Ranking the difficulty level of Cowboys 2023 slate of games
The post-draft dry spell got a small pick up as the 2023 schedule was released Thursday night. Dallas went 12-5 last season with a convincing win in the wild-card round, but yet another disappointing loss in the divisional. This is a respectable season but Dallas fans want and expect more from a team that has championship standards but no recent hardware.
Over the past decade Dallas has only had two losing seasons and boasts a 94-68 record. They are consistent with a 60.5 win% at home and a 55.5 win% on the road. While this consistent success is nice, Dallas faces what may be one of their toughest schedules in recent memory. Here is every game Dallas will play in 2023 ranked from easiest to toughest.
Week 8 vs Los Angeles Rams
10-year record 4-3 (0-1 in playoffs)
The 2022 Super Bowl Champs have taken a tumble from grace since their all-in attitude to win a ring. With All-Pro Jalen Ramsey gone and little draft capital or cap space to rebuild, they sit as one of the least menacing teams in the league. However, they still have game changers on both sides of the ball in Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp so this matchup is nothing to scoff at. Dallas will face the Rams coming off their Week 7 bye so should the squad stay healthy, they feel good about their chances.
Week 12 vs Washington Commanders
10-year record: 14-6
Dallas has had a rocky recent history on Thanksgiving day games but face a Washington Commanders team that failed to make significant improvements from their team last season. Although they have gotten Dallas’ number occasionally over the past couple seasons, this is a game Dallas should win. After an embarrassing loss to end the 2022 regular season, Mike McCarthy and co should look annihilate their feeble division rivals as they face them for the first time since that loss.
Week 3 at Arizona Cardinals
10-year record: 1-3
The Cardinals were one of the biggest dumpster fires this past season and that carried into the offseason. At some point, franchise QB Kyler Murray will return but that seems like a stretch this early in the season. With a new head coach and a strong lack of talent around DeAndre Hopkins, this is a team that will likely battle for one of the top picks in next year’s draft.
However, Dallas has struggled against Arizona, and will face the Cardinals in their house, so if they start the season off hot this may prove a tougher game than Dallas would normally expect.
Week 11 at Carolina Panthers
10-year record: 1-2
The Carolina Panthers are a young and exciting team that may be serious contenders down the road but as of this season they hope to just finish middle of the pack. They selected their franchise QB in Bryce Young but traded their best target in WR DJ Moore to move up for the QB.
Week 4 vs New England Patriots
10-year record: 1-2
After hopefully a convincing win at Arizona, Dallas returns home to take on a Patriots squad that failed to make the big move they needed to take a step forward. The once Tom Brady-led team had the Cowboys in a chokehold for a long time. The 2021 OT thriller saw Dak Prescott have one of his best single games of his career including a walk-off touchdown to CeeDee Lamb. With the defense to shut down Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe or whomever is stewarding New England’s ship, Dallas should take down the Patriots.
Week 2 vs New York Jets
10-year record: 0-2
The New York Jets have entered themselves as potential championship contenders this season with the blockbuster trade for Aaron Rodgers. He joins a young core of elite talent in Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams, Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall. However Dallas matches up well with their strengths and given the young roster it may take more than Week 2 for the offense to gel.
Week 10 vs New York Giants
10-year record: 16-4
It’s safe to say Dallas has dominated the Giants in recent history and this is seen through Dak Prescott’s 10-game winning streak against the division rival. The Giants have done well to improve their squad but still boast a roster Dallas can handle if at full strength.
Week 1 at New York Giants
Once again the domination continues. The only thing that changes the circumstances between Dallas and New York is the location and in Week 1 Dallas travels to MetLife. No matter how it gets chopped up Dallas should come away with the win and their record speaks for itself. While the rowdy New Jersey crowd may make it tougher, this game should start the season off well for Dallas.
Prescott has thrown for 11 TDs against a lone interception since 2017 in the Giants’ house.
Week 18 at Washington Commanders
Dallas gets a chance to redeem themselves for last season’s regular season finale. There is a world where Dallas enters this game as a high seed in the NFC playoffs and the Commanders look to play spoiler. They showed they are damn good at it too so while the roster may still waiting on a QB to emerge, Dallas cannot play down to their opponent again.
Week 17 vs Detroit Lions
10-year record: 5-1
When talking about the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, the latter fanbase has flashbacks to Calvin “Megatron” Johnson absolutely terrorizing the Cowboys secondary. However, the fears are nothing but that as Dallas has been extremely successful against Detroit over the past 10 seasons. The Lions should not be looked at as a cakewalk though as they played well under HC Dan Campbell last season and only got better.
Week 13 vs Seattle Seahawks
10-year record: 2-4
The Seahawks boast a strong roster and one of the best cultures in the league. They have fallen since their Legion of Boom days but seem to be on the winning end of the Russell Wilson trade and managed to get an outstanding performance out of QB Geno Smith who had a new weapon added to an already scary wide receiver corps.
Week 6 at Los Angeles Chargers
10-year record: 1-2
The Chargers have battled the underachiever label the past couple seasons. They have talent but given injuries, an extremely tough division and lackluster depth, LA have not reached the heights that were expected of them. This is not to say they are a bad team, however, as QB Justin Herbert and the trio of WRs Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Quinten Johnston pose danger to opposing secondaries.
Week 16 at Miami Dolphins
10-year record: 2-0
The Dolphins have gone all in under HC Mike McDaniel with their recent acquisition of the aforementioned Jalen Ramsey and a host of other talent. The only real question with their roster is the health and subsequent sustainability of QB Tua Tagovailoa. Should he stay healthy, Miami can be one of the best teams in the league but after last season’s string of concussions that is a big if.
Week 14 vs Philadelphia Eagles
10-year record: 12-8
This is part of a ridiculously tough stretch of contests for Dallas. The Eagles lost significant pieces this offseason but in classic Eagles fashion replenished well. How this all translates into their 2023 success is yet to be seen but it is safe to say Dallas will have their hands full battling for the division title.
Week 15 at Buffalo Bills
10-year record: 0-2
In the same vein as the Chargers, the Bills have struggled to get over the hump. They have shown to be an elite regular season team off the back of QB Josh Allen, but have continued to show weaknesses that teams can take advantage of. The matchup between WR Stefon and CB Trevon Diggs should be special.
Week 5 at San Francisco 49ers
10-year record 3-3 (0-2 in playoffs)
On first glance, San Francisco is the ultimate thorn in Dallas’ side but this may be recency bias. With an even 3-3 record over the past 10 seasons, Dallas actually owns the regular season wins as two of the three losses have come in the past two postseasons. Regardless, this will be a tough matchup for Dallas and a game they may use to prove that they are a real contender or simply fold under pressure as they have done before.
Week 9 at Philadelphia Eagles
Facing the Eagles is hard enough as is. Not only do you have to worry about Jalen Hurts and long list of weapons at his disposal, they possess one of the most boisterous and loyal fanbases of all sports teams world wide. No matter how you chop it up, facing Philly away will prove to be the hardest test for Dallas this upcoming season.