Barring some unforeseen future move, like Tom Coughlin retiring after another Super Bowl win (or due to a case of frostbite), the Cowboys will play against only one new head coach next season, Greg Schiano, who was hired Thursday by Tampa Bay.
Schiano, the head coach at Rutgers since 2001, will surely institute plenty of new principles on both sides of the ball. Cowboys coaches, particularly the quality control staff, will spend time this offseason researching the different things he's done with the Scarlet Knights' offense and defense over the years.
His hiring would probably only be a concern for the Cowboys if the NFL's schedule-makers send Tampa to Arlington early in the year, which would increase whatever element of surprise advantage Schiano and the Bucs might have. After Tampa has played a few games, it'll much easier to figure out what they're doing and how they'll want to attack the Cowboys.
In 2011, the Cowboys faced only one first-year coach, Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers. Though that was just Week 2 and San Francisco was one of the best teams in the league this year, Dallas was able to edge out the Niners in overtime.
Over the last five years, the Cowboys are 8-5 against coaches in their first full season with a new team, or interim coaches who have taken over in the middle of the season.
The Cowboys lost to the Redskins in Mike Shanahan's first game with the team on opening night of the 2010 season.
In 2009 they beat Raheem Morris' Bucs in Week 1, but lost to Josh McDaniels' quick-out-of-the-gate Broncos in Week 4. The Cowboys then came back the next week to beat the Chiefs under first-year coach Todd Haley.
The schedule will be released in late April, but the Cowboys' 2012 opponents have already been determined.