IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys are a huge television draw, which is one of the reasons why they will open the preseason schedule on ESPN at Oakland on Aug. 13.
But by doing so the NFL has not done the Cowboys a favor, considering they will play the New York Giants in the regular-season opener on Sept. 5 at MetLife Stadium.
League rules state a team can open training camp 15 days prior to their first preseason game, so the Cowboys and Raiders will be the last two teams to report.
That puts the Cowboys’ arrival in Oxnard, Calif., at July 29, although quarterbacks, injured players from 2011 and rookies can report five days earlier, per the collective bargaining agreement. The CBA also prevents a team from working in pads the first three days of camp.
The Giants will play at Jacksonville in their first preseason game scheduled Aug. 9-12. If the defending Super Bowl champs play the Jaguars on Aug. 9, then they could gain a competitive edge on the Cowboys with four more days of practice/meeting time.
The Giants’ final three preseason games will be at MetLife Stadium. The Cowboys play at Oakland and San Diego and are expected to return to Oxnard for a week of work before their home preseason opener against St. Louis at Cowboys Stadium that will be played Aug. 23-26.
The Cowboys would likely play their final preseason game on Aug. 29 against Miami.
The NFL’s $10 million salary-cap judgment against the Cowboys (and the $36 million against Redskins) was based on the teams creating a competitive advantage in an uncapped season.
With this preseason schedule the Cowboys could be at a competitive disadvantage entering the regular season against the Giants.