Very strangely, my original version of this post vanished after I posted it last evening. At any rate, the Cowboys have what looks to be a pretty forgiving schedule, except that the late season games look as troublesome as those from last year. Here is a piece by Todd Archer analyzing the schedule:
Sept. 9: vs. New York Giants
The Wade Phillips era kicks off at Texas Stadium with a night game on NBC.
Projection: Win, 27-13
Sept. 16: at Miami
The Cowboys will be making their first trip to Miami since 1996, with Phillips facing former San Diego cohort, Cam Cameron. And UT’s Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams could be on the field after a suspension.
Projection: Win, 19-7
Sept. 23: at Chicago
The defending NFC champion will have a different look this season, highlighted by the ascension of UT-ex Cedric Benson to the No. 1 tailback role. The Bears could be without linebacker Lance Briggs, but they still have a defense that can shake down an offense with their other linebacker Brian Urlacher.
Projection: Lose, 23-16
Sept. 30: vs. St. Louis
If the Cowboys want to be considered a team to be feared in the NFC, this is a game they must have.
Projection: Win, 31-20
Oct. 8: at Buffalo
Phillips faces his former team in front of a national television audience. The Cowboys last won in Buffalo in 1971. Of course, they’ve played there just three times.
Projection: Win, 24-16
Oct. 14: vs. New England
This game would have been the most interesting of the season had Bill Parcells decided to stick around for a fifth season. But it will be Tom Brady’s first visit to Texas Stadium, just like it was Peyton Manning’s first last year. The Cowboys managed to win that one. Can they make it two in a row over the top quarterbacks in the AFC?
Projection: Lose, 30-28
Oct. 21: vs. Minnesota
If Randy Moss was still a Viking, we’d know the result. He’s not, but second-year coach Brad Childress knows the personnel after serving as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator.
Projection: Win, 27-22
Oct. 28: bye
Nov. 4: at Philadelphia
Terrell Owens hopes to have a much better return to Lincoln Financial Field than he had in 2006 when he was noticed more for his sideline demeanor than his catches. The Iggles fans will be waiting and will have all day to get ready to boo T.O. This starts a three-week stretch of NFC East games.
Projection: Lose, 17-13
Nov. 11: at New York Giants
Martin Gramatica’s game-winner vs. the Giants last year, set up by Tony Romo’s beautiful throw to Jason Witten, still burns the New York fans.
Projection: Lose, 23-20
Nov. 18: vs. Washington
Will this be Joe Gibbs’ last visit to Texas Stadium? His return to the sidelines has not been the best, but he gets his teams ready for the Cowboys. And this is bound for a wacky ending.
Projection: Win, 22-10
Nov. 22: vs. New York Jets
In 2004, Julius Jones outran his brother, Thomas, and the Bears on Thanksgiving. Now Thomas is a Jet, and Julius will get a chance to do it again on the holiday.
Projection: Win, 26-20
Nov. 29: vs. Green Bay
For the first time in franchise history, the Cowboys will be playing a Thursday game after their traditional Thanksgiving tilt.
Projection: Win, 33-26
Dec. 9: at Detroit
The Lions ran it up on the Cowboys at Texas Stadium last year, exposing the defense. This will be a revenge game of sorts.
Projection: Win, 27-14
Dec. 16: vs. Philadelphia
The Eagles return for the rematch and have shown in the past they play their best when it matters most.
Projection: Win, 20-16
Dec. 22: at Carolina
The Cowboys will be making their third straight trip to Charlotte, and they have come up with clutch wins the previous two years, including Tony Romo’s first start last year. This game will go a long way in determining playoff seeding, wild card or otherwise.
Projection: Lose, 28-24
Dec. 30: at Washington
The last time the Cowboys closed the season at FedExField was Dave Campo’s final game in 2002. This team hopes to be playing for something, and there is nothing better than a Cowboys-Redskins game with playoff implications.
Projection: Lose, 19-13
So according to Mr. Archer, Dallas will finish 10-6. Thinking rationally for a few seconds– that’s pretty good if it happens.
Deadspin ran a piece on Drew Bledsoe after the quarterback announced his retirement. Here is another one from Chicks Dig the Long Ball. I don’t think of Bledsoe as a hall-of-famer, but he does compare pretty well with a few other quarterbacks who are in there. Take Dan Fouts, for instance:
Two AFC Championship game appearances, no Super Bowl appearances
6-time Pro Bowler
3297 of 5604 (58.8%), 43,040 yards, 254 TD, 242 Int.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.
Two AFC Championship game appearances (one as a starter); two Super Bowl apperances (one as a starter)
4-time Pro Bowler
3839 of 6717 (57.2%), 44,611 yards, 251 TD, 206 Int.
Just for your consideration.