IRVING, Texas – The task of defending their NFC East championship begins in earnest for the Cowboys this fall, as they'll start their 2015 campaign with two-straight division games.
For the second time in three years, Dallas will open its season with a primetime home game against the New York Giants, as the two rivals open the season on Sunday Night Football . Week 2 is sure to draw even bigger headlines, as the Cowboys will travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles and former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray.
Starting the season with two-straight division games is quite a task, considering how hotly-contested the NFC East has been in recent years. The Cowboys clinched the division in Week 16 last season, which was the first time since 2010 that the division was decided before the last day of the regular season.
The Week 2 trip to play Philadelphia is sure to draw the most amount of attention, considering the events of the past few months. The Eagles signed Murray in the early-going of free agency this past March, and they also added former Cowboys receiver Miles Austin in a flurry of activity that saw them revamp much of their roster.
Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones will surely see the significance of opening the season against the Giants at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys are on a four-game winning streak against New York, having swept the Giants each of the last two seasons. But Dallas is just 2-4 all-time against Eli Manning since moving to the new stadium.
This will mark the first time the Cowboys have opened the season with two-straight division opponents since the NFL re-aligned its divisions in 2002. In 2000, when the NFC East still had five members, they opened with back-to-back losses against Philadelphia and Arizona.
As might be expected, coming off the Cowboys' trip to the second round of the NFL playoffs, the 2015 slate has no shortage of primetime appearances.
The Cowboys play on Sunday Night Football three times – Week 1 vs. New York, Week 4 at New Orleans and Week 9 vs. Philadelphia. They have one Monday Night Football appearance, in Week 13 at Washington.
They'll also host the New York Jets for a Saturday night primetime game in Week 15, and they'll host the Carolina Panthers for the customary Thanksgiving game.
This season also features a rare quirk for any NFL schedule, as the Cowboys will play host to both the defending Super Bowl champion and runner-up. The New England Patriots travel to AT&T Stadium on Oct. 11 for a Week 5 kickoff at 3:30 p.m.
Just three weeks later, after a Week 6 bye and a Week 7 trip to the Giants, the Cowboys will play host the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks for a Week 8 kickoff at 3:30 p.m.
The Cowboys will conclude their season against the Redskins for a second-straight season, though this year's meeting on Jan. 3 will come at home. In exchange for the home finale, there will be an extensive amount of travel during the back half of the season.
The Cowboys will spend back-to-back weekends on the road in Florida in November, as they play at Tampa Bay on Nov. 15 and at Miami on Nov. 22. After returning home for Thanksgiving, they play at Washington in Week 13 and at Green Bay in Week 14.
There are three outdoor games scheduled for the coldest month of the season – at the Redskins on Dec. 7, at the Packers on Dec. 13 and at Buffalo on Dec. 27.
To review the full schedule, click here.