FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys finally know their schedule for the 2019 season. For months, we've known the Cowboys will travel to New England, New Orleans and Chicago with key home games against the Packers and Rams.
But on Wednesday, the official schedule was released, showing us the full order of events for the 2019 season.
So what stands out? The writers of DallasCowboys.com weighed in on their thoughts, each picking out a pivotal game or stretch of games that seems to be the most intriguing here in the middle of April.
Lindsay Draper: With the Cowboys rocking the win/loss trend kicking off their past two seasons, I'm really honed in on the importance of the first month of the season. The Cowboys have one of the youngest rosters in the league; its' important for them to learn, together, how to finish games. The first month includes NFC East matchups, and a rematch against the Saints – just really important to start off strong this season. The late stretch of the season for Dallas is always tough – heck, this year there's four road games in 19 days. These early games need to be a lock for the Cowboys, so I've got my sights set on September.
Bryan Broaddus: With the AFC East on the schedule, I was interested to see where the two trips to the Meadowlands would fall? There are certain times of the year weather wise where you don't want to make a trip in that direction. I thought the league would schedule the Jets early and the Giants later but that wasn't the case. The league did put the Eagles and the BYE in between but those are still long trips. To make things a little more problematic for the Cowboys is that both games are late starts with the Giants game coming on a Monday night. In my experience there is nothing worse than playing a game against the Giants on Monday night then flying all night and getting home at 5am on Tuesday morning with the Vikings starring you in the face.
Nick Eatman: The game that sticks out the most to me is Week 4 in New Orleans. Let's find out what kind of team this is sooner than later. When I looked at the schedule, I thought the Cowboys have a shot to get off to a nice start. Of course, they didn't beat Washington on the road last year so I'm not going to just chalk up a W by any means. The Cowboys had to struggle with the Colt McCoy-led Skins at home later in the year. But there's really no good reason why the Cowboys can't be 3-0 heading into New Orleans, or at least 2-1. We know what happened last year in the game at home but the Saints are a different animal in the Superdome. We all know that. I have the Cowboys at 3-0 going to New Orleans and this game will be a test to find out if the Cowboys are actual contenders for the NFC.
Mickey Spagnola: The NFL schedule-makers are either masochists or they want to repeatedly be punitive of the Cowboys playing home games on Thanksgiving for the past 41 years straight. Because here we go again in the 2019 season. The Cowboys will be playing three away games during a four-game stretch, while meeting Buffalo on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium for the 42nd consecutive holiday game Nov. 28. But here is the kick in the pants. Prior to Thanksgiving, the Cowboys have to play at Detroit on Nov. 17, followed by at New England on Sunday, Nov. 24. The trip to Foxboro, Mass., is about as far as the Cowboys must travel for a game not in London and just 247 miles shorter than playing at Seattle. And then, once again of course, instead of getting 10 days between games for playing on a Thursday, the Cowboys must play the following Thursday (Dec. 5), not at home, but at Chicago. You kidding me?
David Helman: It's unwise to predict wins and losses in April, but it sure looks like the Cowboys have a big opportunity to open this season. The season opens against the New York Giants, who have won just eight games in their last two seasons and recently traded their best player to Cleveland. From there, they move on to a manageable road trip against a Washington team that is currently expected to start Case Keenum at quarterback. After that, they head home to face a Miami Dolphins squad that certainly looks like it's going to contend for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. No game in the NFL is easy, but that's about as manageable a first three weeks as you could possibly expect. With some of the big matchups waiting later in the season, it'd be huge if the Cowboys could make some hay in the beginning.
Rob Phillips: I shouldn't do this, because 2013 was six years ago and the vast majority of this current roster was in college (or high school) then. But my eyes immediately settled on Chicago, Soldier Field, to kick off December. The Cowboys didn't fare well there in 2013. They got blown out 45-28 in single-digit temperatures, stumbled the rest of the month and missed the playoffs. That was then, this is now. (Plus, they proved they could win there a year later in December.) On paper, this matchup between NFC contenders will set the tone for the Cowboys' home stretch. It'll be a second consecutive Thursday primetime battle. It'll be cold. It'll be windy. And it should be a heck of a game.