The Dallas Cowboys are going to try and break the streak. No, not the 26-year-old drought since they last won a Super Bowl, though that is the ultimate goal. First up on the agenda is winning the NFC East for back-to-back campaigns. No team has done that since 2003 and 2004 Philadelphia Eagles. With the 2022 schedule release this past week, the gauntlet has been laid down for Dallas and the other 31 NFL teams.
Our instant analysis of the schedule crystallizes the challenges. Dallas has a tough start to the year, with opponent strength of schedule sitting at .529 based on 2021 records, but following a tough start they should be able to gather momentum. The schedule is favorable, as Dallas gets equal or more rest than virtually every opponent, and a midseason bye is followed by two separate mini byes. All in all, things look favorable for a club that did not have the spiciest of free agent periods and may have regressed in talent.
Week 1: Home vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WIN:
Tom Brady and Dak Prescott finished 2-3 in quarterback DVOA in 2021 and engaged in an epic duel to start last season. This year, Dallas will host the game as both teams are undergoing offensive line changes.
Call me crazy, but I think Dallas comes out emotional after such a trying offseason and pulls off the close win.
Week 2: Home vs Cincinnati Bengals – WIN:
The Bengals weren’t a fluke in 2021, Joe Burrow is that dude. Cincy did have an uncanny number of games against heavily-injured clubs. If the Cowboys are healthy, I think they jump out to a 2-0 record here on the strength of an other-worldly Micah Parsons performance.
Week 3: Away vs New York Giants – WIN:
It’s the Giants, bruh.
Week 4: Home vs Washington Commanders – LOSS:
Jump ship. Abortion mission. All that (righteous) trash talking about Carson Wentz ‘lack of ability to win a big game and not choke down the stretch comes back to bite Dallas in the rear here.
Week 5: Away vs Los Angeles Rams – LOSS:
The defending champs play like this game as Aaron Donald makes Dallas consider a change at the center position.
Week 6: Away vs Philadelphia Eagles – WIN:
James Bradberry is exposed as the Cowboys passing game starts to evolve into its final form.
Week 7: Home vs Detroit Lions – WIN:
It’s Jared Goff, man.
Week 8: Home vs Chicago Bears – WIN:
Justin Fields is good for several spectacular plays but the JV receiver corp gets embarrassed by Trevon Diggs and Malik Hooker.
Week 10: Away vs Green Bay Packers – LOSS:
Sorry, Mike McCarthy. Your homecoming dance is going to feature a lot of the same-ol ‘two step.
Week 11: Away vs Minnesota Vikings – WIN:
Kirk Grossman isn’t winning this game my guy.
Week 12: Home vs New York Giants – WIN:
* Checks notes *
Yup, it’s still the Giants.
Week 13: Home vs Indianapolis Colts – WIN:
Matt Ryan is no longer Matt Ryan and Dan Quinn remembers all the buttons to push, altough Jonathan Taylor’s performance will have everyone wondering if Dallas will ever stop a running back before he gains five yards ever again.
Week 14: Home vs Houston Texans – WIN:
Davis Mills puts Trevon Diggs in the DPOY conversation.
Week 15: Away vs Jacksonville Jaguars – WIN:
A lot of fight out of Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, but nah. No upset here.
Week 16: Home vs Philadelphia Eagles – LOSS:
Dallas is feeling themselves a bit too much here and stubs their toe as the NFC East race tightens up.
Week 17: Away vs Tennessee Titans – LOSS:
No one is looking forward to tackling Derrick Henry at night in the winter. No one.
Week 18: Away vs Washington Commanders – WIN:
Home away from home and total domination.
Way-too-early season prediction:
W1: Win over Tampa Bay (1-0)
W2: Win over Cincinnati (2-0)
W3: Win over NY Giants (3-0)
W4: Loss to Washington (3-1)
W5: Loss to Los Angeles Rams (3-2)
W6: Win over Philadelphia (4-2)
W7: Win over Detroit (5-2)
W8: Win over Chicago (6-2)
W10: Loss to Green Bay (6-3)
W11: Win over Minnesota (7-3)
W12: Win over NY Giants (8-3)
W13: Win over Indianapolis (9-3)
W14: Win over Houston (10-3)
W15: Win over Jacksonville (11-3)
W16: Loss to Philadelphia (11-4)
W17: Loss to Tennessee (11-5)
W18: Win over Washington (12-5)