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Reaction To The Cowboys' 2011 Schedule

The 2011 schedule for the Dallas Cowboys was released earlier, and there's a handful of interesting games on the slate. Opening the season on September 11th in New York against the loud mouthed Jets - that'll probably be tough. Still, it'd be a good opportunity for brother Rob to show brother Rex what he can do in Dallas. You know I'll be rooting big time for the Cowboys in this one. Will the Jets be America's team for once? Nah.

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Dallas will get the second of three trips to the Northeast out of the way after Week 6 when they visit Foxboro to take on reigning 2010 NFL MVP Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. At least the Cowboys will have the Bye week in Week 5 to prepare for this while the Pats play the Jets in Week 5. This won't be like the Tuna Bowl in 2003 when the Pats beat the Quincy Carter led Cowboys 12-0.

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As per usual, the month of December will be crucial. Two dates with the Giants (OK, one is on New Year's Day, whatever), one with the Eagles, one with the Bucs and one with the Cardinals. That's not an easy slate, especially considering Dallas plays a Sunday night game at home against New York then turns around and plays a Saturday night game just six days later in Tampa Bay. 

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A few positives in here: Dallas will play host to Seattle, St. Louis and Detroit rather than headed out to those cities. Seattle has one of the biggest homefield advantages in the league and St. Louis and Detroit both boast up-and-coming teams with domes. Dallas also plays host to Buffalo rather than headed to Buffalo in December in some ridiculously cold and windy game. 

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It's tough to say if Dallas is going to be a playoff team without free agency or the draft having occurred, but Dallas will have to start strong and take care of business against the teams that they should beat, like Miami, Buffalo, Seattle and Washington. Tonight, I'd say the Cowboys would be anywhere between a seven and nine win team with this schedule, but it's all just guesswork until we 1: hold the draft, 2: hold free agency and 3: survive training camp injuries. 

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.