Lions and Vikings and Bears, Oh My! A Look into the Dallas Cowboys' 2010 NFL Schedule
So the 2010 NFL schedules were recently released, and oh boy, are my Dallas Cowboys in trouble. Or are they? It certainly is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have the Cowboys coming off an impressive 2009 season. With their second division title win in 3 years and FINALLY a playoff win after a 12 year dry spell; not to mention Tony Romo stepping up and proving he is a quarterback capable of limiting his mistakes, the team finally showed signs of maturity and balance.
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
But seriously, the other hand is holding a grenade.
The Cowboys face a BRUTAL schedule, with our difficulty percentage at .543, according to Yahoo Sports; this is the third toughest schedule for 2010. We have to play BOTH Super Bowl opponents, the New Orleans Saints (Thanksgiving) and the Indianapolis Colts within 11 days of each other. Plus, there's the rest of the AFC South as well as the always tough NFC North. Moreover, there is an underlying pressure on the Cowboys (as there usually is) to make it to the Super Bowl this year, because the game will be played at the new Dallas Stadium (The Dallas Palace). So with that, let's go through all 17 weeks briefly.
*Note: This is being written a day before the draft, so trade/draft pick implications will NOT be taken into effect here.
Presenting the 2010 Schedule, brought to you by:
Blogging the Boys
Week 1 @ Washington Redskins
-nothing like a division rival to start off the year. It will be interesting to see how Shanahan and McNabb have truly changed this team, specifically the offense, within a few months. Regardless, it's still Washington, and they always play the Cowboys tough.
Week 2 vs. Chicago Bears.
-Tough defensive game. Thankfully, it's not in Chicago, and it's not in December. Look for Julius Peppers hassling Romo, while Cutler tries to pick apart our secondary.
Week 3 @ Houston Texans
-The TEXAS BOWL! This should be a good game, offensively at least. Matt Schaub and his favorite target Andre Johnson will be tough to stop, but their run game should be containable.
Week 4 BYE
Week 5 vs. Tennessee Titans
-All about stopping Chris Johnson. Vince Young might throw some surprises, but I think the Titans will wear down our defensive line, or at least plan to. Shouldn't be too tough of a game.
WEEK 6 @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS
-the second most anticipated game. The Revenge Bowl. The Vikings embarrassed the Cowboys in the Divisional Round of the playoffs 34-3, and for the most part, they played well (defensively), while offensively (Favre), they were douche bags. While I'm disappointed we have to go to Minnesota again to play them, the chance to beat them is insatiable. Hopefully, if Favre comes back, he gets sacked at least 8 times and breaks his arm. Tough game all around. One week after Chris Johnson, we have to look out for Adrian Peterson.
Week 7 vs. NY Giants
-I'd like to see us beat the Giants at least once this year. Last year, we let them beat us twice, but this time at home, I see us coming out of the gate and laying a smackdown.
Week 8 vs Jacksonville: The "Eh" game
-probably my least favorite matchup of the season, mostly because the Jaguars don't seem much of a threat. Then again, they could be the hot team this season, so this game may be bigger, but as of now, I'm not concerned.
Week 9 @ Green Bay
-With Aaron Rodgers leading the Packers, this should be a good game. Green Bay beat us last year 17-7 in a really boring game, where the Dallas offense didn't show up. Here's hoping this time they do.
Week 10 @ NY Giants
-Around this time, these games will have playoff implications, so depending on where everyone else, this could be a huge game. It's automatically a "good" game, since Dallas and NY are involved. I'm going to guess this determines who takes control of NFC East at this point in time.
Week 11 vs. Detroit
-Though I'm not worried about Detroit, stranger things have happened. I like Jim Schwartz, and I think the Lions are on the right track to rebuilding. Who knows what team will show up? Remember, the Cowboys aren't always an automatic lock against bad teams (See: Dallas at KC last year)
WEEK 12 VS. NEW ORLEANS
-The most anticipated game for me. A rematch of last year's great game that not only ended the Saints undefeated season, but also revived the Cowboys season. Plus, it's on Thanksgiving, so assuming everyone stays healthy by this time, this could be the makings of a classic game. My apologies to Detroit fans who have to wait for their team to get pounded by New England this year.
Week 13 @ Indianapolis
-two Super Bowl teams within 11 days...Ugh. Colts are always a great team, and who knows if they've already clinched division/home-field by this point. They're still dangerous, but remember a few years ago in 2006, when the Colts won the Super Bowl. They were undefeated at one point, but guess who ended that streak? The Cowboys. The third most anticipated game easily. Manning Vs. Romo will be worth watching.
Week 14 vs. Philadelphia
-Now we're into December, and while the month does not have the same stigma it usually has, it's still a tough road to the playoffs, starting with the Colts, and continuing with the Eagles. Trading McNabb was a shocker, so we'll see how this guy Kolb does. But like our other rivals, they'll play us tough no matter what. NFC East implications galore.
Week 15 @ Arizona.
-Arizona lost a few good men this offseason, so it will be interesting to see what kind of team they become.
Week 16 vs. Washington
-I doubt Washington will be in the hunt to lead the division, but they could hurt OUR chances for winning by playing the role of spoiler.
Week 17 @ Philadelphia
-It comes down to this. Again. For the third straight year. The Road to the Postseason goes through the Eagles. In 2008, they smacked us around 44-6 and took our spot. The year after, we satisfyingly took our revenge, shutting them out 24-0, then beating them 34-14 in the playoffs :). This year, who knows? But it will most definitely decide one way or the other who wins the NFC East. Should be a good finish. Hopefully for the Cowboys.
MJD, The Schedule giveth (to arizona) and taketh away (from houston), Yahoo Sports (hyperlink)
Dave Halprin, Dallas Cowboys 2010 Schedule, Blogging the Boys (2nd hyperlink)