The Dallas Cowboys have a very interesting schedule this coming season. It’ll be their first season under head coach Mike McCarthy, along with a brand new coaching staff, minus Kellen Moore, the only coach that remains from last season. It’s the dawn of a new era, and the Cowboys are looking to make the most of it.
Although the Cowboys’ schedule is ranked third easiest, according to CBS Sports, it doesn’t really make things easy for them. The Cowboys have built a reputation of being a team that’s quite unpredictable. In the Cowboys’ case, you never really know how the story will truly play out. In the past 10 years or so, the Cowboys have had plenty of talent and potential, but could not make the best of it, which is how they’ve become so unpredictable. When it comes to the Cowboys, there’s nothing to do but wait and see.
Here are five interesting home games;
Week Four against the Cleveland Browns;
This will be the first time that Dallas takes on Baker Mayfield. Since 1999, the Browns have only had two winning seasons. The list of failed quarterbacks is long. Mayfield hasn’t fully found his groove yet, but he’s certainly getting there. The Browns have talent on their team, there’s no doubt about that. With the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Austin Hooper, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, the Browns offense is capable of giving the Dallas defense a good run for their money. On the other hand, on defense, the Browns look extraordinary with a talented secondary. With Dallas’ new triple-threat wide receiver set consisting of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, the Browns defense is certainly in for a challenge.
This game will ultimately come down to mentality and coaching. Basically, it’s whoever makes fewer mistakes is likely to win the game. In Dallas’s case, bad play-calling and horrible production on the gridiron can be costly, so they’ll need to play some sublime football. Same thing with Cleveland. Frankly, both teams are evenly matched, so the winner is ultimately decided on who puts up better results on the field.
Week Six against the Arizona Cardinals;
A Monday Night Football game. Dak Prescott and Cooper vs Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins is one way of looking at it. Arizona has a reputation of wreaking havoc on the Cowboys, amassing a 4-1 record in the last five encounters between the two teams. In addition, the Cowboys have not beaten the Cardinals at home since 2005.
Both teams are poised to have offenses ranked in the top five in the league. Prescott and Murray could very well amass at least 400 yards through the air and about 100 on the ground. With the triple-threat wide receiver set, and the dynamic duo of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, Dallas’ offense may be in for a good game, but Arizona’s defense is solid, so they can’t afford any mistakes. With both teams having great offensive potential, it would be no surprise if both offenses put a least 500 total yards.
Dallas’s defense will have to sack Murray at least four times and prevent him from connecting with Hopkins, as well as Larry Fitzgerald. Arizona’s defense will have to put pressure on Prescott and find a way to cover Dallas’s triple-threat receiving unit. Forcing turnovers helps both sides. It’s safe to say that both teams will fight tooth and nail to claim the win.
Week Nine against the Pittsburgh Steelers;
It’s always exciting when the Steelers and Cowboys face off. A classic Super Bowl rivalry right there. There’s no telling what kind of team the Steelers will be when they clash against Dallas in Arlington. Same thing with the Cowboys. In Pittsburgh’s case, it’s unknown who’ll be under center. However, in Dallas’s case, regardless of who’s under center for Pittsburgh, they can’t take the Steelers lightly.
The Cowboys and Steelers have twice in the past nine years with Dallas winning both encounters. For Pittsburgh, two straight losing efforts to Dallas is unacceptable, and they’ll stop at nothing to prevent Dallas from scoring a third straight victory against them. However, Dallas is unwilling to allow Pittsburgh to gain a victory over them. So it’s safe to say that both teams are coming into this game hungry for a hard-fought win.
Dallas is going to need a well-balanced team to pick up a win against Pittsburgh. The offense and defense will have to each do their part. Defense needs to make stops, sack the QB, force turnovers, and prevent Pittsburgh from gaining any advantages. Same thing with the offense, waste no time in scoring and keep scoring. Avoid penalties at all costs.
Week 11 against the Washington Redskins;
Dallas’s traditional Thanksgiving game at home. The tradition becomes more unique when they play their most-hated rivals, the Redskins. In other words, there’s nothing like a traditional thanksgiving game between two longtime classic rivals.
The Cowboys haven’t lost to the Redskins at home since 2015. In addition, the Cowboys have hosted Thanksgiving against the Redskins three times in the last nine years, with Dallas winning twice. Since 2016, the Cowboys have dominated the rivalry, amassing a 7-1 record. At this point, Dallas wants to keep their momentum alive and continue to beat up their longtime hated rivals. Washington on the other hand, has grown sick of getting bullied on the field by Dallas and would love nothing more than ruin Turkey Day for the Cowboys.
Washington doesn’t have much potential going to next season, although Chase Young is capable of getting to the QB as well as inflicting pressure. On this Thanksgiving game, we expect a solid battle between Young and Tyron Smith. Dallas is going to do everything in their power to inflict as much damage as possible on the Redskins. The offense needs to stay productive and the defense needs to be awake and focused. Washington is perfectly capable of taking advantage of a disoriented and unprepared Cowboys team.
Week 14 against the San Francisco 49ers;
A golden opportunity for both teams to relive a moment from their classic 1990’s playoff rivalry. San Francisco shocked the world last year going from being a terrible team to a making it to the Super Bowl. Dallas, on the other hand, went from a playoff contender to a downward spiral. Both teams have potential coming into this season. They’re both determined to outshine the other.
With this game being in the final stage of the regular season, it could a make or break game for both Dallas and San Francisco. Jimmy Garoppolo could very well be a handful for the Cowboys defense. San Francisco has a well-balanced team, so Dallas will need to have a well-balanced team of their own if they want to pick the win at home against the 49ers. If it’s a make or break, Dallas will be under pressure, and odds won’t be against them. It’ll be up to them if a playoff trip happens or not. In other words, the Cowboys control their own destiny.
What’s really interesting about these two is that they’re capable of making the playoffs, and if they do, there’s a good chance they’ll meet. The winner of this match can very well gain an advantage.
Training camp will begin soon. Dallas had a very good free agency, as well as an excellent draft. The Cowboys are on a mission to end an era of disappointment. So far it seems that they have masterfully achieved their objectives. The next step is a successful training camp.
Dallas’s rebuilding process is progressing one step at a time. The Cowboys are determined to return to their true America’s Team form.