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Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys bounce between great and average faster than AI’s handles. Looking back on the top 10 teams ranked by point differential (points scored minus points allowed) during the 2019 NFL season, only one of those teams missed the playoffs and finished with an 8-8 record. Any guesses?

Jerry Jones decided enough was enough and chose not to renew longtime head coach Jason Garrett’s contract. The Jones family hired former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and his Super Bowl XLV ring to rejuvenate a roster loaded with long-term deals that include Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Tyron Smith, Zach Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Jaylon Smith, all of whom are among the highest-paid players at their positions.

Then, there’s Dak Prescott.

Dallas slapped its star quarterback with a $31.4 million franchise tag, which came amidst on-going contract negotiations. Rightfully so, Prescott wants paid. He’s among the league leaders in passing yards and touchdowns passes since entering the league, and only Tom Brady has more wins (47) as a starting quarterback in the regular season than Prescott (40).

But as the Cowboys and Prescott sit at a stalemate, the team signed three-time Pro Bowl selection Andy Dalton. He’s a proven starter who was lost in the chasm of shame and poor management we’ve come to know as the Cincinnati Bengals. (Good luck, Joe Burrow.)

The Cowboys made clear that Prescott is “the guy” while Dalton is the backup. For now.

NFL Schedule Release 2020

Following the NFL schedule release on May 9, Dallas was revealed to have one of the easiest schedules when calculating 2019’s win-loss records of America’s Team’s 2020 opponents — Dallas’ schedule ranks 30th.

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Vegas Insider gave Dallas 22/1 odds to win Super Bowl LV, which is tentatively scheduled for February 7, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. Eight teams are ahead of them according to Vegas, including Kansas City (6/1), Baltimore (7/1), San Francisco (9/1), New Orleans (12/1), Tampa Bay (12/1), NFC East division rival Philadelphia (18/1), New England (20/1) and Seattle (20/1).

An offseason of stellar moves including adding five-time All-Pro Gerald McCoy, former first-round pick Dontari Poe, and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency, then selecting Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs, and Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz among an A+ NFL Draft class gives Dallas all the pieces it needs to be really, really, really dangerous.

With rejuvenated energy under a new regime, the glitz and glam of being the Dallas Cowboys, and an offense that could hang 30-plus points on any team, any time, America’s Team is trending towards an NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl appearance for the first time since 1995.

Dallas Cowboys Schedule 2020

Week 1: at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday Night Football on NBC)

Week 2: ATLANTA FALCONS

Week 3: at Seattle Seahawks

Week 4: CLEVELAND BROWNS

Week 5: NEW YORK GIANTS

Week 6: ARIZONA CARDINALS (Monday Night Football on ESPN)

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Week 7: at Washington Redskins

Week 8: at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday Night Football on NBC)

Week 9: PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: at Minnesota Vikings

Week 12: WASHINGTON REDSKINS (Thanksgiving)

Week 13: at Baltimore Ravens (Thursday Night Football on NFL Network)

Week 14: at Cincinnati Bengals

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Week 15: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (Sunday Night Football on NBC)

Week 16: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Week 17: at New York Giants

ALL CAPS – Denotes home game at AT&T Stadium

The only games I see on Dallas’ 2020 season schedule as potential losses are Los Angeles in Week 1, Seattle in Week 3, Philadelphia in Week 8, Baltimore in Week 13, and San Francisco in Week 15. Having said that, Dallas will contend and have a chance to win all those matchups.

Playing six primetime games is the Cowboys effect, and some of the team’s biggest matchups are coming on those nights. Playing the AFC North and NFC West divisions offer stern challenges, adding even more drama than Dallas’ two-quarterback pandemonium could offer.

The stars are aligned for Dallas to finish 12-4 or 13-3, win the NFC East for the third time in five years under Dak Prescott’s guidance, and potentially have the new-look NFL Playoffs run through Arlington.

MORE: Barry Sanders vs. Emmitt Smith: The 1994 Monday Night Showdown

John Duffley About the author:
John joins the FanBuzz team with five years of experience freelancing as a sports writer for TheDupes.net and Football.com. A graduate of Penn State University, John currently lives and works in Austin, Texas. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).
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