The Cowboys are on a mission to make a deep postseason run this season. Here are three games they must play well in if they want to achieve that goal.
Jerry Jones isn’t willing to let the Cowboys miss the playoffs for a second consecutive season. Dallas limped to a 6-10 finish after star quarterback Dak Prescott’s injury last year. Everyone inside the organization is expecting a marked improvement with Prescott back under center in 2021.
Making the postseason is the minimum expectation inside the Cowboys’ organization. A lengthy playoff run is something Dallas officials believe is squarely within their grasp. If they want to make real noise in the NFC they need to pay particularly close attention to the following three games.
1. Week 1 at Tampa Bay
The schedule makers aren’t affording the Cowboys a comfortable start to the season. Right off the bat they head to Tampa Bay to take on Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions. It’s not imperative that Dallas win their Week 1 matchup, but they need to play well against the Buccaneers to establish themselves as legitimate NFC contenders.
The Buccaneers will prove to be a particularly tough challenge for the Cowboys’ defense. The unit gave up tons of yards and points last year. All in all they finished the season ranked 28th in the NFL in points against by giving up 29.6 points per contest.
Brady and the Buccaneers offense have a legitimate chance to make the Dallas secondary look like amateurs if they aren’t on top of their game. That’s not the message Cowboys’ pass defenders want to put on film on the opening Thursday night of the season. It’s crucial that this game stays close if the Cowboys want to get off to a good start.
It’s a massive opportunity and risk for a Dallas team that fancies themselves as a legitimate challenger to Tampa’s supremacy inside the NFC.