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Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule Outlook: Cowboys on Prime Time Path to Emulate 2014 Success

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule Outlook 1

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule OutlookIt's about that time of the year when fans will pull up their team's schedule once again and proceed to make outlandish predictions for 2015.

You can be the judge on just how outlandish the following predictions are. To the left is the Dallas Cowboys 2015 schedule, ranked 24th in the league in difficulty (click for full size).

The Cowboys will appear in primetime four times this season, more than any other team.

Week 1: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants

2014 Season: 6-10

Vs. Cowboys: Lost both

The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys have a recent history of facing off in week 1 games. The Giants came to Dallas to open the 2013 season, and it was the Cowboys getting their first home win against the NFC East rival at AT&T Stadium.

The year before, the Cowboys opened in New York and defeated the Giants 24-17.

This year the teams will once again meet in Jerryworld to open the season on September 13th. The Cowboys swept the season series against the Giants last season, with Tony Romo throwing for a combined 7 touchdowns.

With expectations high for the Cowboys, I expect a big time opening performance at home. Look for Romo and Bryant to make a statement, and Dallas to start the season 1-0.

Week 2: Dallas Cowboys @ Philadephia Eagles

2014 Season: 10-6

Vs. Cowboys: Split

Chip Kelly and the Eagles turned over the roster entering 2015, creating one of the biggest question mark teams entering the season. Amidst uncertainty, this match-up will be headlined by one thing- Demarco Murray facing his former team for the first time.

The Eagles will be a run-heavy team this year, that also upgraded a secondary that was abused in week 15 last season by the likes of Dez Bryant and Co.

However, the Cowboys run defense should be much improved (See point #4 in 5 Reasons Why Cowboys Repeat As NFC East Champions In 2015), and this game could be a big spot early in the season.

The difference between starting the season, and divisional play, 2-0 and 1-1 is huge. This will surely be a must watch game around the league.

Week 3: Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons 

2014 Season: 6-10

Vs. Cowboys: Did not play

After playing in Philly, the Cowboys will fly home to face the Atlanta Falcons in week 3.

Atlanta is coming off of a disappointing season but hired former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as head coach during the off-season.

The Falcons could present a tough challenge, especially in the form of a let-down game after facing the NFC East in the first two weeks.

The secondary will certainly be tested by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. The offensive line will face first round pick Vic Beasley and former Cowboy Justin Durant.

Should the Cowboys win, they could be set up in a prime spot entering a tough run between weeks 4 and 9.

Week 4: Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints 

2014 Season: 7-9

Vs. Cowboys: 38-17 loss

The Cowboys will face the NFC South for the second straight week when they travel to the Superdome in week 4 to play the Saints on Sunday Night Football.

It is clear that the Saints are not what they once were, but the Superdome will continue to be one of the league's toughest places to play.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule Outlook: Cowboys on Prime Time Path to Emulate 2014 Success 2Drew Brees and the Saints offense will be a tall order for the Dallas defense. The Cowboys must have success running the football and keeping them off the field, which Demarco Murray was able to do in last season's meeting.

If there is a game the Cowboys drop before week 5, it could very well be this one.

Week 5: Dallas Cowboys vs. New England Patriots 

2014 Season: 12-4

Vs. Cowboys: Did not play

The Dallas defense welcomes Greg Hardy in what should be a match-up of the league's best.

New England will be the first 2014 playoff team that the Cowboys face in 2015.

Expect the Cowboys defense to be rejuvenated with Hardy making his debut on the defensive line. They will also be facing a fired up Tom Brady should his four-game suspension be reduced by even a single game.

This has all the makings of a potential shoot-out in Dallas. Buckle up.

Week 6: Bye

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule Outlook 1Week 7: Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants 

The Cowboys are historically great coming off of a bye week, and they will travel to MetLife stadium to close out the season series with the Giants in week 7 after the bye.

Sweeping the season series for the second straight year would be huge, and it seems the schedule is favorable for the Cowboys to do just that.

Week 8: Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks 

2014 Season: 12-4

Vs. Cowboys: 30-23 loss

The Cowboys put themselves on the map last season with a 30-23 win in Seattle. This year they will see the Seahawks at home.

This game also means that Dallas will see both 2014 Super Bowl teams in AT&T stadium.

The storyline going in may very well be Seattle's 'Legion of Boom" defense against the Dallas WRs.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule Outlook: Cowboys on Prime Time Path to Emulate 2014 Success 1Hopefully coming off of a big win in New York, I expect the Cowboys post-bye-week momentum to continue in a big way against Seattle.

Week 9: Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadephia Eagles 

While the Cowboys hope to be hitting a second half stride, the Eagles will have the luxury of coming off a bye week to travel to Dallas in week 9.

A rested Demarco Murray will make his return to Dallas in a game that should have huge divisional implications. The game will be on NBC's Sunday Night Football.

Dez Bryant stepped up against the Eagles last season, and they will need him to do the same in this primetime showdown.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule Outlook: Cowboys on Prime Time Path to Emulate 2014 Success

Dec 14, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) makes a catch for a touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher (24) defends in the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Week 10: Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

2014 Season: 2-14

Vs. Cowboys: Did not play

The Cowboys will travel to Florida for a game in the sun a week after facing divisional rival Philadelphia. Some are painting the game as a dreaded "trap game" for this reason.

If the Cowboys want to prove themselves as legitimate Super Bowl contenders, they will dominate this game against a team that finished with the worst record in the league in 2014.

The defense will see rookie QB Jameis Winston, the first rookie QB Dallas will face this season.

Week 11: Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins 

2014 Season: 8-8

Vs. Cowboys: Did not play

The Cowboys will continue their Florida trip when they play the Dolphins in week 11.

Miami added WR Devonte Parker in the draft in hopes of building a great offense around franchise QB Ryan Tannehill.

This game will test the secondary, which should be up for the challenge. Look for the Cowboys to come out of Florida 2-0, at worst 1-1.

Week 12: Dallas Cowboys vs. Carolina Panthers 

2014 Season: 7-8-1

Vs. Cowboys: Did not play

The Cowboys will continue to be tested at home, against a Carolina team that presents a dual threat QB in Cam Newton.

This game will also close out the team's play against the NFC South.

The Dallas defense has struggled against such QBs in the past, which makes this match-up intriguing.

I expect the Cowboys to be at around 7 or 8 wins at this point, so this game could prove to be a turning point as the team re-enters divisional play.

Week 13: Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins 

2014 Season: 4-12

Vs. Cowboys: Split

The Cowboys are 4-2 at home against the Redskins in the new stadium, with most of the meetings coming late in the year.

This will be the first divisional game for Dallas since week 9, so it will be important to stay on track in the NFC East as the season grinds to a close.

This will also be their first appearance of the season on ESPNs Monday Night Football.

This also may be a time in the season where running backs Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden begin to show fatigue based on their workload, so that will be something fans will want to keep a close eye on.

Week 14: Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers 

2014 Season: 12-4

Vs. Cowboys: Dez caught it (26-21 win)

The last time the Cowboys played in Green Bay...well we all don't need me to finish this sentence. Something about Dez Bryant and a catch. At the goal line. In a divisonal playoff game...

Anyway, the Cowboys will return to the frozen tundra as Romo and Dez look for revenge against Aaron Rodgers and the Pack.

This will be the last 2014 playoff team the Cowboys see.

Week 15: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets

2014 Season: 4-12

Vs. Cowboys: Did not play

The Cowboys will make their only Thursday Night Football appearance of the season on NFL Network against the Jets on December 19th.

The Jets new coaching staff and ownership has NY fans' optimism at an all-time high. In a wide open AFC East, it's hard to judge where this Jets team will be this late in the season.

One thing is for sure, they will bring an excellent defense that once again features Darrell Revis.

While Revis vs Bryant will be the headline match-up, I look for guys like Terrance Williams and Jason Witten to step up and complete the offense as the Cowboys make a playoff push.

Week 16: Dallas Cowboys @ Buffalo Bills

2014 Season: 9-7

Vs. Cowboys: Did not play

Buffalo, like Green Bay, will be a very tough spot to play in late in the season. The Bills defense plays well at home and is great at forcing turnovers.

The Cowboys will need to prove they can win on the road in hostile environments if they want to make noise in the NFC playoffs. A win here would do just that.

Week 17: Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins 

The Cowboys will close out the regular season for the second straight year against NFC East foe Washington.

Let's hope the division is once again clinched and the Cowboys can use this game for rest to enter the playoffs.

If not, Dallas should be up to the challenge and close out the season on a high note.

Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule Outlook 4

My 2015 Cowboys Record Prediction: 11-5

_____________________________________________________________________

Too high? Too low? Let me know below or on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys 2015 Schedule Outlook: Cowboys on Prime Time Path to Emulate 2014 Success" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Adam

    July 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Great article man. I just wanted to say that Tom Brady has a 4 game suspension, and since their bye week is prior to the Dallas game, this means that his fourth game to be suspended is against Dallas

    • Bryson Treece

      Bryson Treece

      July 22, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks, Adam. The week 5 section was updated to reflect Brady’s suspension accurately.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Defensive End

Jess Haynie

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DeMarcus Lawrence

If quarterback is the most important position in football, then the guys who hunt them down might be second. As such, the Dallas Cowboys face a major offseason decision in 2019 when it comes to the free agency of Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence.

This will be Lawrence's second year as an unrestricted free agent, with Dallas retaining him last season using the franchise tag. Even though he accepted it in 2018, DeMarcus swore all the way back in that summer that he wouldn't play for the Cowboys in 2019 if franchised again.

Despite his sack numbers dropping a bit last season, "Tank" remains one of the top defensive ends in the NFL. He is a total package of pass-rushing and run stopping, and he's now given Dallas two-straight Pro Bowl seasons.

If the Cowboys have any plans to contend for a championship next season then they can't risk losing a player like Lawrence. We've seen what this defense looks like without a premiere pass rusher and it isn't pretty.

Of course, Dallas could try to replace DeMarcus with a different free agent signing. If Jadeveon Clowney or Frank Clark avoid being tagged by their own teams, perhaps the Cowboys can lure one of them over. But don't expect any big difference in compensation between these three players.

Whether it's Lawrence or one of the other premiere pass rushers in free agency, you can expect the Cowboys to make one of them their top offseason priority. The greater mystery is if Dallas will make any other moves to upgrade the DE position, or stick with what they've got.

Randy Gregory

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory

Dallas finally enjoyed some real production out of Randy Gregory in 2018, whose personal issues nearly derailed the talented pass rusher's career. Gregory posted six sacks last season and was starting to look like the Robin to Lawrence's Batman.

Also in the mix is 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton, who took a backwards step last year and seemed to be in the coaches' doghouse by season's end. Motivation and attitude seem to be an issue for him, and he'll need to step it up this summer if he doesn't want to wind up at the back of the depth chart again.

One of last year's fourth-round picks Dorance Armstrong also returns. He will hopefully be ready to take on a larger role in his second season and provide another pass rushing threat, plus insurance in case Gregory suffers any return of past problems.

If Dallas doesn't make Tyrone Crawford a salary cap casualty, or chooses to re-sign David Irving, those are two other guys who can play some defensive end for you.

Despite these options, the Cowboys could still look at adding another mid-grade free agent for depth and insurance. They could hope for a bargain on veterans like Ezekiel Ansah, Vinny Curry, or Chris Long. They might hope that Rod Marinelli could work his magic on first-round flop Dante Fowler.

Another guy that Dallas might look at is Benson Mayowa, who was with them from 2016-2017 and is a solid player. He spent the last season in Arizona on a one-year deal and is still just 27 years old.

Don't expect much from the draft, barring a major steal presenting itself. The Cowboys have bigger needs with their limited number of 2019 picks, and they also still need to see how recent selections like Charlton and Armstrong play out.

This offseason is all about DeMarcus Lawrence, or at least one of the other marquee free agents at defensive end. Some supplemental moves are possible, but arguably the biggest move Dallas makes the next few months is either retaining or replacing their top pass rusher.



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Dallas Cowboys

Offense or Defense, Which Should be the Cowboys Main Offseason Focus?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys Need to Upgrade the Offense or Defense More?

The Dallas Cowboys offseason should be approached like a puzzle. You have to know what the picture looks like beforehand before you start grabbing random pieces to try to fit them together. Keeping that in mind, I thought it be a good idea if we take a look at the Cowboys offense and defense to try to determine which one needs the most attention.

It may be somewhat surprising, but the Dallas Cowboys pretty much have the entire puzzle almost put together. There is just a few missing pieces they need to add, but for the most part the team that will take the field when the 2019 season kicks off is already in place.

There isn't going to be much roster turnover this offseason. Nearly all of the starters will return for the upcoming season on both sides of the ball, meaning the Cowboys are in good shape as far as having the teams nucleolus in place. In fact, there might be just one or two starting positions up for grabs on offense and defense.

Let's take a look…

Dallas Cowboys Offense

Kellen Moore, Jason Garrett, Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys OC Kellen Moore

As things stand right now before any moves are made in free agency or through the draft, the Dallas Cowboys offense may have just two starting spots up for grabs. But, even that's just a guesstimate because we still don't really know what the future holds for Center Travis Frederick, even though all signs point to him making a triumphant return to the starting lineup.

The way I see it though, the Cowboys will need to find someone to replace Cole Beasley in the passing game and also add a starting caliber tight end. That's it really as far as the starters are concerned. There is however need for more depth at several positions such as backup running back and offensive tackle, but those aren't necessarily "needs". I'd say they're in pretty good shape offensively compared to years past.

Dallas Cowboys Defense

Kris Richard

Dallas Cowboys Assistant Coach Kris Richard

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys really don't have any glaring needs on the defensive side of the ball either. After finishing as one of the top defensive units in 2018, they will have nearly all of their starters returning for the 2019 season. But much like on the offensive side of the ball, there could be two starting spots up for grabs.

The Cowboys will have to find someone to replace Damien Wilson as the starting strong side linebacker and potentially a new starting strong safety. That's really the only starting positions I believe are up for grabs on defense. But like the offense, they could stand to add more depth and competition throughout the defense, especially along the defensive line. But again, there really isn't a glaring "need" they absolutely have to address.

Verdict: Cowboys Offense

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Even though the Dallas Cowboys offense and defense seems to be pretty evenly matched as to how many starting positions are up for grabs, the offense looks to be the one that needs just a little bit more help. The defense proved in 2018 they are someone to be reckoned with and with the loss of just Damien Wilson, that shouldn't change. The same can't be said about the offense though.

If Cole Beasley does indeed leave via free agency, that's a big blow to the passing game. But, it's not just him. Other than their rushing attack, the Cowboys offense was ranked in the bottom half of the league in nearly every other category. With Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan now gone we can hope that improves, but that doesn't mean improving the offense shouldn't be the Cowboys main offseason focus though.

Of course, this is just my opinion and you are more than welcome to agree or disagree with it. But, when the free agency and NFL draft ball finally starts rolling, I expect most of the Cowboys offseason moves to be on the offensive side of the ball. Improving things around Quarterback Dak Prescott would seem like the wise thing to do after all, especially since he's about to be paid quite handsomely.

Which side of the ball do you think needs more help this offseason?



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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Quarterback

Jess Haynie

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Dak Prescott
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of work to do to restock and refine their roster in the hope of improving of last year's playoff run. We'll be looking at all of the 2019 needs for this offseason in the coming days, and we're going to start with paramount position of quarterback.

Unlike most spots on the team, the quarterbacks don't have anyone with an expiring contract this year. Both Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush will be in the final year of their deals, while Mike White still has three years left on his rookie contract.

Despite this, Prescott's contract is still one the hottest issues the Cowboys face this offseason. They must decide if they want to go ahead and lock him up now to a long-term extension, or wait and see how Dak performs in his fourth season.

It's a real dilemma for Dallas. One the one hand, Prescott already has two Pro Bowls, two division titles, and all winning seasons on his three-year resume. However, he's also had ongoing accuracy issues and problems with consistent productivity in an increasingly pass-focused league.

Given what he's already accomplished, Dak can command a pretty sizable contract in current negotiations. Just within the week he's already commented on not planning to give the Cowboys a discount in his next deal.

If Dallas waits another year then they risk that price tag going up. They could be competing with the open market, or what if Prescott leads the team to the NFC Championship or beyond in 2019?

If Dak's camp is already going to be aggressive in contract negotiations this year, then there's a case to be made for just waiting. Let him play on his bargain $2.14 million cap hit and use the savings to load up on talent for a championship run. The team will still have resources to re-sign Prescott in 2020, or even franchise tag him, if that's their choice.

Mike White

Dallas Cowboys QB Mike White

However that situation goes, we know that Dak is the starter in 2019. But even though Cooper Rush and Mike White are both due to return next season, should the Cowboys be satisfied with that QB depth chart?

As I wrote about earlier this week, Dallas has good reason to look at adding a veteran passer to the mix this offseason. If Rush and White beat him out, that's great. But if not, it adds an experienced voice to help Dak Prescott in this critical upcoming year.

You can go a few different ways. Some of the projected free agents can match Prescott's mobile style, such as Tyrod Taylor, Trevor Siemian, or Robert Griffin III. Others give you the experience edge such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, or Matt Schaub.

It doesn't seem likely that the Cowboys would draft another QB after just taking Mike White last year with a fifth-round pick. Unless they are moving to a completely different philosophy, Dallas will likely give White at least another year or two to develop as a mid-round selection.

Ideally, at least one of White or Cooper Rush will show some growth this year and inspire confidence as the immediate backup. But adding a veteran for competition certainly couldn't hurt, and Dallas has the cap space to do it.

Thankfully, everything that Dallas might have to do this offseason at quarterback is optional.  They can choose whether or not to redo Prescott's contract, or whether or not to pursue upgrades behind him. There is no gaping hole being created by a potential free agent departure.

The Cowboys have the power now, but that can quickly change next season once Dak's a free agent. That's why they still have a big decision to make in 2019.



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