The Dallas Cowboys list of opponents has been revealed for the 2020 season. Of course, until the official schedule release in April, we won’t know the exact order in which the Cowboys will play these teams from week to week. However, it appears that if the Cowboys want to make the postseason next year they’ll have to survive a pretty tough schedule. Let’s dive into who they will be facing next season.
The New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles will all play the Cowboys twice as they do every season. Nobody knows you or plays you tougher than the teams in your own division so these games are always tough and tricky to predict.
The Giants are currently on their third head coaching search in the last five years. With a 9-23 record over the last two seasons, the Giants will have the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Giants have been swept by the Cowboys for three consecutive seasons. You can bet they’ll be looking to add more firepower on offense to assist in the progression of Quarterback Daniel Jones as well as improve their 25th ranked defense. Records don’t matter when these two teams meet, it’s always a tough battle.
When the Cowboys clash with the Redskins it’s always a big game. Recently, the Cowboys have gotten the best of the Redskins winning seven of the last eight games including each of the last three. The Redskins possess the second overall pick in the NFL Draft and will need to add plenty of talent to their 27th ranked defense and 31st ranked offense. The Cowboys know that they can never take them lightly.
Cowboys vs Eagles could very well be the most heated rivalry in the entire NFL. Going back to the days of Jimmy Johnson and Buddy Ryan, these two teams and fan bases have nothing nice to say about each other. After winning four consecutive games vs the Eagles, the Cowboys lost the one that mattered on December 22nd in Philadelphia, and more importantly, saw their NFC East title and playoff hopes go down the drain. They’re the Cowboys biggest obstacle in the division and that shouldn’t change next season.
5 Other Home Games
The Atlanta Falcons were one of the biggest disappointments this season. When you have players like Quarterback Matt Ryan and Wide Receiver Julio Jones on your team the last thing you expect is a 7-9 showing. However, the combination of Ryan and Jones is one of the most lethal in the entire NFL and on any given Sunday can light up a scoreboard. This won’t be an easy game for the Cowboys.
The Cleveland Browns are loaded with talent. They have their young franchise quarterback in Baker Mayfield, a two-headed monster at receiver with Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry, and another at running back with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, and Sheldon Richardson give them horses on the defensive side of the ball as well. With a 6-10 season, it was clear that talent didn’t gel well, at least not in 2019. Nonetheless, when you have a team with this many capable players you can beat anyone. The Cowboys won’t be able to take a game off against this team.
An old familiar powerhouse resurfaced in 2019, the San Francisco 49ers. They finished second overall in defense (first vs the pass), sixth in forced turnovers, and second in rushing yards as a team. At 13-3, they’re the number one seed in the NFC, making them one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. They’ll only get better going forward and will be an extremely tough opponent for the Cowboys next year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may have finished 8-8 but they were really good in a few areas. They finished fifth in total defense and led the league with 38 turnovers forced. I totally expect them to be much better in 2020 especially with a coach like Mike Tomlin on the sideline. Recent history says this will be a close game with their last three meetings decided by seven points or less. This battle between the two teams with the two biggest fan bases in the NFL should be a good one.
2019 was a rough one for the Arizona Cardinals. At 5-10-1 they will pick eighth in the upcoming NFL Draft. They finished 21st in total offense and 32nd in defense, needless to say, a lot of work needs to be done for this franchise to build properly around rookie Quarterback Kyler Murray. With that being said, the Cardinals have won four of their last five meetings with the Cowboys. Will that continue in 2020? We shall see.
5 Other Road Games
The Seattle Seahawks are no strangers to the Cowboys. Just last season, these two teams engaged in a hard-fought battle in the wild card round of the playoffs with the Cowboys coming out victorious 24-22. However, the Seahawks have won four of their previous five meetings with the Cowboys dating back to 2012. This season, MVP candidate Russell Wilson led the Seahawks to an 11-5 record as they finished fourth in rushing yards and eighth in total offense. Dealing with the 12th Man (Seahawks fans) and a team that will certainly be prepared to play under Pete Carroll, this will be one of the Cowboy’s toughest challenges next season.
All eyes will be on the Coliseum when the Cowboys travel to California to face the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams took a step back in 2019 going 9-7 after reaching the Super Bowl a year ago. Less than three weeks ago, the Cowboys laid a 44-21 beatdown on the Rams in Arlington. With weapons like Todd Gurley, Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods at the disposal of Jared Goff this offense can still explode at any given time. Also, the addition of Cornerback Jalen Ramsey had the Rams defense playing well for most of the second half of the season. This will be yet another huge test on the road for Dallas.
The Minnesota Vikings are headed to the playoffs for the third time in five years. Running Back Dalvin Cook finished 10th with 1,135 rushing yards and the team finished sixth overall on the ground. This was on full display back in Week 10 when Cook ran for 97 yards and added 86 yards receiving in a 28-24 victory for the Vikings vs the Cowboys. Also, you can’t forget Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen at wide receiver along with Tight End Kyle Rudolph. Head Coach Mike Zimmer will make this an extremely difficult task for the Cowboys, especially in Minnesota.
Things couldn’t have gone any worse for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2019. They lost their first 10 games and finished with the worst record in the league at 2-14, giving them the number one pick in the NFL Draft in April. Heisman Trophy-winning Quarterback Joe Burrow out of LSU is looked at as the favorite to land in Cincinnati when the first draft card is turned in. On paper, this may look like an easy win for the Cowboys but this is the NFL and there are no guaranteed victories. A potential trap game could be on the horizon here for the Cowboys.
Lastly, there’s the Baltimore Ravens. At 14-2 and winners of 12 in a row, they’re the clear cut favorite to win the Super Bowl. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has had a year for the ages as he broke Michael Vick’s record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season. That played a huge part in the Ravens becoming the first team in NFL history to average 200 yards a game on the ground and in the air. Baltimore also finished first in scoring offense, second in total offense, second in rushing offense, and fourth in total defense. Simply put, they’ve set themselves apart from everyone else in the NFL. With their history of excellent drafting and developing players I expect them to be very formidable in 2020 regardless of how this postseason turns out for them. This will quite possibly be the Cowboy’s biggest test next year.
The Cowboys won’t have an easy road next year by any means, but hey that’s the NFL for you. With so many potentially really good teams on their schedule next season, they’ll need to be the opposite of what they were in 2019, which was arguably the most inconsistent team in the league. The journey has been laid out in front of you Cowboys, it’s time to get to work.