Ranking the best players the Dallas Cowboys will face in 2024

What names should Cowboys fans get familiar with before the start of the 2024 season?
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys will have a hard road to the NFL postseason. The NFL season is always one bruta hit after another. But, just who are the players that Cowboys fans need to keep an eye on?

No worries, we've got you covered.

Here is a look at the best players on each team the Cowboys will face this season.

RELATED: Ranking every Cowboys game for the 2024 NFL season

Week 1: Browns - Myles Garrett

Dec 28, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) celebrates
Dec 28, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) celebrates / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The reigning, defending, undisputed NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Myles Garrett, commands respect on the football field. Garrett is arguably the greatest player to have worn a Cleveland Browns jersey, and he doesn't take that likely.

Keeping Dak Prescott upright in Week 1 is going to be a tall test for the Cowboys offensive line, specifically first-round pick Tyler Guyton.

Week 2: New Orleans Saints - Cam Jordan

Oct 30, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) sacks
Oct 30, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) sacks / Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

From one great pass rusher to the next, the New Orleans Saints will bring Cam Jordan to Dallas in hopes of spoiling the Cowboys home opener. Jordan is an eight-time Pro Bowler and a one-time All-Pro.

The Saints edge will begin his 14th season in the NFL and shows no signs of slowing down.

Week 3: Baltimore Ravens - Lamar Jackson

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) reacts after
Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) reacts after / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

30 other teams in the NFL would love to have Lamar Jackson on their sideline. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback is a spectacle to watch every time he takes the field.

Jackson will arguably be the most talented quarterback the Cowboys will face this season—a game where the Dallas defense better bring their lunchpail.

Week 4 & 13: New York Giants - Brian Burns

Apr 25, 2024; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; (Left) NY Giants #0 Brian Burns and #5 Kayvon Thibodeaux
Apr 25, 2024; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; (Left) NY Giants #0 Brian Burns and #5 Kayvon Thibodeaux / Michael Karas / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants seemed like a surprising destination for former Carolina Panthers star Brian Burns. Nevertheless, Burns is now the guy on the blue team from The Big Apple.

Burns finished last season with 8 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.

Week 5: Pittsburgh Steelers - T.J. Watt

May 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker TJ Watt (90) participates in
May 24, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker TJ Watt (90) participates in / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven't caught the theme yet, pass rushing is vital to any team's success in the league. The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the greatest in the game with T.J. Watt. The younger Watt brother has quickly built a resume that anyone would be happy to call a career.

However, Watt is still chasing greatness after finishing runner-up in the Defensive Player of the Year voting last season.

RELATED: Predicting the Dallas Cowboys' final record for the 2024 season

Week 6: Detroit Lions - Amon-Ra St. Brown

Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown scores a touchdown against Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore
Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown scores a touchdown against Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The league started to take notice last season, but Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown isn't going to let anyone forget how talented he is. St. Brown can name every receiver drafted before him in the 2021 draft. That fire is what keeps the Lions star hungry.

St. Brown finished last season with over 1,500 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Expect those numbers to be even bigger this season.

Week 8: San Francisco 49ers - Christian McCaffery

Oct 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23)
Oct 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (23) / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

In an era where the running back position doesn't have the respect it deserves, Christian McCaffery reminds us that it still has meaning. McCaffery has been the constant that keeps the San Francisco 49ers offense deadly.

An offensive with weapons all over the field, and yet it's the man in the backfield that holds all the attention.

Week 9: Atlanta Falcons - Jessie Bates III

Dec 31, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Atlanta Falcons safety Jessie Bates III (3) takes the field
Dec 31, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Atlanta Falcons safety Jessie Bates III (3) takes the field / Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Did you expect to see a free safety on the list of best players? If you didn't then you must not know about Atlanta Falcons safety Jessie Bates III. Bates has expert vision at finding the ball.

The former Cincinnati Bengal had six interceptions in his first season with the Falcons, including one returned for a touchdown.

Week 10 & 17: Philadelphia Eagles - Jalen Hurts

Feb 1, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA;  Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) participates in the
Feb 1, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) participates in the / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

There are rumblings that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts fell off last season after the team's opening-round exit in the NFL Playoffs. But I'm unsure if writing Hurts off this quickly is the correct answer.

Hurts still threw for over 3,800 yards and 23 touchdowns. Yes, the 15 interceptions could be worrisome if you're an Eagles fan.

RELATED: Most critical stretch revealed during Cowboys 2024 schedule release

Week 11: Houston Texans - C.J. Stroud

Feb 2, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA;  Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) participates in the AFC
Feb 2, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) participates in the AFC / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Has any rookie quarterback come on the scene and announced that he is the team leader quicker than C.J. Stroud?

The Houston Texans quarterback burst into the NFL spotlight in his first year, even earning a Pro Bowl selection. The Texans have a bright future, and Stroud is its nucleus.

Week 12 &18: Washington Commanders - Tress Way

Oct 1, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Commanders punter Tress Way (5) against the
Oct 1, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Commanders punter Tress Way (5) against the / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Is it a shot at the Washington Commanders by saying their best player is a punter? Of course it is! The Commanders are in the thick of an ugly rebuild, and the light at the end of their tunnel is more than likely painted on by a Looney Tunes character.

This team has a major uphill battle with themselves.

Week 14: Cincinnati Bengals - Ja'Marr Chase

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) catches a pass in the fourth quarter during a
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) catches a pass in the fourth quarter during a / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Ja'Marr Chase is one of the top three receivers in the league. It doesn't matter who his quarterback is; you will pay for it if you give Chase space.

The three-time Pro Bowler will undoubtedly be a thorn in the Cowboys' side when they meet late in the season.

Week 15: Carolina Panthers - Jadeveon Clowney

NFL Baltimore Ravens defensive end Jadeveon Clowney
NFL Baltimore Ravens defensive end Jadeveon Clowney / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

No one in the last decade has entered the league with more pure talent than Jadeveon Clowney. Yes, discussions of his work ethic have always been in question. But if Clowney isn't giving 100 percent, let's hope he doesn't when the Carolina Panthers meet the Cowboys.

Clowney accumulated 9.5 sacks last year with Baltimore, and now the former South Carolina star is looking to bring energy to a desperate Panthers franchise.

Week 16: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mike Evans

Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13)
Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Evans has constantly threatened defenses since he entered the league, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver has never gone under 1,000 yards receiving in his 10-year career.

The surefire Hall of Famer is another guy who can break the hearts of the opposing fanbases with just one play.


Published
Tyler Reed

TYLER REED