With the NFL schedule fully out and readable for the public, the analysis and predictions have begun. The Dallas Cowboys finished 12-5 last season and saw the 49ers come into their own stadium and beat them in the Wild Card round. The Cowboys also managed to lose Amari Cooper, Randy Gregory, and La’el Collins to trades and free agency.
This roster might look a little different from the 2021 version but the Cowboys’ schedule for 2022 might benefit this new roster. The Cowboys are tied with fellow NFC East rival the Washington Commanders for the easiest schedule in 2022. The average winning percentage of Dallas’ opponents in 2022 is .462 percent. The NFC East as a division has the four easiest schedules in the entire NFL for 2022. So, with such an easy schedule ahead for Dallas, which matchups are the most important? Let’s check it out.
Week One, Home Game Versus Tampa Bay Bucs
Rarely will a week one game matter for any NFL team but this year that is not the case. The Cowboys and Buccaneers played in week one last year and it was the most-viewed NFL opener since 2015. The Bucs came out on top 31-29 in a game that went down to a final possession. Now in week one of 2022, we get the exact same matchup. Dak Prescott versus the GOAT Tom Brady in primetime on Sunday Night Football in week one.
This is a revenge game for Dallas and it will be a tough one right out of the gate. Last year, Dallas had missed field goals that cost them key points that might have won them the game in 2021. With Greg Zuerlein gone, maybe that missed field goals issue is fixed. However, both teams have key players recovering from injuries before the 2022 season. Guys like Michael Gallup for Dallas and Chris Godwin for Tampa Bay are just the beginning of players that might not be present for week one.
I have a feeling this will be one of the most-watched games in all of 2022. Dallas has the home-field advantage this time around so maybe that will help. Brady is not perfect but neither is Dallas, now the Cowboys just need to make it work to vanquish the GOAT in primetime. Injuries and scoring issues aside, Dallas needs to win this game to prove that they can win big games against elite teams.
Week Two, Home Game Versus Cincinnati Bengals
I hate to sound like a broken record but once again, it is rare that a week two game matters. However, the Cowboys go from the Tom Brady Bucs in week one to the Joe Burrow Bengals in week two. The Bengals are fresh off a Super Bowl loss and likely still pretty upset about losing. With Burrow finding his stride, Ja’Marr Chase playing above a rookie-level, and a defense finding its footing, the Bengals will be tough.
Dallas will likely be without Gallup but have plenty of other options on offense. This will either be a game dominated by the Bengals or Dallas fighting to control a lead. I think Dallas and Cincy are rather similar teams that now get to match up. If the Cowboys can limit the playmakers the Bengals have, the Dallas offense has enough firepower to win this game. It will be tough but if Dallas can emerge 2-0 after this, I will feel confident in them.
Week Five, Road Game At Los Angeles Rams
Fast forward to week five of the Cowboys schedule and we have the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. While the Rams might lose Odell Beckham to free agency, they signed free agent Allen Robinson. They also added Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner to an already loaded defense. This will easily be the toughest game of the year for Dallas and it’s only five weeks into the season.
Hopefully, by week five, Michael Gallup will be fully healthy and ready to go. Dallas will also maybe have their rookie situation figured out as well. If Dan Quinn can find the right formula for Sam Williams at defensive end, this defense could be deadly. With a gauntlet to go through in the first five weeks, Dallas might be more prepared for LA than we think.
I think this will be another game that comes down to a final possession. Both defenses have to prep for high-powered offenses and both offenses have to prepare for stout defenses. This might be the game of the year should Dallas come out unscathed through the first four weeks. Stafford versus Prescott with a slew of receiving talent will be a fun game to watch.
Week Ten, Road Game At Green Bay Packers
While the Packers will not be the same as years prior, never count out Aaron Rodgers. As a Cowboys fan, I know firsthand that a road game in Lambeau is difficult. However, with no Davante Adams or Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Rodgers receiving core will be much different. This should 1,000 percent be the year that the Cowboys knock out the Packers.
Dallas has their bye week in week nine so they will be fresh heading into week ten against Green Bay. This will hopefully be a more realistic shot at beating Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. Pending that everyone stays healthy and produces, I think Dallas is the better team this year. Green Bay also lost their perennial pass rusher in Za’Darius Smith via free agency so the Cowboys run game could flourish. Look for Dallas to finally go into Lambeau and defeat Aaron Rodgers.
Which Cowboys game are you looking forward to the most? Comment below and join the discussion!
For more Dallas Cowboys content, make sure to check out our website here!