This stretch of games will decide the Cowboys’ season 

The NFL sure does know how to capture headlines and make things exciting. The NFL schedule release has become another of the anticipated moments of the offseason. It helps to keeps things interesting as we enter the doldrums of a slow period between now and training camp.

As for the Dallas Cowboys, we got early news from Tom Brady and Michael Strahan that the team would open the season on the road against the Cleveland Browns. On Wednesday the full schedule was released, and we got a first glimpse at the road that lies ahead for Americas’ Team.

Here’s the full slate for this season’s games.

There’s one patch of games that will define the Cowboys’ postseason chances and the caliber of this team in their journey to a defense of their NFC East title, and a possible Super Bowl run. While it’s reasonable to believe that the make-or-break part of the year is at the tail end of the season with games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the finale at home against the Washington Commanders, the schedule right after their Week 7 bye through December 9th is brutal. It is where the Cowboys need to be locked in to survive the December surge before the playoffs.

In this stretch of seven games, the Cowboys have five games against the NFC, and as we know, the conference record can be many team’s undoing for making the playoffs or for seeding. First, the Cowboys face the San Francisco 49ers in primetime on NBC after they were embarrassed by the 49ers in the same time slot last season, losing 42-10 in an abysmal showing. The Cowboys have been terrorized by the 49ers, having lost their last three matchups. A lot can happen after their meeting, but it serves as a litmus test for what the Cowboys are up against in what looks to be a daunting NFC. Dallas must show better than they have when they face the 49ers.

Next, do not overlook the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons finally have a viable quarterback with Kirk Cousins in Atlanta. They have weapons on offense, and the Falcons’ defense should only improve with Raheem Morris as head coach.

The following week, the Eagles, with all their offseason additions, including new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, will be a challenge. Moore knows the Cowboys personnel very well, and the Eagles have added more juice to their offense with the addition of Saquon Barkley.

Shortly after, it’s an in-state affair with the Houston Texans who are suddenly primed for a big season behind C.J. Stroud. Stroud has an arsenal of weapons to choose from including ex-Cowboys Dalton Schultz and Noah Brown. Everything is bigger in Texas and so should be the point totals in this matchup.

The Cowboys finish their brutal stretch with back-to-back NFC East games at the Commanders and on Thanksgiving with the New York Giants, before their December 9th contest against Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and the Cincinnati Bengals. While the Commanders and Giants might not be great teams in 2024, those games will be part of a very condensed schedule for Dallas.

Following their game in Week 10, the Cowboys will play four games in 22 days, starting with a Monday night matchup with Houston in Week 11. That amount of games in a short span is difficult to navigate, especially withstanding any injuries that crop up.

Factoring in the level of some of the opponents, the NFC (East) component, and the rough four-game cluster of games in a short period make this a very challenging section of the schedule.


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