Schedules have finally been released for the upcoming season, and the Cowboys have some surprises! Let’s dive into the Dallas Cowboys 2020 schedule to find out what the season could look like for the much-changed team.
1. No Divisional Games until Week 5
The Cowboys have played the Giants in Week 1 in four out of the last five years. The other year, they played in Week 2. Suffice to say, the Cowboys-Giants matchup has been a staple in the first quarter of the NFL season. This year, however, the Cowboys do not face their familiar foe until Week 5. This means the Cowboys will have four games in the books before their first divisional game.
The last time the Cowboys waited so long to play in a divisional game was 2014 when they played the Giants in Week 7. That year was one of their most successful of the decade, as they went 4-2 in the division and 12-4 overall. That’s not to say there is any direct correlation to later divisional games and team success. Mike McCarthy did note, however, that “it’s kind of nice not to have a division game until we can get started and find out where we are as a football team”. The Cowboys will have a quarter of a season under their belt, and hopefully a strong identity as they head into one of the most important matchups of the year.
2. Three Game Homestead Weeks 4-6
The Cowboys have three home games in a row from weeks 4-6. Overall, four of their first six games of the season are at home. This stretch of the season, especially the three consecutive home games against the Browns, Giants, and Cardinals, will be important in building early-season momentum. A quick look at those teams shows a group that all picked in the top ten of this year’s draft. However, each team made great improvements over the course of the offseason.
The Browns fired Freddie Kitchens and brought in Kevin Stefanski. They also acquired Austin Hooper, bolstering an already strong offensive roster. If Baker Mayfield can elevate his play, the Browns will be a formidable opponent.
The Giants…well, divisional matchups are always difficult.
The Cardinals aggressively built around Kyler Murray this offseason. They traded a second round pick and David Johnson (who was replaced by Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds last year) for Deandre Hopkins. Besides adding the best wide receiver in the game to an already potent offense, they also drafted one of the best defensive prospects in the 2020 draft in LB Isaiah Simmons, and a fringe Round One talent in OT Josh Jones.
Want more Cardinals draft coverage? Read Here
The Cowboys will probably need to win two out of these three games in order to have a shot at the playoffs. Each of these games will be must watch t.v for any Cowboys fan.
3. Tough Road Schedule
Last year’s road games were brutal for Dallas. They went 3-5 in road games, with their three wins coming against the Redskins, Lions, and Giants. Does that order sound familiar? That’s because those teams picked two, three, and four respectively in this year’s draft. Against all but the bottom five teams on the road, Dallas was 0-5. Such losses included a devastating defeat by the Jets, an emBEARassing loss to the Bears (heh), and a nine-point showing against the Patriots.
This year? Non-divisional road opponents include the Rams, Seahawks, Vikings, Ravens, and Bengals. Three out of these five teams made the playoffs, with the Rams missing out by a game. The Bengals drafted Joe Burrow and could be a potentially dangerous team by their matchup in Week 12.
The good news is, if the Cowboys can win a few of these games, fans can be confident they have a good shot to make the playoffs. The bad news is, none of these teams will be an easy victory.
4. Games against both 2019 1st Seed teams
The Cowboys will have two particularly challenging opponents in 2020. Both the Ravens and the 49ers were the top seeds in their respective conferences going into the 2019 postseason. The Ravens boasted a 14-2 record, while the 49ers had an equally impressive 13-3 record. The 49ers, of course, made it to the super bowl, while the Ravens were run over by Derrick Henry and the Titans in a Divisional Round upset. Both teams will be eager to get back to the playoffs and seek a prize they each narrowly missed out on last year.
5. Week 10 Bye
The Cowboys have a favorable bye during Week 10 this season. This bye comes after two divisional away games and a tough game against the Steelers, who closed out last season much better than the Cowboys. It also happens to fall the same week as the Masters tournament, good news for fans of both the Cowboys and golf!
The Dallas Cowboys face an extremely tough 2020 schedule. Each game is going to be extremely important in what should be a close divisional race in the NFC East this season!