FRISCO, Texas – The scheduling saga has another twist to it.
The Cowboys' Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens has once again been re-scheduled – this time to Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7:05 p.m., central time.
If the schedule holds, this will be the first time the Cowboys have ever played on a Tuesday in their 60-year history.
The reasoning for the changes is an ongoing issue, as this is just one of many dominoes tied to the Baltimore-Pittsburgh game. That game was originally slated to happen on Thanksgiving night and has since been re-scheduled three times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest move came Monday evening. With Baltimore still responding to positive tests from up to a dozen players, the league office opted to move the game to Wednesday afternoon at 2:40 p.m., central time.
At this point, it's getting hard to keep track of all the twists and turns. Baltimore is dealing with one of the most severe outbreaks of COVID-19 of this unprecedented season, as at least one player has tested positive for the virus over each of the last nine days.
That list runs the gamut of some of the Raven's best players, including reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins and pass rushers Calais Cambell and Matthew Judon.
The Ravens have had 22 players test positive or be identified as a high-risk contact, prompting them to put 20 players on the league's reserve/COVID-19 list. As it stands right now, there are only 38 players on their active roster – though a few may be able to return in time for Wednesday's game against the Steelers.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys now have an 10-day layoff between their loss to Washington on Thanksgiving and their next game. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy spoke Friday about giving his players some extended down time in the event of a re-scheduled game, though it seems unlikely he foresaw the matchup being moved all the way to Tuesday.
Hopefully the extra time off will help them handle the challenge ahead. The shuffle also means the Cowboys' Dec. 13 game against the Cincinnati Bengals will come after just four days of rest.
Jaylon Smith didn't know about the schedule change when he spoke to reporters on Monday afternoon, but his attitude likely wouldn't have changed. Asked about coping with the uncertainty of this season, Smith said it's something the Cowboys simply must embrace and work their way through.
"At the end of the day, it's football. We've been playing for our whole lives," he said. "So, it's really about finding a way. You got to find a way, and it's going to take everyone's effort. So, in the midst of all of this, we got to come together even more."