FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys' 2021 NFL season schedule, in a way, just got a little bit harder.
How so? They'll be opposing both of the 2020 season's Super Bowl teams.
We still don't know everything about the schedule; indeed, with the new 17th game, in addition to not knowing dates and such yet, we don't know where that Patriots vs. Dallas game will be played.
But we know the Cowboys will be challenged by two franchises that figure to be riding high well into the 2021 calendar year following Super Bowl LV on Sunday, Feb. 7. Dallas, you see, will have to tackle the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defending NFC champs, and the Kansas City Chiefs, who will be the defending AFC champs.
Oh, one more thing: The meeting with the Bucs will be in Tampa, and the meeting with the Chiefs will be in Kansas City.
Dallas will of course be coming off its 6-10 season but doesn't necessarily have to be "the same team.'' But QB Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs? They figure to be pretty similar. And Tom Brady and the Buccaneers? They figure the same way.
Each team in the NFC East (Washington, Dallas, the Giants and Philadelphia) plays each other twice, as always. So, in addition to New England, it goes like this:
Home at AT&T Stadium: The Washington Football Team, the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Denver Broncos, the Arizona Cardinals, the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers and the Las Vegas Raiders.
Away: Washington, the Giants, the Eagles, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Kansas City Chiefs, the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings.
There are a great many unknowns for the Dallas Cowboys moving forward. Yes, the No. 10 slot in the NFL Draft is locked in, and yes, negotiations with QB Dak Prescott can rev up. But otherwise? As with any 6-10 team, owner Jerry Jones and the Cowboys need to take a hard look in the mirror at what they really can learn about themselves. ... with that intense stare being followed by a first-hand look at what two Super Bowl teams really look like.