Though the process was delayed a bit compared to a normal year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the NFL finally released official 2020 schedules earlier this month.
Set to travel more miles than any other team this season, the Seahawks will play out of conference games against the AFC East, non-divisional games against the NFC East, and six divisional games. In addition, they'll face two non-common opponents from the NFC North and NFC South.
Preparing for the new campaign, we will be dissecting each of Seattle's upcoming opponents over the next several weeks. Coming off a prime time matchup with New England, coach Pete Carroll's team will stay at CenturyLink Field for a second straight battle at home against Dallas in Week 3.
2019 Record: 8-8, Second in NFC East
Last Meeting with Seahawks: 24-22 win in 2018 Wild Card round
Seattle beat Dallas at CenturyLink Field in the regular season back in Week 3 and entered the postseason on the heels of a strong month of December with wins over Kansas City and Minnesota. But Russell Wilson and the Seahawks struggled to move the football in the first half, falling behind at halftime and failing to mount a late comeback. Dak Prescott picked up a crucial first down run on third-and-long, setting up first and goal with the quarterback eventually sneaking into the end zone of a game-winning touchdown.
Season in Review: Behind a strong start from Prescott, Dallas opened last season with a bang, opening 3-0 to take an early lead in the NFC East. But the Cowboys quickly fell back to earth after feasting on inferior opponents in the first month, dropping their next three games to move back to .500. With Jason Garrett's job on the line, Dallas limped down the stretch to an 8-8 record, including losing to the Eagles in Week 16. Garrett was fired soon after the conclusion of the season and replaced by former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.
Key Additions: DT Gerald McCoy, DT Dontari Poe, S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix
Along with hiring McCarthy, the Cowboys spent most of their free agency period trying to hash out an extension with Prescott and re-signing Amari Cooper, but they did add several quality veterans on defense. McCoy and Poe, who each played for the Panthers in 2019, will strengthen the interior defensive line, while Clinton-Dix should enter the starting lineup right away. The team also signed former Rams kicker Greg "The Leg" Zuerlein to upgrade on special teams.
Key Departures: WR Randall Cobb, TE Jason Witten, DE Robert Quinn, CB Byron Jones
Dealing with a bit of a salary cap crunch and trying to lock up Prescott and Cooper, Dallas had to let multiple starters depart on free agency. Offensively, the departure of Cobb and Witten takes away two of Prescott's top weapons from last year, though the team used the draft to find adequate replacements. Quinn may be the team's biggest loss, as he led the Cowboys in sacks last year, while Jones took a record-setting deal from the Dolphins that the franchise had no chance of matching.
Notable 2020 Draft Picks: WR CeeDee Lamb, CB Trevon Diggs, DT Neville Gallimore, C Tyler Biadasz
Benefiting from the unexpected fall of Lamb, who was viewed as the top receiver in this year's class by some experts, Dallas provided Prescott with another dynamic target on the outside to couple with Cooper and Michael Gallup. General manager Jerry Jones filled several more holes in upcoming rounds, snagging Diggs as a viable day one replacement for Jones and Gallimore as a high-upside defensive tackle prospect to learn from McCoy and Poe. The Cowboys also may have landed a fifth-round steal in Biadasz, who should have a shot at starting in place of now-retired Travis Frederick at center.
Prognosis: With McCarthy now on the sideline, Ezekiel Elliott still in the backfield, and a strong trio of receivers at Prescott's disposal, the Cowboys should be one of the NFC's most formidable offenses. The offensive line has taken a few hits, especially with Fredrick retiring, and left tackle Tyron Smith isn't getting any younger. Still, the front line should remain a quality one and the defense added an intriguing mix of veterans and exciting rookies to the fold. Getting a healthy Leighton Vander Esch back will be critical to Dallas' chances of making a deep playoff run, but this team should be in the mix for an NFC East title and will be one of Seattle's toughest home opponents in 2020.