FRISCO, Texas – It won't lessen the sting of this season, but the Cowboys at least know what their 2018 opponents will look like after Week 16.
The NFL's full schedule, complete with dates and times, won't come out until April. But the league's scheduling formula allows some advance notice of who each team can expect to play.
As part of that formula, the Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East will play against the NFC South and the AFC South. It's been three years since Dallas has played against the NFC South and four years since they've faced the AFC South, bringing them up on the rotation.
Those eight games, combined with the six traditional NFC East rivalry games, account for the vast majority of the schedule. The Cowboys' remaining two games are against the same-place finishers from the other two NFC divisions, the NFC West and the NFC North.
The Cowboys are locked in to second place in the NFC East, regardless of what happens this weekend, by virtue of the fact that they swept Washington head-to-head this season. After Sunday's games, the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions are also locked into second place in their respective divisions, which means the Cowboys can expect games against both in 2018.
This is what the opponents look like heading into the new year: