Dallas Cowboys’ 2021 opponents and strength of schedule

Who are the Dallas Cowboys’ 2021 NFL opponents as they look to bounce back from a poor performance in the 2020 season? Let’s look at who the Cowboys will play in 2021, and what that means in terms of their strength of schedule ranking compared to their rivals.

Who do the Cowboys play in 2021?

The Cowboys’ list of 2021 opponents will see them play the regular six games against the NFC East: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington Football Team. As is customary, the Cowboys will face each of those three teams both at home and on the road during the 2021 season.

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The 2021 season will also see the NFC East compete against the NFC South and AFC West for another eight games. Finally, the remaining two games on the traditional 16-game schedule will see the Cowboys face the two teams that finished in third place of the NFC North (Minnesota Vikings) and NFC West (Arizona Cardinals).

What about the Cowboys’ 17th game in 2021?

The 2021 season expects to introduce a 17th regular-season game for all NFL teams. Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported on NFL.com that plans are in place to expand the regular season, although their report has yet to be officially confirmed by the NFL. Therefore, who would be the opponent for the Cowboys’ 17th game in the 2021 season?

Reports suggest that a decision has been made on how the 17th game opponent will be decided. The matchup will be an interconference matchup based on standings on a rotational basis.

Albert Breer reports that the divisional alignments for the 2021 season had already been set. According to Breer, the NFC East will face the AFC East for the 17th game. Therefore, the Cowboys’ opponent for their 17th game in 2020 would be the New England Patriots.

The Dallas Cowboys’ 2021 opponents

Here are the teams that the Dallas Cowboys will play against in the 2021 NFL season:

Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals

Road: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings

17th game (location TBD): New England Patriots

Dallas Cowboys’ strength of schedule for 2021

As we look ahead towards the 2021 NFL season, how does the Cowboys’ strength of schedule for 2021 shape up? The strength of schedule rankings are compiled from the 2020 records of the Cowboys’ 2021 opponents.

The Cowboys have one of the easiest schedules in 2021

The Cowboys’ 2021 strength of schedule ranks as the second-easiest in the league. They have the second-easiest schedule in the NFC and the NFC East. Only the Philadelphia Eagles have an easier schedule in 2021 than the Cowboys.

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Their games against the NFC East division helps make this one of the easiest schedules in the league. Those six games come against three teams who won a combined 17 of their 48 games in 2020. In total, the Cowboys will play just five games against playoff teams from the 2020 season.

However, those five games include three games against teams that won double-digit games in 2020. Furthermore, two of those games will be against the two teams that competed in Super Bowl LV — the Chiefs and Buccaneers.

How does their schedule at home compare to their schedule on the road?

The Cowboys have a wide split in their home and road strength of schedule. The Cowboys’ 2021 opponents at AT&T stadium ranks as the easiest home schedule in the league. This is because the Cowboys will host just one game against a team who won eight or more games in 2021.

However, their road schedule ranks as the 10th-toughest in the entire league. The Cowboys will have to face top-tier opposition such as the Chiefs, Buccaneers, and Saints, on the road in 2021.

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Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.