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Cowboys draw Giants for Sunday night season opener for the fifth time

I'm not sure if the guy in charge of the 's schedule making loves the or hates them. He certainly seems fixated on the team when it comes time to set the schedule for Sunday night season openers.

For the fourth straight year the Cowboys will not open their season with a nice Sunday afternoon game like three-quarters of the league get to do. For the third time in those four seasons, they will be playing on Sunday night.

The Cowboys will travel to Met Life Stadium in New Jersey to take on their East rivals, the . It will be the fifth time the two teams have met in the Sunday night contest on opening week since the NFL began playing games on Sunday night. If there is one consolation, the Cowboys have won all four of the previous meetings.

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Which is why it's a good thing they drew the Giants, instead of their Week 2 opponents, the . Because the Cowboys are 0-4 in opening weekend Sunday night games when the opponent isn't the Giants.

Thursday Night Openers Not Great Either

There's only reason why they haven't opened four straight years with a Sunday night game. That's because the NFL decided to have them open on a Thursday night last year instead. The Cowboys lost that game to the defending champion , 31-29.

The only other time Dallas played in the league's opening game of the season was on a Wednesday night in 2012, when they beat the Giants 24-17. Again, another positive for drawing the Giants this year since it seems the NFL is determined to make them play a night game to open the season.

Jason Witten, Giants

And the last time Dallas won a Sunday night opener was in 2017 against the Giants, a 19-3 victory. Since then they have lost two Sunday night openers in a row.

When Sunday Night Openers Were Fun

The NFL began playing games on Sunday night back in 2006 and scheduled the Cowboys to play the Giants to kick off the season on Sunday night in 2007. In what was the only game ever played at , the Cowboys downed the Giants 45-35 in a shootout.

Dallas' next appearance in the Sunday night opener was in 2010, a 13-7 loss to the Redskins in 's debut in Washington. The very next year the Cowboys headed to New Jersey to play the Jets on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and lost 27-24.

In 2013 the Cowboys hosted the Giants at and won 36-31, then hosted the Giants again two years later in a 27-26 victory. In 2017, the Cowboys pulled off the decade sweep, opening the season with a 19-3 Sunday night victory against those same Giants in Arlington.

The Not-So Roaring Twenties

Opening the season on Sunday Night hasn't worked out so well for Dallas in this decade, however. In 2020 the NFL sent the Cowboys out to Inglewood, California to christen the brand new SoFi Stadium. They left the a house warming gift, a 20-17 loss.

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Last year's season-opener on Sunday Night was a debacle in more ways than one. Not only did Dallas drop a 19-3 loss against the visiting Bucs, but they also lost starting for the next five games with a thumb . That injury almost certainly played a role in Prescott's high interception numbers.

By The Numbers

The Cowboys will come into the September 10th game against the Giants with a 4-4 record in season opening Sunday Night contests to go with their 1-1 record in the season-opening kickoff games.

Overall, since 2006, the Cowboys are 27-25 in regular season games played on Sunday Night. During a stretch that ran from 2010-2012, the Cowboys lost eight straight Sunday night games. Their last loss on a Sunday night came last October, a 26-17 defeat at the hands of the Eagles in 's last start of the year.

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Between 2007-2009 the Cowboys won seven straight Sunday night games. The last Sunday night game Dallas played was last December, a 54-19 thrashing of the visiting .

The Cowboys and Giants have played each other 12 times on Sunday Night football, with the Cowboys holding an 8-4 record in those games. It is the second most frequent matchup between teams on Sunday night. The most frequent is the Cowboys and Eagles, who have evenly split 16 contests.

Richard Paolinelli
Richard Paolinelli
Richard has covered sports at all levels - from local, prep, college, and professional - since 1984. He has been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys since 1969. Since retiring as a full-time sports writer in 2013, he has written and published several novels, two dozen short stories and two sports non-fiction books.

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