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Dallas Cowboys 2017 Schedule: Game Predictions For Entire Season

Brian Martin



Dallas Cowboys 2017-18 Schedule Game-By-Game Prediction
Photo credit: Pro Sports Backgrounds

The Dallas Cowboys 2017 schedule certainly looks a lot tougher on paper than it did just a season ago. That's typically what happens in the NFL when you finish dead last in your division one year and then first the next. The Cowboys won't have the benefit of a fourth-place schedule in 2017, but that shouldn't have any bearing on how they prepare for the upcoming season.

The Dallas Cowboys will be playing against the AFC South and the NFC South in 2017, which means they will be making multiple trips to the West Coast to play the 49ers, Raiders, and Cardinals.

The toughest part of the Cowboys 2017 schedule is definitely the last five games of the season. They play four of the last five games on the road and their only home game during that stretch is against the Seattle Seahawks. But, it's not all bad. The Cowboys play a lot of their tougher opponents at home including the Packers, Chiefs, and the aforementioned Seahawks.

The Dallas Cowboys 2017 schedule is certainly nothing to scoff at, but that doesn't mean we should be disheartened at their chances to be even better than they were in 2016. In fact, if you keep reading below to see my game by game predictions, you might even get a little bit more excited for the start of the 2017 season.

1 of 17

Ezekiel ElliottWeek 1: Cowboys Vs. Giants

Once again, the NFL schedule makers have the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants  facing off against one another to open up the season. This marks the third year in a row these two teams will be squaring off against one another in Week 1 and the 10th time in franchise history. The Cowboys have the advantage of being 8-1 in those contest, with the only loss coming in 2016.

The New York Giants narrowly escaped with the 20-19 victory in 2016 due to some questionable decision-making by Terrance Williams, but I don't expect history to repeat itself.

The Giants added WR Brandon Marshall to hopefully take some pressure off of Odell Beckham Jr. and improve their offense. That certainly doesn't sound too good for the Cowboys defense, who could field an entirely new secondary 2017. But, the Cowboys have the best offensive line in the NFL to pave the way for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, who should be even better in their second years.

If you add everything up, it certainly shapes up to be another slugfest. But, Dallas has the best kicker in the NFL, Dan Bailey, and I think it's his foot that secures the victory for the Cowboys.

Prediction: Cowboys, 24-21

2 of 17

Dez Bryant

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2: Cowboys @ Broncos

In their first road game of the season, the Dallas Cowboys will travel to Denver to take on the Broncos. The Cowboys have lost five straight games to the Broncos, dating back to 1995. But, the last time these two teams faced off against each other was when Peyton Manning and Tony Romo put up historic numbers throwing for a combined 960 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Broncos won that contest 51-48, but both QBs in that matchup have retired. Dak Prescott and Trevor Simeon don't quite have the drawing power as Manning and Romo have had in their careers, but this still shapes up to be an exciting game nonetheless.

This will be a strength against strength for the Broncos and Cowboys. The Broncos have one of the best defenses in the entire NFL, while the Cowboys have one of the best offenses. The deciding factor in this game will probably be how the Cowboys offensive line handles the Broncos loaded front seven.

This will probably be a relatively low-scoring contest, but I think the Cowboys will make just enough plays to come away with the victory and end their five-game losing streak against the Broncos.

Prediction: Cowboys, 17-14

3 of 17

Dez BryantWeek 3: Cowboys @ Cardinals

This marks the first back-to-back road games of the 2017 season for the Dallas Cowboys, when they travel to Arizona to take on the troublesome Cardinals. The Cowboys have lost the last four meetings against Arizona, which doesn't bode well for their chances in Week 3.

However, the Cowboys have one of the best young rosters in the entire NFL, while the Cardinals are at the opposite end of the spectrum with quite a few aging veterans.

The Cardinals still have a high-powered offense and a solid defense despite their aging roster, but I don't think it will be enough for them to keep up with the Cowboys young/talented roster. This could turn into a shootout kind of game, but I think the Cowboys offensive line will end up wearing down the Cardinals defense.

Prediction: Cowboys, 34-28

4 of 17

Dak PrescottWeek 4: Cowboys Vs. Rams

The Dallas Cowboys have won three straight regular-season games against the Rams, and I don't see any reason why that shouldn't continue in the Week 4.

The Los Angeles Rams have completely overhauled their coaching staff and are rebuilding their roster. The Cowboys should be able to impose their will from the get-go, likely making this one of the easier matchups on their schedule.

I do expect the Rams to battle this thing out to the bitter end, and you can bet that former Cowboys head coach/current Rams defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, will have something up his sleeve for the Cowboys offense. But, it won't be enough in the end.

The Cowboys will control the time of possession and easily come away with their fourth straight victory.

Prediction: Cowboys, 28-14

5 of 17

Ezekiel Elliott

Mandatory Credit: Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Sports

Week 5: Cowboys Vs. Packers

Although the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers always seem to put on an exciting performance when the two teams face off, I'm getting a little tired of seeing these two teams play one another. This is especially true this year since the Cowboys are expected to have a lot of youth infused into their secondary against the Packers dangerous passing.

I expect the Cowboys to try and control the time of possession and keep Aaron Rodgers and his offense off the field as much as possible. But, that strategy will only work as long as the Cowboys defense can keep the Packers out of the end zone.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys youth on the defensive side of the ball doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence they can get the better of Rogers for the majority of the game. I think this will be a close game, but I have the Packers handing the Cowboys their first loss of the season.

Prediction: Packers, 35-31

6 of 17

Dak PrescottWeek 6: Bye Week

If things turn out the way I predicted so far, the Dallas Cowboys are headed into their bye week with a 4-1 winning record. I don't know about you, but I've would be happy with that considering the teams they have played so far.

The Cowboys haven't had a bye week this late since 2015. It could actually be a good thing considering how difficult their December opponents look thus far.

This extra time off will not only let them recuperate from any bumps and bruises they have acquired so far, but it also gives them a little extra time to prepare for their back-to-back road games.

Everyone needs take full advantage of this break in the schedule, because there are a lot of regular-season games left on the schedule and perhaps the playoffs to get through.

7 of 17

Ezekiel ElliottWeek 7: Cowboys @ 49ers

Coming off their bye week, the Dallas Cowboys travel back to the West Coast to take on the San Francisco 49ers. I previously stated how the Los Angeles Rams might be the most winnable game on the Cowboys schedule 2017, but the 49ers are right there with them.

The Cowboys have won the last four out of five games against the 49ers and the last three in San Francisco. That doesn't look to change in Week 7.

The 49ers have gutted their roster since they last reached the playoffs with head coach Jim Harbaugh a few seasons ago. There is a lack of talent on both sides the ball in San Francisco and if the Cowboys play the way they should, this should be an easy win.

Prediction: Cowboys, 28-10

8 of 17

Dez BryantWeek 8: Cowboys @ Redskins

After being on the West Coast, the Cowboys travel all the way to FedEx Field to take on the division rival Washington Redskins. The Cowboys have won their last four games in Washington, the last loss coming in 2012.

The Cowboys offense matches up really well with the Redskins defense, and they should be able to move the ball with ease. However, the same thing could be said for the Redskins because of the matchup problems they can create for the Cowboys defense.

This game will ultimately be decided by which team turns the ball over less or who possesses the ball last. I expect a physical slobber knocker and a lot of trash talk, but I think the Cowboys continued their winning streak in Washington.

Prediction: Cowboys, 28-24

9 of 17

Dez Bryant

(Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)

Week 9: Cowboys Vs. Chiefs

After two back-to-back road games, the Dallas Cowboys finally get to come back home and take on a talented Kansas City Chiefs team. This is certainly a winnable game, but the Cowboys will have to be on their best if they want to continue their win streak.

Kansas City has one of the best defenses in the NFL, but their offense relies on defensive turnovers and big plays from Tyreek Hill. I'm just not sure they can keep up with the Cowboys high-powered offense.

I expect the Cowboys game plan will be to control the clock with the running game, thus wearing down the Chiefs defense. Also, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's bend don't break defensive mentality is perfectly suited to keep Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense at bay.

Prediction: Cowboys, 24-17

10 of 17

Brandon Carr JJ WilcoxWeek 10: Cowboys @ Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons nearly pulled off the upset against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl last year, but just couldn't do enough to seal the victory in the end. That doesn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence the Cowboys can go on the road and pull off an upset of their own.

The Falcons have one of the best, if not the best, offenses in the entire NFL. They have two talented running backs that can pound the ball and one of the best WRs in Julio Jones, who is a huge matchup for the Cowboys secondary. Their defense is young, talented, and predicated on speed. They are good enough to give the Cowboys offense some problems.

For the Cowboys to win this game they will have to be at their best in all three phases. But, to go on the road and play a team as talented as the Falcons is a tough task to take on for any team.

Prediction: Falcons, 31-24

11 of 17

Dak Prescott

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11: Cowboys Vs. Eagles

It's somewhat surprising the first meeting of the 2017 season between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles doesn't come until Week 11. Stranger still, is they will square off against once another twice in the final seven games of the season.

Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz will always be linked to one another because of the 2016 NFL Draft, but it's Prescott who has emerged as a better QB so far. It actually took a brilliant performance by Prescott to beat the Eagles in 2016 in his only match up against Philadelphia. He led the Cowboys to a 29-23 come from behind victory.

The Eagles offense has become more talented with the addition of Alshon Jeffrey, but they still have a lot of holes that need to be addressed on the offensive side of the ball. Wentz should be better in year two, but I don't think he can do enough to outscore the Cowboys potent offense, especially on the road.

Prediction: Cowboys, 27-24

12 of 17

Dez BryantWeek 12: Cowboys Vs. Chargers

On Thanksgiving Day, the Dallas Cowboys play their first back to back Thursday night games against the new look Los Angeles Chargers. The Cowboys are only 3 and 4 in the Jason Garrett head-coaching era on Thanksgiving, but won the last one against the Redskins in 2016.

The Cowboys will be looking to continue their Thanksgiving winning streak against the Chargers, but they have struggled against them lately. The Cowboys have lost three of the last four games, but this Chargers team isn't nearly as talented as they have been in years past.

The Los Angeles Chargers still have a talented roster with some playmakers on both sides of ball, but they simply don't match up well against the Cowboys high-powered offense. I expect the Philip Rivers led offense to put up points on the Cowboys, but the Chargers won't be able to contain Ezekiel Elliott and the rest the Cowboys offensive playmakers.

Prediction: Cowboys, 34-24

13 of 17

Dak PrescottWeek 13: Cowboys Vs. Redskins

The Dallas Cowboys have beaten the Redskins the last four out of five games, with the last loss coming in 2015 with Kellen Moore at quarterback. This meeting will be the second consecutive Thursday night game and a matchup that rarely disappoints.

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins lost two of his favorite receiving targets in the off-season (DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon) and has the tough task of trying to keep pace with the Cowboys high-scoring offense without them. The Redskins also saw several defensive starters leave via free agency, which means a lot of turnover on both sides of the ball.

With so many moving pieces throughout the roster for the Redskins, it's hard to imagine they can do enough to outscore the Cowboys, who have home-field advantage. This is always a physical fun filled game, with plenty of trash talking from both teams. But, I predict the Cowboys will continue their winning streak.

Prediction: Cowboys, 28-24

14 to 17

Dak Prescott

Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14: Cowboys @ Giants

Playing in New York is always a tough task for the Dallas Cowboys, especially this late in the season. The New York Giants beat the Cowboys twice in 2016 and held them to just 26 total points.

The Giants have invested heavily on the defensive side of the ball through free agency the past several seasons and have built the rest of their roster to beat the Cowboys. They added Brandon Marshall to take pressure off of Odell Beckham Jr. and now create matchup problems on both sides of the ball for Dallas.

Nearly every game between the Giants and Cowboys comes down to who has the last possession, but unfortunately I don't see Dallas coming away with a road victory. Although the score will be close in the end, I have the Giants narrowly escaping with the victory by a field goal.

Prediction: Giants, 20-17

15 of 17

Dak PrescottWeek 15: Cowboys @ Raiders

In their final trip to the West Coast, the Dallas Cowboys take on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys and Raiders are very similar teams on paper, which makes this matchup all the more interesting.

Both ball clubs have young/talented QBs, that happened where the same number. They also have two of the best offensive lines in the entire NFL, who pride themselves on their physicality and ability to control the line of scrimmage.

This game could go either way, but I think whichever running back between Ezekiel Elliott or Marshawn Lynch helps determine the outcome. I'm just not sure the Cowboys defense can do enough to keep Derek Carr and his offensive weapons out of the end zone, which is why I have the Cowboys losing their second consecutive game. But, only by a narrow margin.

Prediction: Raiders, 30-28

16 of 17

Tony RomoWeek 16: Cowboys Vs. Seahawks

The Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks are two of the top teams in the NFC, and as such you can expect an intense/physical game from both ball clubs. The last time these two teams faced off against one another was in the preseason last season, the game that ultimately ended Tony Romo's career and paved the way for the Dak Prescott era.

This game will feature one of the best run defenses against perhaps the NFL's best rushing attack. Look for Ezekiel Elliott to be especially hyped up for this game after how the Seahawks defense tried to welcome him into the NFL last year.

With Dallas coming off of two consecutive losses, I don't see any way everyone won't be on their "A" game at home against the Seahawks. I don't think this will be a high-scoring affair by any means, but I think the Cowboys escape with the victory in large part due to Dan Bailey's ability to split the uprights.

Prediction: Cowboys, 23-17

17 of 17

Cole BeasleyWeek 17: Cowboys @ Eagles

Of course the NFL schedule makers have the Dallas Cowboys closing out the 2017 season facing off against one of their division rivals. How else with the season end? Depending on how the rest of the NFC East division fairs, this could be a really important game or it could be meaningless for the Cowboys playoff hopes.

No matter what the significance of this game is, it's definitely no easy task to travel to Philadelphia in December and come away with the victory. However, I just don't think the Eagles have a talented enough roster to outscore the Cowboys.

I'm pretty sure the Cowboys have probably secured their playoff spot by now, but I don't think they rest their starters because that's just not Jason Garrett's philosophy. This will still be a tough game, but I have the Cowboys closing out the 2017 season with a victory.

Prediction: Cowboys, 21-17


If things turned out the way I predicted, the Dallas Cowboys will once again be heading back to the playoffs after finishing the 2017 season with a 12-4 winning record. Of course, several of these games could've gone either way, which would mean a few more losses. But, I still believe they are a playoff team.

What is your 2017 record prediction for the Dallas Cowboys?

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.



  1. Donny Cook

    May 15, 2017 at 11:17 am

    I can live with that, lets not forget one thing about the super bowl, Falcons abandoned the run game, ran it only once in the 2nd half, if they stuck with the run, which was very successful, they would have upset the Patriots…what does this have to do with Dallas? The more times you drop back to pass, the better the odds of it getting picked off… key game is the Falcons….if Dallas can stuff the run, and cause Matt Ice to throw more then 45-50 times, Dallas wins

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 15, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Donny, I agree with you about the Falcons game. But, this is going to be one of the tougher games the Cowboys play in 2017. I think the Falcons are better offensively than the Cowboys. They can beat you with the running game with their two talented RBs or with Julio Jones in the passing game. I don’t think the Cowboys have a defender that can match up with Jones. Either way, I think this is the Cowboys toughest opponent.

      • Donny Cook

        May 15, 2017 at 12:11 pm

        No doubt about Julio Jones, I would semi-scared to double cover him, and leave single coverage with Taylor Gabriel or Mohammed Sanu, if I am Dallas in this game, as pass happy as what Atlanta is, I would play that nifty 32 dime defense 75 percent of the time, while I know this isn’t the same team as 2015 or 2016, but when you can have a Brandon Weeden led offense put up 28 points and at one point leading 28-17 at half time, Dak is better then Weeden, I think it’s going to be allot closer then then the 31-24 your projecting, I am projecting a 28-24 win by Dallas because when you think about it, Falcons were surrendering 104.5 rush yards per game, and there was really only 1 team to hold Zeke in check under 60 yards and that was the Giants the first game, just like with the Packers, the less time Matty Ice has the better chances for Dallas to win

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          May 15, 2017 at 12:24 pm

          It could be a much closer game than what I’m predicting. It’s ultimately going to come down to which defense is able to do more. The Falcons defense did pretty well against Tom Brady, which leads me to believe their a little bit better than the Cowboys. I’m just waiting to see how much youth is injected into the Cowboys defense. I’m expecting quite a bit. Luckily, the Cowboys have some time before this game to get their defense performing at their best, even with all the young players.

      • TreFKennedy88

        May 15, 2017 at 11:18 pm

        ?, who do they that can match up with Dez, because Dez is gonna be healthy this season which means 90+ catches, 1200-1400 yards and 12-20 td’s

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          May 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

          I hope 88 has that kind of season. He definitely makes this team better if he can stay healthy.

          • TreFKennedy88

            May 16, 2017 at 11:21 am

            And for all the praise Julio received he’s only played a full season once in 6 years

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            May 16, 2017 at 11:42 am

            That’s true

  2. TreFKennedy88

    May 15, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Best case we’ll go 12-4 too Brian, only difference is I see us losing to chiefs, Raiders, Giants and eagles, 2 afc losses and 2 NFC losses, I got us beating packers, Falcons and Seahawks and we’ll own tie breakers over them because NFC wins weigh more than AFC wins for playoff seeding

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 16, 2017 at 9:57 am

      I honestly don’t really care what their final record is as long as they make it to the playoffs as healthy as possible. I’m expecting something special from this team in 2017.

  3. George_Johnson

    May 16, 2017 at 9:48 am

    I don’t know what their record will be but it wouldn’t surprise me it wasn’t as good as 2016. Dallas won a lot of close games last year that they could have easily lost. D Prescott and Z Elliot played consistent and outstanding especially considering they were rookies. Some of my reasoning that Dallas may not have as good of record in 2017 as in 2016 is as follows: 1) In 2017 the schedule is harder, 2) defenses will adjust to the strengths and weaknesses of Prescott and Elliot, 3) Prescott could struggle with more on his plate and better defenses (He played so well in 2016 it will be hard to repeat even though he should be better and more experienced), 4) the offensive line does not appear to be as good, 5) will the Dallas defense repeat its success in 2016 as they seemed to play better than what was expected at the start of the season.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 16, 2017 at 9:59 am

      George, those are all valid reasons. I had the Cowboys winning a lot of close games in my predictions, but it could easily go the other way. I’m taking the more optimistic approach though.

      • TreFKennedy88

        May 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

        Brian, the only difference between a 1st place schedule and a 4th place schedule is all but 2 games

    • TreFKennedy88

      May 16, 2017 at 11:19 am

      You realize the difference between a 1st place schedule and 4th place schedule is 2 games right?

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        May 16, 2017 at 11:43 am

        Sometimes two games is all it takes to miss the playoffs.

        • Willie Rogers

          May 22, 2017 at 10:06 pm

          The cowboys will own the NFC, this is the cowboys year super bowl bound.

  4. Sean Cummings

    May 16, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Hey Bryan great write-up on the Boys! I’m flattered that you used prosportsbackgrounds schedule wallpaper for your article. Just wondering if you could credit the site that you got the image from.

    • Bryson Treece

      May 16, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Absolutely, Sean! Love the background tho.

    • Bryson Treece

      May 16, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      Went ahead and gave you a proper link below the photo. Sorry you had to ask!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 16, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Sorry about that Sean. That was completely my fault.

  5. Lawrence A Taylor II

    May 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    As much as I love the prediction of 12-4 I think 10-6 or 9-7 because teams have a had a full year to study Daks and Zekes strengths/weaknesses Dallas problem last year was lack of a consistent pass rush and it burned them on that 3rd and 20 against the Packers. You also have to take into consideration that Dallas lost a lot of experienced players in the secondary due to FA( even though some of them didnt live up to expectations from being drafted in the top 3 rounds)Also the fact that they gave up a ton of yardage against the run in 2016. In order for Dallas to get back to the Superbowl or NFC Championship they need play makers on defense to have any chance to get past Atlanta or GB

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 16, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Lawrence, you certainly make a lot of valid points. I think there will be a lot of close games in 2017, but I think the Cowboys are suited to win those kind of games. Anything is certainly possible at this point. We will just have to wait and see how things turn out.

    • John Williams

      John Williams

      May 17, 2017 at 3:56 am

      Dak and Zeke will have also had a full offseason in the Dallas Cowboys program with NFL Coaching and access to NFL Film during the offseason. Let’s not pretend that Dak is sitting back thinking he’s got it figured out. If last year was any indication, the dude is as hard a worker as they come and he will be better in 2017 than he was in 2016.

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        May 17, 2017 at 7:45 am

        John, I’m really looking forward to seeing how much Prescott and Elliott improve in their second year. But not only that, how much more the Cowboys put on their plate.

        • John Williams

          John Williams

          May 18, 2017 at 1:16 am

          Agreed. I think even a slight improvement in Dak’s pressure awareness from the right side, his general accuracy (just putting the ball in better places), ability to read a defense, and slightly increased ability to go through his progressions will be enough. He was really good in 2016. He doesn’t need to make a ton of adjustments, just needs to get a bit better at the things he already does well. We’ve seen the commitment to his craft since he arrived last year.

          I love that Elliott is talking about how he can improve at the second level. He also can’t get a whole lot better. My favorite part of Elliott’s game is that he doesn’t try to do to much. If there isn’t anywhere to go, he’ll take what he can get. But when there is a hole he makes the most of it.

  6. Travis Diggs

    May 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    12-4 or 11-5 sounds about right. Are division alone is probably going to be one of the most I hope we go to the playoffs but have to go on the road to the bowl because it seems like we play better away

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      I wouldn’t say that we play better on the road. Last year’s playoff game against Green Bay came down to a last second field goal. With all of the hype and expectations for the Cowboys in 2017, they could have more fans in the stands to create a better atmosphere for home-field advantage.

  7. John Williams

    John Williams

    May 17, 2017 at 4:01 am

    I think the worst case scenario is 9-7. But to me it’s unlikely. I figure 11-5 is probably a fair prediction at this point and 13-3 is optimistic, so 12-4 is about right to me.
    If the defense shows an slight improvement in pressure and takeaways then, I could see 13-3 again. They are going to be tested every week, but barring injury, i think they are going to be just fine.

    The division is always the toughest test, and I think they need to be at least 4-2 in the division with such tough non-division games against Oakland, GB, Denver, KC, SD (always tough), Seattle, Arizona, and Atlanta. They need to at least split those games and then beat both LA and San Fran and that puts them at 10-6.

    Going to be a lot of fun games to watch this season.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 17, 2017 at 7:48 am

      John, I think that’s a pretty good assessment about how the Cowboy season plays out. I think there will be a lot of close games in 2017, fortunately they are built win these types of games. Well, offensively at least. The jury is still out on the defense.

      • John Williams

        John Williams

        May 18, 2017 at 1:09 am

        Absolutely agree. And if 2016 is any indication, there won’t be any quit in the team if they get behind.

  8. dallas1966

    May 19, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    11-5, record will not reflect the that Coach Garrett will have the Cowboys, competitive in every game in 2017. The fruits of their labor, will be revealed in a harvest the playoffs .

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      May 20, 2017 at 9:14 am

      I could live with 11-5. As long as they make the playoffs, I don’t really care with their regular-season record is. This is shaping up to be an exciting season

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Offensive Tackle

Jess Haynie



La'el Collins

The Dallas Cowboys would seem fairly settled at offensive tackle for 2019, with last year's starters both still under contract and set to return. But the need for a reliable backup has become increasingly important, and Dallas may also want to use this offseason to start planning for the future.

Tyron Smith and La'el Collins return to their starting roles, but not without some concern. Smith has now missed three games in each of the last three seasons, though a few of those have been for veteran rest at the end of the year.

We all remember the Chaz Green debacle in 2017 Atlanta.  That led to the Cowboys paying veteran Cameron Fleming $2.5 million last season to come and play as the swing tackle, and Smith's ongoing issues with health will make his backup an offseason priority once more.

Meanwhile, Collins has started every game since taking over as the right tackle in 2017. He's been solid but not a star, which is a disappointment after his draft year hype and some of the talent he flashed at left guard during his first two seasons.

2019 is a contract year for La'el. He will turn just 27 by the 2020 season, making him an attractive potential free agent. But his play has arguably not lived up to his current salary, which has him as one of the higher-paid right tackles in the NFL already.

Anyone who has the privilege of playing next to Zack Martin has no excuses.

Cowboys Place LT Tyron Smith On IR Before Week 17

Dallas Cowboys LT Tyron Smith

Even with his many trips to the Pro Bowl, Tyron Smith isn't immune to contract talk. The 2020 offseason presents Dallas with about an $8 million cap relief opportunity by releasing Smith. It would only leave them with about $5 million in dead money, which is less than they've had when releasing stars like DeMarcus Ware, Tony Romo, and Dez Bryant in recent years.

While still just 28 years old, Tyron has been getting increasingly bothered by nagging injuries. Bad backs and necks tend to become lifelong issues, and we've already mentioned the games he's missed over the last few seasons.

When healthy, Smith is still about as good as they come at left tackle. But could his health issues spark an early decline in skill? And if it happens as soon as 2019, could Dallas start looking at that cap space more intently?

With Cameron Fleming now a free agent and these 2020 question marks looming on both starters, there's a good argument for the Cowboys to spend their second or third-round pick at offensive tackle.

Ideally, a "Day 2" rookie would be able to take over as the swing tackle this year. Dallas could still sign a veteran insurance policy to compete in camp and the preseason, or even carry both players next season.

But more important aspect would be taking a player now to groom for 2020, when you might need to make a big decision on either Collins or Smith's future. Or, at the very least, have a solid swing tackle in place for the duration of his four-year rookie contract.

Cameron Fleming

Dallas Cowboys OT Cameron Fleming

That said, free agency starts a month-and-a-half before the NFL Draft. The Cowboys can't really afford to wait for the draft to find a swing tackle, or else they may wind up with nothing.

The simplest move would be to just re-sign Cam Fleming. He is an adequate player with plenty of experience, and could likely be retained for about the same salary as last year.

But given Fleming's age (26) and experience, which includes starting in playoff games and even a Super Bowl for the Patriots, he could attract teams looking for even more than just a backup. Thankfully, there a still a number of veterans out there if Dallas has to find a replacement.

One guy to consider, especially for just a one-year deal, is Ty Nsekhe from the Redskins. He's a native of Arlington, TX and has started 14 games over the last three seasons, backing up the oft-injured Trent Williams. On the negative side, Nsekhe turns 34 next October.

As a whole, this 2019 offseason doesn't present any immediate dangers. The Cowboys will need to figure out their swing tackle situation by either re-signing Fleming, adding a different veteran, or drafting a replacement.

But given the contract situations of Tyron Smith and La'el Collins in 2020, Dallas could make a move in the next few months to help prepare for a potential big change a year from now.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Linebacker

Jess Haynie



Wolf Hunter: Leighton Vander Esch's Pass Coverage Skills Rising to Occasion

One of the brightest spots on the Dallas Cowboys' projected 2019 roster is linebacker. The young pair of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have already emerged as one of the league's best duos. But that doesn't mean that the Cowboys have no work to do at the position this offseason.

Having Jaylon and Leighton does take a lot of pressure off. Most teams utilize their nickel scheme more than any other these days, which generally utilizes just two linebackers, in the increasingly pass-focused NFL. And thankfully, both Smith and Vander Esch have shown great skills in pass defense.

But there's still a semi-starting role to get figured out in the base 4-3 scheme. Damien Wilson has held the strong-side or "SAM" position for the last few years and has an expiring contract.

What's more, Dallas has a big decision to make regarding the contract of Sean Lee, which is ripe for terminating with $7 million in salary cap savings possible.

It's highly unlikely that the Cowboys would keep both Lee and Wilson. If they decide to re-sign Damien, Lee will be cut to help fund that move and others. If Sean is kept on, Wilson will almost surely be looking for a starting role somewhere else in free agency.

Even if the Cowboys do make Lee a cap casualty between now and March 13th, they may still allow Wilson to test free agency and then try to re-sign him later at a discount. He's unlikely to attract the same attention that Anthony Hitchens got last year.

How Does LB Joe Thomas Fit Into Cowboys' 2019 Plans?

Dallas Cowboys LB Joe Thomas (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Another factor in all of this is Joe Thomas, a free agent addition last year who provided good depth and could potentially start in 2019. He is scheduled to count $2.2 million against the cap, which is fine for a primary reserve but a bargain for an occasional starter.

A core of Smith, Thomas, and Vander Esch gives the Cowboys a good foundation to build from. Smith can play the SAM in the base scheme and Thomas can be the primary backup to Jaylon and Leighton in the nickel.

However, going that route would deplete the depth chart. Chris Covington, a sixth-round pick last year, would be the only noteworthy player under contract. Dallas would need to find at least two more guys to fill out the group for 2019.

They could look at re-signing backup Justin March-Lillard, who would at least bring some familiarity and veteran experience. But that might still leave them looking for more of a primary reserve, which would be especially vital if Thomas is promoted to a starting role.

The projected LB free agent pool for 2019 should make it a buyer's market. Dallas may be able to re-sign Damien Wilson or even add an upgrade, like perhaps the Vikings' Anthony Barr, at a relative bargain. There should be ample options for depth as well.

Barring an extremely favorable value opportunity, don't expect the Cowboys to spend a significant draft pick at linebacker. The fourth-round is the earliest I could see one going based on other needs, and even then it would need to be someone they really like.

Good drafting is why Dallas has flexibility and leverage this offseason. The picks they invested in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch appear to have made LB a strength of the team for the next several years.

There is still business to attend to, but the Cowboys won't have to be too concerned with linebacker in 2019 thanks to their young stars.

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Dallas Cowboys

Xavier Woods Versatility Key in Dallas Cowboys FA Safety Pursuit

John Williams



Cowboys Safety Xavier Woods Is Getting Better By The Week

There has been a debate going on among Cowboys Nation for more than a year now about the prospects of bringing in Seattle Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas. Now with free agency approaching, there are several other names that the Dallas Cowboys could consider when looking to upgrade the safety position. Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, and Tre Boston are several of the many quality and really good safeties that are hitting the free agent market in a few weeks. It's a group with varied skill sets and abilities, which makes the debate even more interesting. The Dallas Cowboys, however, will be able to take a look at all of them when free agency opens March 13th because of one player; Xavier Woods.

Xavier Woods, the Cowboys fifth round draft pick from the 2017 NFL Draft just finished his first full season as a starter for the Cowboys and played really well. In two years he's shown the ability to cover from the slot, play deep, play in the box, be a force over the middle, and make plays on the football. He's one of the more versatile players on the defense with his ability to play all over the field. That versatility allows the Dallas Cowboys' front office an advantage when approaching the names mentioned above.

The Dallas Cowboys don't have to be locked in to one particular type of safety. When people talk about Landon Collins, they label him a "box safety." Earl Thomas is a traditional free safety. Tre Boston is a similar player to Earl Thomas and Tyrann Mathieu is like Collins. The Cowboys can go into free agency with the freedom to explore their options and do their due diligence when it comes to these players.

That's a distinct difference from this offseason to last.

Last offseason, the feeling was that the Dallas Cowboys had to go get Earl Thomas. The safety position was so weak that the Cowboys were going to be playing at a disadvantage in the high-flying, pass-heavy NFL. Xavier Woods proved in his first full season that he can be a productive, play making starter in the NFL and should only continue to improve.

According to Pro Football Focus, Xavier Woods was sixth in the NFL in passer rating against among safeties with at least 352 coverage snaps. His 62.8 passer rating allowed in his coverage was tied with Eric Weddle, better than Derwin James, Reshad Jones, Adrian Amos, and Maliek Hooker. Of the safeties drafted in the 2017 draft class, only Eddie Jackson from the Chicago Bears had a better passer rating against than Xavier Woods.

The Dallas Cowboys got a really good player in Xavier Woods and as they get ready to potentially make a run at a big name safety, they can feel confident that whoever they end up signing will be a good fit with Woods. He can play in the box or cover receivers and tight ends. You can run more two deep safety looks, because he has the range to play it.

This year, as opposed to last, they have more certainty at the safety position because of Xavier Woods and the strides he took in 2018. There's no reason to believe that he can't continue to take a step forward for the Dallas Cowboys. His ability to play all over the field allows the Cowboys to be smart and patient in their pursuit of a safety upgrade this offseason.

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