vs New York Giants
Last meeting: 2018 Week 17, Cowboys 36-35 Giants
Best offensive players: Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, Evan Engram
Best defensive players: Jabrill Peppers, B.J. Hill, Alec Ogletree
Stop me when you have heard this before, but the Cowboys are playing the New York Giants on the opening day of the season. It may not mean as much as it has in years past, but this is still a division game for both of these teams. It is one that the Cowboys should win. Trading away Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns and taking quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick raised a lot of eyebrows in the offseason. The Giants are not at their strongest at the Cowboys need to take advantage of that, especially at home. Since Dak Prescott has taken over as the starting QB, the Cowboys are 4-2 against the Giants, with the only two losses coming in his rookie year. The Cowboys should be able to win this comfortably to open up the season.
at Washington Redskins
Last meeting: 2018 Week 12 on Thanksgiving, Cowboys 31-23 Redskins
Best offensive players: Dwayne Haskins, Darrius Guise, Jordan Reed
Best defensive players: Jonathan Allen, Ryan Kerrigan, Landon Collins
Similar to the Giants, the Redskins are not at their best right now. The Cowboys went 1-1 against them last season, but the team was different the second time they played on Thanksgiving. Alex Smith suffered that gruesome leg injury and Colt McCoy had to take over. Quarterback remains a huge question for the Redskins this year. They drafted Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick but also traded for Case Keenum. They return Darius Guise from injury last season and 1,000-yard rusher Adrian Peterson. Add in trading for Landon Collins and the Redskins look like they are set to improve. This game will be closer than the Giants game, but Dallas should still be able to take care of business against the Redskins. They have a few offensive question marks and will be trying to improve that lower middle tier defense. Consider this a game where the Cowboys pull away in the early part of the fourth quarter.
vs Miami Dolphins
Last meeting: 2015 Week 11, Cowboys 24-14 Dolphins
Best offensive players: DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills
Best defensive players: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kiko Alonso, Raekwon McMillan
At this point, it will be the third consecutive week where you could honestly go into the week wondering who is the starting quarterback for the Cowboys’ opponents. Trading for Josh Rosen after the Arizona Cardinals selected Kyler Murray first overall in the draft surprised a lot of people. They had signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it was known that he was not the quarterback of the future. Will Rosen be the guy by this point or will Fitzpatrick still be fighting for a spot? Either way neither should be that huge of an issue for this Cowboys’ defense. Rosen was unimpressive in his rookie season, and Fitzpatrick was wildly inconsistent last season with the Buccaneers. On the other side of the ball, Miami ranked second to last in rush defense last year. Expect Zeke Elliot to have a huge game at home.
at New Orleans Saints (Thursday Night Football)
Last meeting: 2018 Week 13, Cowboys 13-10 Saints
Best offensive players: Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas
Best defensive players: Cam Jordan, Marshon Latimore, Eli Apple
Insert the first real test of the season for the Cowboys. Not only do they get to play a team that was arguably robbed of an NFC Championship, but they get to play them at the Superdome, widely considered the most hostile environment in the NFL. Last season’s game was an unusual one where the Cowboys held one of the best offenses in the league to only 10 points. The Cowboys limited the Saints to only 178 total yards, by far their worst offensive performance of the season. Can the defense do it again? Maybe, but most likely not. The Saints seem to be on a revenge tour against the NFL and are stopping at no cost to win.
This will be the seventh time since 1998 these two teams have played in New Orleans. The Cowboys have only won once. Sadly, that trend may continue on a Thursday night in the Big Easy.
3-1 at this point would be considered what is expected for the early part of the season. 2-0 against division rivals and beating a Miami team that most people expect you to. If the Cowboys can somehow turn that Saints game into a win, they instantly become the favorite to win the NFC at that point. 4-0 would be a huge success for this team.