Three Biggest Games: Dallas Cowboys
After a decade of mediocrity, one of the NFL’s proudest franchises finally started to turn things upwards in 2014. An effective, balanced offense run through a monstrous O-line complemented a stout defense that proved many doubters wrong en route to a 12-4 season. And even though America’s Team got bounced out of the playoffs in only the divisional round, the 2015 Cowboys could well be shaping up as the team to beat in the NFC.
Week 2 at Philadelphia Eagles
The up-and-down Eagles handed the Cowboys their worst loss last season: a 23-point shellacking, and on Thanksgiving Day, no less. Dallas, of course, had the last laugh, splitting the season series with their hated nemesis only two weeks later and securing a playoff berth in the process. But aside from the molten rivalry, this early-season matchup is tantalising for the fact that both teams will boast improved rosters in 2015. The Cowboys have bolstered the defense with the inclusion of Greg Hardy and rookie Randy Gregory, two polarising athletes out to prove a massive point, while the Eagles acquired freakish linebacker Kiko Alonso and former Cowboy DeMarco Murray during the offseason. This’ll be a good one.
Week 5 vs. New England Patriots
Provided Tom Brady’s four-game suspension still stands by the time the regular season gets underway, the Cowboys will have scored a lucky break in this week five affair. Because of an early bye, the Pats’ fourth game of the season will occur this week in Dallas, with Brady set to return the following Sunday against Indianapolis. Jimmy Garoppolo won’t have proven or broken his Hall of Fame credentials after just three starts, but he will have provided the ‘Boys opportunistic defense with enough game film to make his afternoon sufficiently uncomfortable. But what if Brady is back by then? One can’t help but think of a similar match up last year, in which the Cowboys ventured into the home of the defending Super Bowl champions with no chance in the world, only to emerge victorious and kick-start their excellent season.
Week 14 at Green Bay Packers
The Fox network spared no expense in cramming “The Ice Bowl II” down our throats during last year’s divisional round clash between these two historic foes. With the same channel set to again air this December evening affair from Lambeau Field, don’t be surprised to see it turn into a trilogy. The truth is, this is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated matches of the year, and one that America will need no added convincing to watch. With two of the NFL’s most accurate quarterbacks calling the shots, this game will be won and lost through the air. Still reeling over his catch and/or non-catch last year, expect Dez Bryant to light up the stat sheet against the Pack secondary – perhaps the only weak (ish) link on Green Bay’s roster.