Gut Feeling: Biggest Takeaways From Schedule

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The schedule has been released and like every year, there are some things that stand out more than others.

Here's what our writers felt like were sticking points to at first glance to the schedule:

David Helman: When I look at this schedule, I can't help but think of the way things went south in 2019. They lost crucial tiebreakers to the Saints, Packers and Vikings, which made it all but impossible to make the playoffs as a wildcard. This year, they're facing three NFC contenders right out of the gate. The Rams, Falcons and Seahawks all figure to be part of the playoff race this season. If those games don't go well, the Cowboys could find themselves behind the eight ball less than one month into the season.

Kyle Youmans: The season winds down and the playoff hunt continues to take shape with a trio of winter-filled road games in December and January. The stretch kicks off on December 3rd in Baltimore where M&T Bank Stadium has had its fair share of frigid temperatures. That continues in Cincinnati where the Cowboys face Joe Burrow's Bengals just 10 days later in Week 14. After back-to-back home games against potential playoff contenders, the regular season closes out just after the new year in New York. Dallas was ultimately lucky last season with only mild conditions while in Chicago and Philadelphia late in the year, but if the New England game was any indication of how this team will play when the temperature drops, it could be dangerous. Luckily, Mike McCarthy has had his fair share of cold-weather experiences and should be able to give plenty of great advice on how to win in icy conditions.

Rob Phillips: Call it repetitive, but my eyes always drift to December when the schedule comes out. The final month always seems to be stacked with playoff contenders and division rivals, and the Cowboys were done no favors on paper again. Three of the five opponents made the playoffs a year ago. Baltimore and San Francisco had the two best records in the league, and the Eagles are always a challenge. It remains to be seen how much the Bengals and Giants improve. But Dallas does get a nice stretch at home in October against the Browns, Giants and Cardinals. The last time they had three straight home games, they swept all three on their way to the division title in 2018.

Nick Eatman: I'm not actually looking at a single game, but the weekend when there's not one. Week 10 seems pretty late in the year to have a bye. And when you throw in the fact the Cowboys are scheduled to have five preseason games, which means they'd theoretically start at camp near the middle of July, that's a long time before they can take a full break – nearly three full months later. And when you think about the fact there will likely be a shortened offseason and conditioning program, that's just a long time to play without a break. Then again, you never really know when the best time to have a bye. Sometimes injuries will occur and it turns out to be the best time. We will see.

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