DALLAS — The NFL officially announced the 2022 home and away opponents for all 32 teams on Thursday, and the Dallas Cowboys know exactly who they will face in their 63rd season.
According to the NFL's scheduling formula from 2002, which was revised in 2021 to accommodate for a 17th game, the Cowboys will play the NFC North and the AFC South. Their "17th game," an extra inter-conference matchup, will have them play the Cincinnati Bengals. Why the Cowboys are playing the Bengals is because they both finished in first place in their respective divisions, the NFC East and AFC North.
The same place finisher formula also applies to who the Cowboys play from the NFC South and NFC West. As such, Dallas has a rematch with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will take on the Los Angeles Rams in the fall.
Regardless of who the Cowboys play, coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Jan. 19 that Dallas will be better in 2022 after finishing 2021 with a disappointing 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC wild-card at AT&T Stadium.
"We’re going to be better," said McCarthy. "We’re going to be better just through the process. No. 1, I trust our personnel process. I think we have to give our personnel department and just what we did last year to this year. The change we had on defense from a personnel and coaching standpoint, that’s the biggest change that I’ve ever been a part of, both the player and coaching. To pull all that together, there’s a lot of hard work and a lot of credit that goes to a number of people. I have the same confidence that we’ll do that moving forward."
The Cowboys home opponents include their usual divisional bout with New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, and Tampa Bay will also visit AT&T Stadium.
Dallas goes on the road to play New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, as usual. 2022 will include a trip to Lambeau Field to play Green Bay along with a trip out to Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium. The Cowboys return to U.S. Bank Stadium against Minnesota, and then play at Nissan Stadium against Tennessee. Dallas will play Jacksonville at TIAA Bank Field for the first time since 2006, or they could play them in London again as they did in 2014.
Times and dates will be announced later in the offseason when the official schedule is released.
How many wins do you think the Cowboys can grab given their list of opponents in 2022? Share your prediction with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.