Ranking the five must-see games in the Cowboys 2022 schedule: clashes with Tom Brady and the top Super Bowl teams list

With the release of the 2022 NFL schedule now in review, the Dallas Cowboys are stepping on the gas towards minicamp and beyond, knowing who they’ll face, where they face them and when it all goes down. Their 17-game slate is riddled with pitfalls to avoid, especially early on when they need to fly out of goal if they want to build a momentum that could carry them through the challenges of injuries at certain positions and the inevitable losses or two that have sprung from controversial calls and/or no-calls — as is often a part of the fabric of any Cowboys season. With Dak Prescott is now completely healthy and leading OTAs and a very strong rookie class joining the fight since the calendar changes to june, the work has already started.

That work doesn’t include defensive end Randy Gregory, All-Pro wide receiver Amari Cooper, or former starting player La’el Collins, all of whom parted ways with the Cowboys in headline fashion. It’s an offseason of awkwardness from the Cowboys following a postseason that’s caused heartbreak, so starting next season with a slow start just isn’t enough. But analyzing their schedule, it becomes clear what the top 5 must-see competitions are given the fireworks that await.

Is it already September??

week 1 – Sunday 11 September
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
time: 8:20 p.m. ET

headshot image

What’s better than a fight with the GOAT? A rematch with him and after he finished a brief retirement. The Cowboys entered the 2021 season with a surge of optimism after Dak Prescott returned from a season-ending ankle injury in 2020, and despite coming in with a strained shoulder last season, all eyes were on this matchup through the week 1 directed. It should serve as a litmus test for both Prescott and the defense – now led by Dan Quinn – against Tom Brady and the defending champions Buccaneers. In a contest the Cowboys narrowly lost, and in controversial fashion, they showed they could go to Raymond James Stadium and inflict a loss on Brady before narrowly losing.

This time the fight takes place in Texas and the Cowboys have another chance to send a message about the start of the season. and just months after Brady retired and then didn’t retire, followed by Bruce Arians, who gave up his role as head coach to allow Todd Bowles to take over. With no shortage of headlines on this one, it will define the Cowboys season early and in a big way. Dallas have never defeated Brady in his illustrious 22-year career (he’s 6-0 against them). Does this series end in 2022?

week 10 – Sunday 13 November
Location: Lambeau Field (Green Bay, WI)
time: 4:25 p.m. ET

headshot image

Paste here the appropriate gif from The Joker, because here … we … go. This duel marks head coach Mike McCarthy’s long-awaited return to Lambeau Field, where he spent most of his NFL coaching career shaping the Hall of Fame careers of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, including winning a Super Bowl with both . Rodgers hasn’t been to the top of the mountain since, but neither has McCarthy (who took a year off after being fired from Green Bay and eventually ending up in Dallas). The two will be forever linked and you can bet that McCarthy, who was extremely pissed off at how things went last season at Lambeau, wants nothing more than to not only beat the Packers this season, but to to humiliate them.

It’s a surreal moment of the highest order, especially considering the last time McCarthy was in Green Bay was when he led the Packers in the Cowboys’ loss in the game now infamous for the Dez Bryant catch and overturn – later designated a catch by the NFL, with no consequences. And much like Brady, Rodgers usually has the Cowboys number, but that was mostly when McCarthy was at the helm. Having also lost the Cowboys’ last three matchups to Rodgers, all at AT&T Stadium, the Cowboys have plenty of motivation to march down to Green Bay and cast out some demons.

week 5 – Sunday 9 October
Location: SoFi Stadium (Los Angeles, CA)
time: 4:25 p.m. ET

headshot image

Not long after attempting to defeat Brady for good, the Cowboys will face the quarterback who defeated him last postseason – en route to leading the Chargers to a Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Stafford stole a page right out of Brady’s playbook: leave the longtime NFL team for a new team and pick up a Lombardi trophy in his debut season. But for all the good and great that Stafford has achieved in 2021, there have also been some very lean times, and he hasn’t faced Quinn’s defense either (one that’s been top of the league in more than one category and top – 5 in several others).

The current champions don’t look exactly the same as they did last season when they won it all – e.g. no Von Miller, Odell Beckham Jr. or Robert Woods (to a lesser extent) – but they are still extremely dangerous on both sides of the ball. And after adding perennial All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, whom the Cowboys were interested in signing but didn’t want to raise their takeover bid, it’s a fight that will serve as another gauge of Dallas’ preseason strength at the NFC.

week 16 – Christmas Eve, Saturday 24 December
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
time: 4:25 p.m. ET

headshot image

Now for NFC East’s toxic rivalries, and it doesn’t get much worse than that between the Cowboys and the Eagles, you can now throw Pro Bowl wideout AJ Brown into the mix — acquired through blockbuster trading during the NFL 2022 draft. So while the Cowboys face the Giants on the big holiday in November, they face the Eagles just 30 days later, on Christmas Eve. It’s a rare Saturday meeting between the pair, and the Eagles want to be the ones to burn the Cowboys on the road to potentially becoming the Kings of the East – challenges from the Washington Commanders notwithstanding. Not unlike Daniel Jones, Hurts enters a pivotal season where he must definitively prove he’s the face of the Eagles, and the Cowboys must continue to dominate him, as they most have until now.

As a starter, Hurts is 2-0 against the Cowboys and All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs has intercepted him three times in those two contests. He’s hoping Brown, along with DeVonta Smith, will go a long way in preventing a fourth INT (or more) in 2022, and the addition of first-round Jordan Davis could help wreak havoc against a Cowboys offensive line that is currently in rebuild mode; but the Cowboys were 6-0 in the division last year and look to further dampen NFC East 2022. One of these teams gets an early Christmas present, the other a lump of coal in the stocking.

week 12 – Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24th
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
time: 4:25 p.m. ET

headshot image

Speaking of Giants, this is of course a must see. It’s the Thanksgiving game, after all, and what makes it even better is that on Turkey Day you won’t see the Cowboys on the field to take on the Detroit Lions, but a bitter divisional rival for a late-season conflict who also serves as the second and final matchup of the regular season between the two. Depending on the outcome of their Week 3 meeting at MetLife Stadium, one of those teams will be looking for the sweep while the other tries to avoid it, and the Giants have no plans to lie down or be the same old Big Blue that it was overrun by Prescott and Co. in recent seasons.

On paper, the Cowboys are still the better team, but that’s debatable after controversial offseason losses while the Giants added Brian Daboll as head coach and replaced Dave Gettleman with general manager Joe Schoen. An air of change is blowing through the Giants organization, and both Jones and running back Saquon Barkley are entering pivotal years that will define the rest of their NFL careers. Add in a very strong NFL draft haul and the Giants are able to keep the Cowboys from repeating themselves as NFC East champions and this game will help decide the fate of the division – so grab the turkey leg and dig into it.

Honorable Mention: Cincinnati Bengals

week 2 – Sunday 18 September
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, TX)
time: 4:25 p.m. ET

headshot image

In 2022, the Cowboys will face not one, but both teams that appeared in the last Super Bowl. Before they can take on Matthew Stafford and the Champion Rams, they must face off against Joe Burrow and the Bengals – a team looking to get off to a hot start after ending up arguably the best run in franchise history before losing a nail biter against Los Angeles for all the marbles. It’s that hunger combined with the lethality of Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and others that makes this one of the most challenging matchups the Cowboys will face all year. And having a challenge like that just a week into the season against Tom Brady makes it that much harder when you consider it’s a back-to-back brawl involving a recent Super Bowl champion and one that nearly blew him in February would have won .

Burrow has proven to be one of the best QBs in the league, and Chase is inhuman in his potency as a wideout, requiring only the Bengals defense to match serve, which they eventually did with the help of All-Pro safety Jessie Bates. And since it’s doubtful Bates will last due to the current contract hiatus (the new CBA severely punishes such a thing these days), the Cowboys can expect to see him on the field and play angry; In a game where Dallas is either starting 2-0 to open the year after beating two of the league’s best teams 1-1 in a split, or going 0-2 and drowning in criticism that they referred to as anything but a contender.

The only reason this isn’t a top 5 clock is because it’s an AFC team in terms of playoff ranking impact and that matters in the grand scheme of this ranking. Nonetheless, former Cowboys starter La’el Collins is now a Bengal after being unceremoniously fired this offseason, and seeing him take on All-Pro passrusher DeMarcus Lawrence will be a must-watch in and of itself.

Looking at their schedule and the above competitions and failing again last postseason, there are only two options for the Cowboys in 2022:

Give up or shut up.

Leave a Comment