People like to say the NFL is king when it comes to professional sports in the United States, but that's not true. The NFL is king, queen, duke, duchess, prince, princess; whatever royal title you can come up with belongs to the NFL and no one else. Why do I say that? We're in the middle of the NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, and MLB Regular Season but somehow the NFL's schedule release is the dominating headline across sports.
What does the 2017 Dallas Cowboys Schedule look like?
I'm glad you asked!
The Giants In Week 1... Again?
I know what you're thinking...
I'm so excited about the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants playing in Week 1 Why are the Cowboys and Giants kicking things off again?!
This is the third year in a row, and fourth out of the last five, that Dallas and New York will start their respective seasons in the Lone Star State against each other. The only time that the dubayoo landed on the side of the Giants happened to be in quarterback Dak Prescott's debut, the 2016 season opener.
Another notable element to the schedule is the annual Thanksgiving Game.
The Cowboys will host the
San Diego Los Angeles Chargers. If you think this sounds boring... you're right, but the NFL is all-in on making things work with its new Los Angeles teams.
Something else that makes you scratch your chin -- if you root for the blue and silver -- is the fact that the Cowboys' Bye Week is the week following their matchup with the Green Bay Packers.
This was the case in 2016 (when Dak Prescott earned a great amount of attention for beating Green Bay at Lambeau Field), and it gives the Cowboys what will likely be a much-needed week of rest after their 2016 Divisional Round Rematch at AT&T Stadium.
When Will Tony Romo Come Home To Dallas?
Of course, there is a very new detail concerning a few Dallas Cowboys games in 2017. While Dak Prescott is now the unquestioned starter under center, his predecessor Tony Romo will be in the booth as the number one color analyst for CBS.
Tony Romo's first time calling a Dallas Cowboys game will be Sunday, November 5th when Dallas hosts the Kansas City Chiefs.
Romo and his partner Jim Nantz will also be on the call for the Thanksgiving Game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Of course, Tony Romo has already met with some criticism due to his taking of the job that belonged to longtime announcer Phil Simms. Romo's rookie season will be partially spent covering Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott's sophomore ones, as CBS owns the AFC rights and will get to do the games where their conference travels to Dallas.
No Time For A Post-Thanksgiving Nap
Things will get quite difficult and dramatic -- that's what the NFL and their ratings grabbing techniques are certainly hoping for at least -- after the Thanksgiving turn, though.
Post Turkey Day, seven days after to be precise, the Cowboys will host a Thursday Night Football contest against the division rival Washington Redskins. This will be a color rush game so you can expect those clean-looking fresh white jerseys that Dallas debuted in 2015... and an all-yellow get-up that the Redskins tried to get out of.
Dallas will then get 10 days of rest before traveling to New York for a classic December showdown against the G-Men.
One week after flying home from the East Coast, the Cowboys will have to keep migrating west... all the way. In back to back weeks, the Cowboys travel to New York and then Oakland to play the Raiders in the Bay Area for what could be the last time ever as the Raiders have an inevitable move to Las Vegas in the next few years.
Cowboys/Raiders on Sunday Night Football is Rare
NBC procured the rights to the current iteration of Sunday Night Football before the 2006 season began, coincidentally the year Tony Romo ascended to the starting quarterback position in Dallas.
In the 11 seasons since then, the Dallas Cowboys have only ever played an AFC team once on Sunday Night Football - September 11th, 2011 in New York against the Jets on the 10-year anniversary of September 11th, 2001.
Since then the Cowboys have played AFC opponents in primetime on Monday Night Football (Buffalo Bills in 2007) and NFL Network's Saturday Night Football (Baltimore Ravens in 2008, New York Jets in 2015) contests.
For the Cowboys and Raiders -- two of the NFL's premiere franchises -- to meet on Sunday Night Football is huge.
Many wondered in 2016 what type of ratings such a Super Bowl matchup could produce, and now NBC is going to find out... coincidentally Super Bowl LII is also on NBC.
Plenty of Primetime Games Will Feature the Cowboys
The NFL has a maximum number of times that each team can be featured on primetime.
The ratings-raising teams (Cowboys, Patriots, Broncos, Packers, etc.) all typically hit the maximum in a given year. In the least surprising thing to ever happen in the history of the world, the Dallas Cowboys have hit the maximum.
Dallas will host New York, travel to Arizona, host Philadelphia, host Washington, and travel to Oakland, as mentioned, when the stage lights are the brightest. Contrary to popular belief, the Thanksgiving Day Game is not "primetime" as the game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. CST.
Eagles to Host Cowboys in Back-to-Back Season Finales
Last year that game featured the last drive Tony Romo ever commanded in the NFL, and the last touchdown that he ever threw. Hopefully the game will carry similar weight for the Cowboys in 2017 as Dallas had already secured the NFC's number one seed two weeks before earlier in 2016.
What do you think about the 2017 Dallas Cowboys Schedule? Which games are you planning on going to? Let us know!
Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018
For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.
After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote
As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.
Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.
Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.
His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!
Cowboys Playoff Scenarios: Week 15 Impact Games
It's hard to believe that we're looking at the Dallas Cowboys potentially clinching the NFC East this week, but that's how dramatic the turnaround has been over the last five games. Week 15 could lock Dallas into the playoffs and give them a lot of freedom over their final two games.
If the season ended today, these would be your NFC playoff standings:
- New Orleans Saints (11-2)
- Los Angeles Rams (11-2)
- Chicago Bears (9-4)
- Dallas Cowboys (8-5)
- Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
- Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1)
- Carolina Panthers (6-7)
- Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)
- Washington Redskins (6-7)
- The Cowboys lost to Seattle earlier this year, but still remain the 4th seed as a division winner over a wild card team.
- The Panthers are ahead of the Eagles thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker.
- The Eagles are ahead of the Redskins thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker. They play each other again in Week 17.
- The Redskins beat the Panthers earlier this year, but their loss to Philadelphia within their own division negates that tiebreaker.
In truth, there's not much intrigue left for the Cowboys in this regular season. One win gives them the NFC East, and it would take the Saints or Rams dropping all three of their remaining games for Dallas to have a shot at a top-two seed.
So, barring the nearly impossible, Dallas is locked into either the 3rd or 4th seed. They will host one of the Wild Card teams in the first round of the playoffs.
The biggest thing to watch now is how the seeding shakes among the bottom four playoff teams. The Seahawks seem a cut above the likes of Minnesota, Carolina, or one of our NFC East friends, so avoiding them in the first round would be lovely.
Here are this week's games involving the NFC playoff contenders:
Dallas Cowboys @ Indianapolis Colts
We've already discussed what the Cowboys need to do, so let's talk about the Colts. Not only do they have home field advantage this week, but they are fighting for their playoff lives.
Indianapolis is one of four teams with a 7-6 record battling for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC playoffs. The Broncos are also in the mix at 6-7, giving none of these teams any cushion for losing.
Dallas has its own incentive to win, though. If they want to avoid Seattle in the first round, they probably need to take the #3 seed from the Chicago Bears. They need to keep winning and hope for the Bears to drop a game or two.
Ultimately, getting into the playoffs and starting at home is a huge reward. But anything that can help make the road a little easier is worth pursuing. It's no time to rest on your laurels.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
As we just discussed, we'd like to see Chicago drop a few games to give Dallas a shot at the #3 seed. This week isn't the worst opportunity, with Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay still not completely eliminated from playoff contention.
Expecting much from the Packers here is unwise. They've had a coaching change and appear to be in a state of organizational disarray. But they still have Rodgers, and crazy things always happens in rivalry games.
So while these are two teams seemingly headed in opposite directions, you never know what could happen given the variable elements. By all means, root for the Cheeseheads.
Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings
Your rooting interest here comes down to a simple question; who do you prefer to play among that last bunch of Wild Card teams? Who does Dallas match up best against between the Vikings, Panthers, and Eagles?
I think we'd all agree that we don't want to see the Eagles a third time. Beating a team three times in one year is tough to do, and especially given how close last week's meeting was.
The Panthers beat Dallas in the season opener, but that was in Carolina and well before the Cowboys were playing at a high level. A second meeting could go very differently, especially with the recent slumping by the Panthers.
Both Carolina and Minnesota are struggling, with one on a five-game losing streak and the latter having lost their last two. The Vikings just fired their offensive coordinator, so neither of these teams appear to be going into the postseason with any real momentum.
At this point, I'd say it's a toss-up between the Panthers and Vikings. Both are much preferable to seeing the Eagles again, so I would just keep rooting for both to win. In either case, they knock out Philadelphia.
We'll reassess the threat level of Carolina and Minnesota as playoff opponents in a few weeks.
Washington Redskins @ Jacksonville Jaguars
I didn't mention the Redskins among those last three teams because they may not win another game this year. Their QB situation is so bad that even the Jaguars look good by comparison.
Granted, Jacksonville is lousy right now. Washington might be able to go down there and get a win, but neither team has anything to play for now. This one may come down to whether or not the Jaguars have gone into tank mode.
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
Seattle just walloped the Niners 43-16 a couple of weeks ago, and changing venues is unlikely to make that much difference. The Seahawks are a legit NFC contender and San Francisco is already thinking about the offseason. A Seattle loss would be great, but it ain't happening this week.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Los Angeles Rams
While catching the Rams and getting a top-two seed would be great, it's barely plausible. The far more concrete benefit here is seeing the Eagles lose and getting them further away from a possible Wild Card spot.
In fact, an Eagles' loss this week would give Dallas the NFC East even if the Cowboys fall in Indianapolis. That's not the way we want to win the division, but you take what you can get.
With the breaking news that Carson Wentz is unlikely to play this week with a back injury, you'd generally think this suits the Cowboys' interests. But Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is still the backup in Philadelphia, so is anything really for certain?
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
We have every reason to root for Carolina here. For one, it helps the Panthers stay ahead of the Eagles in the Wild Card race. Also, it brings the Saints one loss closer to possibly being caught by Dallas. A Saints win doesn't really benefit us all.
Ezekiel Elliott has Huge Day vs Eagles Thanks to Receiving Prowess
The Dallas Cowboys came away with a huge win against their division rival Philadelphia Eagles, putting them in a commanding position in the NFC East. They're up two games in the division and one of the more underrated story lines from the victory is Ezekiel Elliott's game. He had a huge day that no one is talking about.
Elliott had 28 carries for 113 yards and then caught 12 passes on 13 targets en route to his big performance in the 29-23 win over the Eagles. That's probably the quietest 40 touch, 192 total yard game you'll ever hear about. And yet, that's where we are. Please read that stat line again, because in all of our talk about Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and the defense, Ezekiel Elliott's stat line is absolutely ridiculous.
The receiving element that Elliott is providing the biggest difference to the offense this season. He's been a huge asset to Dak Prescott in the passing game as both a primary target and a check down option in the short part of the field. If Elliott isn't showing that he's the best running back in the league, with what he's doing with a broke down offensive line, then people will never give him the credit he's due.
For the last three years, the Dallas Cowboys and their fan base has known what an elite player the Cowboys have in Elliott. He's easily one of the best runners in the NFL, but if you talk to the general NFL fanbase or analysts around the league, Elliott doesn't get the same kind of love as players like Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell receive from the national media. The knock against Elliott has been that he doesn't bring the same value as a receiver. With what he has done over the last six weeks, and really all season long, it's safe to say, that won't be a knock against the Cowboys All-Pro running back.
Among running backs this season, Ezekiel Elliott ranks sixth in targets (77), fifth in receptions (65). seventh in yards (502), and is tied for 12th in receiving touchdowns with three. Elliott is the seventh highest rated running back when targeted among running backs with at least 50 targets this season.
Over the last six weeks, since the Amari Cooper trade, only Christian McCaffrey has more targets, receptions, and yards than Ezekiel Elliott.
Elliott's previous career high was in 2016 when he caught 32 passes on 39 targets. With three games left in the season, Elliott has more than doubled his previous career high from that season. Over the last six weeks, he's caught 40 passes with an average of 6.7 receptions per game.
Ezekiel Elliott is on pace for his best total yardage season in the NFL. If he continues at his current per game averages, Elliott would finish the season with 330 carries for 1,553 rushing yards, 80 catches on 100 targets for 618 yards and 10 total touchdowns. He's been great this year, but he's been even better over the last six games. At his per game averages for the last six games, over a 16 game season, Elliott's numbers would look like this; 363 carries for 1,715 yards rushing, 107 receptions on 120 targets for 872 yards, and 13 total touchdowns.
It's rare that Ezekiel Elliott has a game like he did on Sunday and it goes largely unnoticed by Cowboys Nation, but that's just how tremendous Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper were. In a game where the Cowboys got big games and big plays through the passing game, it was Elliott's steadiness that held things together and helped sustain drives like the fourth and one conversion in overtime. Even with Amari Cooper elevating his game since coming to the Cowboys, there's no question that Ezekiel Elliott is the Cowboys best skill position player. Expect more big games for Elliott as the Cowboys continue to "Feed Zeke."
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