NFL fans have been patiently waiting since February for a new series of matchups, and finally, after a seven-month hiatus, the time has come. The 2021-22 season will kick off on September 9th as all 32 franchises will begin the fervid fight for a Super Bowl ring. The Dallas Cowboys are the very first team to play the defending league champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a regular-season opener that is sure to make a splash. However, if the Cowboys want to have a shot at a Vince Lombardi in 2021, they will need to perform well in a few specific games. Here are the matchups America’s Team must clinch.
Week 2 – Los Angeles Chargers
By now all Cowboys fans know that their team will have to face off against Tom Brady in their very first game. But the reason this is such a crucial game is that the outcome largely determines how the team will play for the games that follow. After Dallas travels to Tampa Bay, they’ll head to L.A. to meet the Chargers in Week 2. If America’s Team can’t secure a victory in the Sunshine State, they may head out West with little hope of not going 0-2.
Cowboys supporters will remember that last season the franchise went 1-3 in their first four games, a record that cemented an unfortunate precedent for them throughout the rest of the season. However, as this will only be the team’s second face-off, they should be refreshed from the offseason and ready to dominate no matter the circumstances of Week 1.
By checking out what expert pundits have to say about this game according to the odds, dedicated Dallas fans can feel prepared for whatever is to come in the 2021-22 season. One thing’s for certain – the first few opening games that Dallas will play are arguably the most important as they are crucial indicators of how the rest of their season may turn out.
Week 6 – New England Patriots
Fast forward a few weeks to Week 6 and the Cowboys are set to take on Brady’s former team, the New England Patriots, away from home. Although the Pats lost a huge offensive asset in their long-term Quarterback Tom Brady, the franchise ranks as one of the best in the league defensively, despite ending last season with an unfortunate 7-9 record.
This game in Foxborough falls right before Dallas’ bye week, so if they can get a W in Massachusetts, they can enter their week of rest with enough motivation to crush the Vikings the following week. The Patriots are a team that the Cowboys definitely have the power to defeat, but they’ll need to get past playing in front of a full stadium of New England fans chanting and cheering, and a dynamic defensive end.
Week 14 – Washington Football Team
The Cowboys will face off against the Washington football team in Week 14, the first of two games where the organizations will play each other in the regular season. To start, the Washington football team are the reigning NFC East champions, a title they have held only 10 times in comparison with the Cowboys’ 23 titles. However, even though Dallas has accomplished this feat more times than the Maryland-based franchise, Washington is playing great as of late and presents a real threat to Dallas’ playoff opportunities.
Although these matchups aren’t set to take place until December, the Cowboys should already be thinking about this important game as it does decide their post-season fate.
Week 17 – Arizona Cardinals
Another hugely important game that Dallas must win will take place in Week 17 when they host the Arizona Cardinals at their AT&T Stadium. The Birds already have the leg up against Dallas as they have won the last four out of five games they have played in together, including the recent pre-season matchup in which the Cardinals secured a 19-16 victory with a game-winning field goal. Even though the scores in Preseason games are unimportant, and it is rather a chance for teams to prepare for the season with matchups that feel like the real thing, the game did reveal that Dallas will need to work on their offensive end.
This is shaping up to be a difficult one on the Cowboys’ schedule, especially because it will be a conference game. Despite the challenge. Additionally, a win against Arizona could give the Cowboys the confidence they need to take back their conference.