Ranking every Cowboys game for the 2024 NFL season

Just who is the toughest team the Cowboys will face this upcoming season?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL finally released the complete 2024-25 schedule on Wednesday night, and of course, the Dallas Cowboys will again be in the spotlight. Based on last season's finish, the Cowboys will not have a so-called "easy" schedule this fall.

So, let's break down the strength of the schedule and see who the toughest opponent is this season.


14. Carolina Panthers 12/15

Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) with
Jan 7, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) with / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

No game in the NFL can be considered "easy." However, sometimes, one can tell they are about to witness a lopsided affair. In Week 15, the Cowboys will travel to Carolina to take on a Panthers team desperate for success.

The two teams met last season at Carolina, and fans saw the Cowboys give the Panthers a 33-10 drumming. Don't expect much different this season.


13. Washington Commanders 11/24 & 1/4 or 1/5

Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels poses after being selected by
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels poses after being selected by / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On paper, it looks like the NFC East will be a two-team race for the division crown. The Washington Commanders are in the early stages of a rebuild, and a rookie quarterback could be leading the charge before the team's two late-season matchups with Dallas.

The Cowboys held the Commanders to 20 total points in their two matchups last season. The recipe of a stifling Dallas defense playing a young signal-caller in Jayden Daniels could get really ugly for the Washington faithful.


12. New Orleans Saints 9/15

Jan 7, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen looks on
Jan 7, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen looks on / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 will be the Cowboys' home opener, and they will welcome a team that just missed a chance at the postseason last year. The New Orleans Saints finished last season 9-8 and are still looking for an identity in their post-Sean Payton world.

The Saints being this low on the list just proves how difficult the schedule will be for the Cowboys.


11. New York Giants 9/26 & 11/28

Feb 9, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Large Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants helmets at the NFL
Feb 9, 2024; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Large Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants helmets at the NFL / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Remember the two-horse race in the NFC East we mentioned earlier? Well, the New York Giants are not one of those two teams. The Cowboys swept the Giants last season, which included a 40-0 destruction to kickoff last season—expecting more of the same in 2024.


10. Cincinnati Bengals 12/9

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow returned to the practice field during an off-season
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow returned to the practice field during an off-season / Cara Owsley/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Bengals are a tricky team to judge. Just a few years removed from a Super Bowl appearance, they were one of the bottom teams in the league last season. However, being without a franchise quarterback like Joe Burrow would make any team look less than they are.

The Bengals will go as far as Burrow can take them. But will he be healthy in December?


9. Pittsburgh Steelers 10/6

Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA;  Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson watches play during
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson watches play during / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Selling this game is simple. It's Steelers vs. Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. What more could you even ask for?

Pittsburgh is counting on veteran quarterback Russell Wilson to find his second wind, and behind a bolstered up defense, the Steelers could be even a bigger threat by the time we make it to kickoff in October.


8. Philadelphia Eagles 11/10 & 12/29

Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles fans react during the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Philadelphia Eagles fans react during the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The second horse in the NFC East equation is the Philadelphia Eagles. After a disappointing exit in the Wild Card round last season, the Eagles want to prove they are still one of the top teams in the NFL.

The Eagles and Cowboys split victories last season, but the Cowboys took home the division title. Both meetings will be can't miss football.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12/22

Jan 21, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) makes a
Jan 21, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) makes a / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The winners of the NFC South last season reside in Tampa Bay. Yes, the Buccaneers haven't missed a beat since Tom Brady decided to call it a career for the second time.

The Bucs fell one game short of playing in the NFC Championship last season and still have a formidable squad that will be competitive this season.


6. Atlanta Falcons 11/3

Apr 26, 2024; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; The setup for the press conference used by the Atlanta
Apr 26, 2024; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; The setup for the press conference used by the Atlanta / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons have a chance to be a different team than we saw last year. With the addition of Kirk Cousins, the Falcons are finally fielding a competitive offense with weapons like Bijan Robinson and Kyle Pitts.

If Cousins is the quarterback he was before the Achilles injury, the Falcons could reign as king of the NFC South.


5. Cleveland Browns 9/8

Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) looks up on the
Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) looks up on the / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns were a fun Cinderella story last season. However, David has quickly turned into Goliath as we turn the page to the 2024-25 season. At full strength, the Browns are a Super Bowl-caliber franchise.

Kicking off the season against a hungry Cleveland team may not be the ideal start that Cowboys fans hoped for.


4. Houston Texans 11/18

Jan 20, 2024; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) scrambles out of the
Jan 20, 2024; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) scrambles out of the / Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Everything is bigger in Texas, right? A Monday night matchup with the Houston Texans in November could prove who the sheriff of these parts is.

The Texans proved ahead of schedule in their rebuild, as the team won the AFC South and a Wild Card matchup against the Browns last season. Many expect big things from the Texans this season, myself included.


3. Detroit Lions 10/13

Detroit Lions offensive tackle Dan Skipper warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at
Detroit Lions offensive tackle Dan Skipper warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers at / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

There's no question that Detroit Lions fans have this one already circled on their calendars. The Lions and Cowboys played in an instant classic last season that ended a little cloudy with Detroit's attempt at some late-game trickery.

The Lions proved to be contenders instead of pretenders last season, making it all the way to the NFC title game. One should expect plenty of fireworks in this one.


2. Baltimore Ravens 9/22

Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (center) questions
Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (center) questions / Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

September will not be kind to the Cowboys as they will face off with two teams from a stout AFC North. In Week 3, the Cowboys will welcome the Baltimore Ravens to Jerry's World. This matchup has all the makings of an offensive slugfest. Sign me up, please.


1. San Francisco 49ers 10/27

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

If there were one game from last season that Cowboys fans wanted another crack at, it would have to be a meeting with the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers snatched the hopes of many fans last season after their 42-10 stomping of the Cowboys. However, it's a new year.

What better way to cement your dominance as a team than turning the tables on the 49ers?


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Tyler Reed

TYLER REED

“ Tyler majored in communications at the University of Kentucky and has previously been a contributor with Busted Coverage and FanSided.”