik Nabers and traded for marquee pass rusher Brian Burns. They have talent at premium positions, but nowhere near enough to compete for a playoff berth and Daniel Jones is still their quarterback.

12. Washington Commanders

Dan Quinn presided over a historic Commanders spending spree. The arrival of Jayden Daniels as the No. 2 overall pick brings more excitement to Washington. This roster is talented on paper, but it lost a lot of talent on defense including Montez Sweat, Kendall Fuller, Kamren Curl and Chase Young.

11. New Orleans Saints

Taliese Fuaga and Kool-Aid McKinstry give the Saints two building blocks on their offensive line and at cornerback, but their salary cap is far from healthy. They have some albatross contracts on the payroll and Derek Carr disappointed in his first season even though his numbers suggest otherwise.

10. Atlanta Falcons

Kirk Cousins could make the Falcons' offense fun to watch, but he's a 35-year-old quarterback coming off a torn Achilles. The selection of Michael Penix Jr. could create locker room turmoil and Atlanta still has myriad question marks along the defensive line.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers had an excellent offseason. Rather than spend big on outside free agents, they signed their own players: QB Baker Mayfield, WR Mike Evans, LB Lavonte David, S Antoine Winfield Jr. and K Chase McLaughlin. Tampa Bay is strong in the trenches and they could give the Cowboys all they can handle even in the unfriendly confines of AT&T Stadium.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have dynamic talent at every level of the field, but their quarterback conundrum will define their potential. They're also thin at wide receiver after trading Diontae Johnson to the Panthers. Mike Tomlin's group will be a tough draw on the road for Dallas, but they are the superior team.

7. Cleveland Browns

If there was ever a time to play in Cleveland, it's early September. The Browns have the rushing attack and pass rush to give the Cowboys fits. They also have the talent in the secondary to bracket CeeDee Lamb. Make no bones about it: beating Cleveland on the road will be a tall task.

6. Cincinnati Bengals

A third-straight AFC North team. The Bengals' success rides on the shoulders of Joe Burrow, who's back after suffering a fractured hand. Ja'Marr Chase vs Trevon Diggs is a box-office matchup, but Cincinnati has other weapons to account for, including fellow wideout Tee Higgins (assuming he's not traded) and new running back Zack Moss. On defense, Trey Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins and Sam Hubbard form a dangerous defensive line.

5. Philadelphia Eagles

What reason do the Cowboys have to be fearful of the Eagles? Sure they signed Saquon Barkley to bolster their running game, but are we to assume anything's changed since their epic collapse last season? Philly's talent is undeniable, but Dak Prescott has their number and they have a lot to prove after seemingly quitting on their season while it was still very much alive.

4. Houston Texans

Many analysts believe the Texans have supplanted the Cowboys as the team to beat in Texas. That's hard to argue after the superb rookie season C.J. Stroud put together. They traded for Stefon Diggs to add to an already-talented WR corps, but their additions on defense -- specifically LB Azeez Al-Shaair and pass rushers Danielle Hunter and Denico Autry make Houston one of the teams to beat in the NFL

3. Detroit Lions

The Lions followed their splendid 2023 season by extending GM Brad Holmes, head coach Dan Campbell, QB Jared Goff, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and left tackle Penei Sewell. They also strengthened their defense by signing d-tackle D.J. Reader and cornerback Carlton Davis. First-round pick Terrion Arnold should help patch up a leaky secondary as well.

2. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens may have choked in the AFC title game against the Chiefs, but this is still arguably the best team in the NFL on paper. They signed Derrick Henry to fortify an already-prolific rushing attack and won the offseason by re-signing DT Justin Madubuike. As always, Baltimore hit a home run in the draft.

1. San Francisco 49ers

Are the 49ers the best team on Dallas' list of opponents? Maybe not. However, they're undoubtedly the toughest matchup given their recent dominance over the Cowboys. Kyle Shanahan's group lost a lot of talent in free agency but they are Dallas' kryptonite and deserve to top the rankings.

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