Take a look at the schedule for this upcoming season for the Dallas Cowboys.
- wk 1 vs San Francisco
- wk 2 at Tennessee
- wk 3 at St. Louis
- wk 4 vs New Orleans
- wk 5 vs Houston
- wk 6 at Seattle
- wk 7 vs New York Giants
- wk 8 vs Washington
- wk 9 vs Arizona
- wk 10 at Jacksonville
- wk 11 bye
- wk 12 at New York Giants
- wk 13 vs Philadelphia
- wk 14 at Chicago
- wk 15 at Philadelphia
- wk 16 vs Indianapolis
- wk 17 at Washington
How many of those games will Jason Garrett have to win in order to keep his job? While there is no ‘playoffs or fired’ ultimatum that we know of, we DO know that Jerry Jones is absolutely salivating at the prospect of returning to the postseason. I feel that another 8-8 season will ultimately cost our head coach his position. The pieces and coordinators around him have shuffled for the past 3 seasons and the only move left to make is to cut Mr. Garrett loose. Unfortunately for him and us, the Dallas Cowboys were the recipients of ZERO favors from the NFL schedulers this season.
Aside from the 6 always competitive NFC East games, the Cowboys play each of the teams from arguably the best division in football last season, the NFC West. That’s 4 more tough games. Seattle won it all, San Francisco was close, St. Louis won’t be as bad as they were last year plus the game is away, and the Arizona Cardinals seem to always give Dallas fits (like in 2011).
Now the other 6 games on the Dallas Cowboys schedule are as follows:
- vs Indianapolis- 2013 playoff team
- at Chicago- beat Dallas last year, December game in Chicago.. ouch
- vs New Orleans- 2013 playoff team, beat Dallas last year
- vs Houston- very, very talented team will improve this year
- at Jacksonville- expect marginal improvement, road game
- at Tennessee- road game
4 games against the the AFC South, which was down last year and arguably the worst in all of football. In the NFL it is rare for a division to be down at the bottom for two seasons in a row so we can expect a mini-renaissance for that division. The other two games are against Chicago and New Orleans. Both decimated our beloved Cowboys last season.
So, to summarize. We have divisional games. We play the AFC South and NFC West. We play 2 teams that defeated us last season.
NFL games are not played by the schedule makers. They are not played in the minds of predictors, pundits, and prognosticators. NFL games are played on the field and decided by players and coaches and occasionally officials. Predicting the NFL is an absolutely impossible undertaking and I will not insult your intelligence with game by game predictions. Just understand that if the Dallas Cowboys return to the playoffs in 2014 then they will have navigated treacherous waters to land that postseason boat!