Dallas Cowboys face difficult closing stretch to schedule

Dak Prescott was selected to the Pro Bowl after leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record during his rookie season. AP Photo/Brandon Wade

The NFL has released its 2017 regular-season schedule. Here's a look at what's in store for the Dallas Cowboys.

Breakdown: The Cowboys have been a solid road team under Jason Garrett the last few years. They were 6-2 away from home a year ago when they finished 13-3 and 8-0 in 2014 when they finished 12-4. Even in their 4-12 finish in 2015, three of the wins came on the road. Why does it matter? The Cowboys close this season with three of their final four games away from home, including a West Coast trip to Oakland in Week 15. And the only home game in the final month is against Seattle, a perennially strong team. So if the Cowboys can make the playoffs again, they will be battle tested. If you want a good omen, the Cowboys last played three of their final four games away from home in 2014 and won all three. In a strange twist, the Cowboys have three two-game road trips during the season: Weeks 2 and 3 at Denver and Arizona; Weeks 7 and 8 at San Francisco and Washington; and Weeks 14 and 15 at New York and Oakland.

Eye in the sky: The Kansas City Chiefs' visit to AT&T Stadium on Nov. 5 should be the first Cowboys game Tony Romo, the franchise leader in touchdown passes and passing yards, will call for CBS provided the network brings its No. 1 team to town. It will lead to an interesting pregame dynamic on the field with Romo watching his former teammates get ready for a game. There's this too: the Chiefs were one of the teams on Romo's short list had he decided to continue to play. Romo will be able to spend Thanksgiving Day at his home as well with the Los Angeles Chargers making their first holiday visit to AT&T Stadium.

Thursday night specials: For the second straight year the Cowboys will play on back-to-back Thursdays with the Washington Redskins visiting on Nov. 30 after Dallas hosts the Chargers. A year ago, the Cowboys beat the Redskins on Thanksgiving and won at Minnesota on their way to a 13-3 finish. In 2007, they had back-to-back Thursday games and swept both on their way to a 13-3 finish. If there is a bit of bad news it is that they play on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" prior to Thanksgiving against the Philadelphia Eagles, making a short week even shorter. On the bright side, at least they are playing at home before the holiday.

Strength of schedule: T-10th, .531

Cowboys Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)

  • Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, NY Giants, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 3: Monday, Sept. 25, at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m.

  • Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 6: BYE

  • Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 22, at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.

  • Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29, at Washington, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5, Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 12, at Atlanta, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 12: Thursday, Nov. 23, Los Angeles Chargers, 4:30 p.m.

  • Week 13: Thursday, Nov. 30, Washington, 8:25 p.m.

  • Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, at NY Giants, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, at Oakland, 8:30 p.m.

  • Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 24, Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

  • Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.