Emotions of happiness, excitement and horror were all flashing before Cowboys’ fans as the NFL released the 2019 schedule this week.
Before the schedule was released, everyone knew who they were going to play anyways and that it would be a tough outing. The Cowboys would get a first-place schedule, meaning they would face other teams that also finished in first place in their divisions. They also have to play their own division foes, the AFC East and the NFC North. Yet, the schedule now paints a picture of a rosy start for Dallas but a brutal winter stretch that could define the season.
Let’s talk about the positives of the schedule first. You have a lot of winnable games early on that could provide a cushion for the team once it enters December. The team should be 3-0 entering its only tough match-up in the first month against the Saints. Also, if you love prime-time games, the Cowboys have 5 prime-time games this season, which doesn’t include the Thanksgiving Day Game which has a prime time audience.
Then they say on that famous HBO show, “Winter is Coming!” The first major test comes the Sunday before Thanksgiving, when the team travels to Foxborough to take on the defending champion Patriots. Tom Brady at Gillette Stadium is pretty much a lock these days, especially since the Cowboys haven’t beaten the Patriots since 1999.
After Thanksgiving, the Cowboys enter a cold December stretch starting out with a road game against the Chicago Bears. This Bears team has a defense led by Khalil Mack can scare you, especially since this game will be played outside, which adds to their advantage.
Then back home to Arlington for a rematch of the NFC divisional round against the Los Angeles Rams, a team that literally just ran all over this Cowboys team and also got better in the off-season.
Then it’s back on the road to Philly, where most likely a must-win to either secure the division or even just a playoff spot. It is never fun playing in Philly in December when things are on the line.
Does this mean doom for the Cowboys? No, but this is going to be a challenge for them to overcome this stretch. It took Tony Romo years to get over the December Mountain, and this will be a challenge for Dak and company to face. Yet, this is a talented team with a defense that can travel on the road and play in any weather. If there is a Cowboys team that can overcome the brutal December, it is this team. Either way, the 2019 Cowboys campaign is already looking to be the most entertaining one in many seasons.
The real winners are the fans!
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