The Dallas Cowboys get a bye week exactly halfway through the NFL season. Their first eight games balance difficult competition, along with matchups they should win.
“America’s Team” starts off the second half continuing their NFC North Division tour, and they roughly have the same challenges moving forward.
Week 10: @ Green Bay Packers
Sunday, 11/13 at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX
13-4, NFC North Champs, Lost Divisional Round to 49ers
Fresh off the bye, the Dallas Cowboys take on the reigning-league MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. It is the first time Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy faces off against his former team. Rodgers and McCarthy won a Super Bowl together back in 2011.
The last few matchups have not ended well for the Cowboys. Prescott’s first playoff game ended in a loss to the Packers, and every football fan remembers Dez Bryant’s “catch” that was ruled an incomplete pass. Rodgers seems to be a Cowboy killer, taking the hopes and souls from Dallas.
Is there any good news? Green Bay traded their star, WR Davante Adams, to the Las Vegas Raiders, eliminating Rodgers’ favorite target. Does this give the Cowboys an advantage? Yes and no. Rodgers is still “the bad man” and knows how to tear Dallas apart. The Cowboys may look rusty after no action for a week. Green Bay will remain the favorite to win this game.
Week 11: @ Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, 11/20 at 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS
8-9, 2nd in NFC North. Missed playoffs.
Dallas finishes their NFC North tour with another recognizable QB taking snaps for the Vikings. Kirk Cousins began his NFL career with Washington before signing a three-year deal with Minnesota.
Cousins owns a 2-8 record against “America’s Team,” giving McCarthy’s squad the upper hand. Minnesota’s offense tends to be inconsistent, but Cousins’ weapons are dangerous. Justin Jefferson terrorizes defenses across the league, a healthy Dalvin Cook will carve up defenders, and Adam Thielen is an underappreciated star. The defense improved with the addition of Za’Darius Smith and the return of players like Dalvin Thomlinson and Patrick Peterson.
With Cousins’ struggles against Dallas, it is likely that the Cowboys steal a win on the road.
Week 12: vs. New York Giants
Thursday, 11/24 at 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX
The Dallas Cowboys first played on Thanksgiving in 1966, defeating the Cleveland Browns 26-14. Since then, it has been a tradition for “America’s Team” to play on the November holiday.
McCarthy’s group lost in overtime last Thanksgiving to the Raiders 36-33. This year’s holiday contest is much more friendly to the Cowboys, taking on the Giants for the second time. With the Cowboys outmatching the Giants at home, this should be an easy win. Check out part 1 of the Dallas schedule preview to get a look at their division rival.
Week 13: vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, 12/4 at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC (SNF)
9-8, 2nd in AFC South Division. Missed playoffs
Now, Dallas will tour around the AFC South. The Colts’ season ended in a horrific fashion. Frank Reich’s crew needed to win the final game of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who held the worst record in the NFL. However, the team fell apart, including a terrible performance from last year’s quarterback Carson Wentz.
Indianapolis gets their fourth new QB in four years, acquiring Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. The last time Ryan took the gridiron against Dallas, his former head coach Dan Quinn dissected Atlanta’s offense. The Falcons benched Ryan mid-game, and Quinn got his revenge against his former team. The only way the Colts can compete in this matchup is from a dominating performance from Jonathan Taylor.
Dallas’ defense will take down the veteran QB with the home-field advantage. Darius Leonard leads the Colts’ defense, but offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has three extra days to prepare. The Cowboys take the victory at home.
Week 14: vs. Houston Texans
Sunday, 12/11 at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX
4-13, 3rd in AFC Division. Missed playoffs.
There is not a lot to say about the Texans. Dan Culley was canned after one year. New head coach Lovie Smith is a respectable name around the league, taking over duties in Houston.
Although QB David Mills showed progression as the season concluded, the Texans are no match for Dallas. They present no fear to teams and are in the rebuilding process. It is impossible for Houston to pull off an upset on the road to a top-tier organization. Dallas will win in blowout fashion, and march on victorious.
Week 15: @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, 12/18 at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX
3-14, 4th in AFC South Division. Missed playoffs.
The Cowboys get back-to-back meetings with two teams that had the top-3 picks in the latest NFL Draft. QB Trevor Lawrence looks to bounce back from his rookie struggles in the upcoming season. The former Clemson Tiger will not like Week 15’s visitors because Dallas comes in hot and is clearly the better team.
New head coach Doug Pedersen takes over after a short and dramatic Urban Meyer era. Pedersen coached the Eagles for four years and guided Philly to their first Super Bowl championship. The Jaguars added plenty of free agents, notably WR Christian Kirk with his surprising $84 million contract.
Although Jacksonville’s head coach is familiar with Dallas, the Cowboys continue their hot streak and leave the Sunshine State with a win.
Week 16: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Saturday, 12/24 at 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Dallas and Philly meet for their second and final time but at AT&T Stadium. After predicting the Eagles to win their first matchup, the Cowboys come out on top at home in Week 16. Check out part one of the Dallas schedule preview to dive into Philly’s improved roster.
Week 17: @ Tennessee Titans
Thursday, 12/29 at 8:15 p.m. on PRIME VIDEO
12-5, AFC South Champs. Lost Divisional Round to Bengals.
The Cowboys travel to Nashville on short rest to take on Mike Vrabel’s squad, who possess the most lethal running back in the league. Derrick Henry played eight games last year and finished ninth in rushing yards.
Dak Prescott is the better QB in this matchup. Tannehill lost A.J. Brown, but Robert Woods takes his place and will line up with rookie receiver Treylon Burks.
The Titans typically thrive at home, so Tennessee has the advantage. Henry will eat up the Dallas defense, but the Cowboys offense will fight to keep it close. This game ends in a nailbiter, but the Titans win simply because of hosting the contest on their turf.
Week 18: @ Washington Commanders
Sunday, 1/8. Time and channel TBD
The regular season wraps up in the nation’s capital. Dallas will be set to make the playoffs and most likely win the division. The starters will not see much action. Backup players will get their time to shine and still pull away with the victory on the road.
Look at part one for the insight on the Commanders.
The Cowboys will finish 11-6, with a 5-1 division record. NFC East Champs. Dallas will fall short of the Super Bowl but win a playoff game for the first time since 2019. They will own a home record of 7-2 and go 4-4 on the road.
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