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FRISCO, Texas – It’s been expected for months, and now it’s official: the NFL will add a 17th game to the regular season beginning in 2021.
The league approved the 17th game during a virtual spring meeting. It’s the first time since 1978 that the league has expanded the number of regular-season games (14 to 16 that year).
What does this mean for the Cowboys?
They’re now slated to face the New England Patriots on the road next season — date and time TBD. The full NFL schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
Each year, the additional 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their Cheap Dallas Cowboys Jerseys From China division the previous season. The AFC was determined to be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021.
The Dallas Cowboys now have options in the 2021 NFL Draft thanks to the San Francisco 49ers.
By now, everyone should be caught up with what has happened to the NFL Draft order. The San Francisco 49ers are risking it all by trading up to the No. 3 pick with the Miami Dolphins in return for a future third-round Cheap Dallas Cowboys Throwback Jerseys and three first-round picks.
The move means that San Francisco will be adding a quarterback with the selection. As of now, scouts believe that Alabama’s Mac Jones could be the front-runner due to Kyle Shanahan’s system of quarterbacks possessing the trait of high accuracy.
If that’s the case, multiple teams will inquire of moving up for either Ohio State’s Justin Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, both of which have as much — if not more — upside than the former Crimson Tide commander. Should that happen, talented receivers and tackles will move down the draft board.
So, why is this good news for the Dallas Cowboys? They should have multiple options at pick No. 10 or later.
The Cowboys are winners this offseason in the NFL Draft
Dallas will have needs to protect Dak Prescott after agreeing to terms on a massive four-year extension. However, Dan Quinn’s defense cannot go into the season without a true No.1 cornerback.
If the run of quarterbacks ensues early, Dallas could have their pick for one of the top three names.
One pick though won’t be able to fix an entire defense for 2021. Moving back a few selections, the Cowboys would be able to Cheap Dallas Cowboys Youth Jerseys garner an extra mid-round selection and still be in line for one of the top cornerbacks.
With the Patriots and Chargers looking for either a pass-protector or pass-catcher, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II or South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn might be available just a few picks later. The difference? Dallas gains an extra selection and their top selection.
San Francisco controls the outcome of the remaining seven picks in the top 10. If quarterback becomes a hot commodity, Dallas can have their pick of the litter at a position of need. If they feel comfortable moving back as well, so be it.
Thanks to the 49ers, Dallas has options in April. That seems like a win for the Cowboys no matter where they select in Round 1.
Here’s a closer look at the overall scheduling formula with a 17th game in place, according to the league’s announcement:
“Every team plays 17 regular-season games with one bye week. Clubs will host 10 games overall – either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games.
Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).
The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).
Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.
One interconference game based on the prior year’s standings on a rotating four-year cycle (one game). These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite conference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in each division are matched in the same way each year. The home conference for this game will rotate each season.”
Here’s a complete list of the Cowboys’ 17 regular-season opponents in 2021:
Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders.
Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The official preseason schedule will also be announced later this spring. Teams will now play three preseason games per year, but the Cowboys already know they’re slated to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in this year’s Hall of Fame game Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.