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Cowboys 2024 NFL schedule: Opponent breakdowns, five must-see games and predictions for all 17 games

Cowboys survive 'two-point extravaganza' to hang on for nail-biting win vs. Lions in preparation for playoffs

The Dallas Cowboys‘ 2024 offseason has been nothing short of a rollercoaster, and now we have arrived at the portion in which they learn their official schedule for the upcoming season. 

It began unceremoniously as they became the first team since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger to win at least 12 games in three consecutive seasons and not reach as far as the conference championship round following a 48-32 faceplant at home against the seventh seed Green Bay Packers in the NFC wild-card round. In the immediate aftermath of the defeat, owner and general manager Jerry Jones claimed Dallas would be “all in” to get his team closer to championship contention.

However, Jones’ actions spoke louder than his words with the Cowboys losing eight players in free agency, tied for their third most in a single offseason in team history. Then, his words adjusted to the team’s reality as he deemed the Cowboys’ 2024 offseason motto to “get it done with less.” The reason Dallas had to operate this way is because they failed to extend quarterback Dak Prescott, the 2023 NFL passing touchdowns leader (36) who has a $55.1 million cap hit in 2024, and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, the 2023 NFL receptions leader (135) who has a $17.991 million cap hit in 2024, prior to the start of free agency even though both are entering the upcoming season in the last year of their current contracts.

Doing so would have allowed the Cowboys to be players in free agency as Dallas could’ve spread the duo’s cap hits out across future seasons, thus lowering the financial weight they are absorbing this year. The team has ended ups signing just three external free agents so far: 32-year-old former Pro Bowl linebacker Eric Kendricks , journeyman running back Royce Freeman and bringing former three-time Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott home — after the conclusion of the 2024 NFL Draft — after the worst year of his career in 2023 with the New England Patriots

Dallas was able to replace their two departed starters along their offensive line — eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith (now with the New York Jets) and Pro Bowl center Tyler Biadasz (now with the Washington Commanders) — in the first three rounds of the draft with Oklahoma offensive tackle Tyler Guyton (29th overall pick) and Kansas State interior offensive lineman Cooper Beebe (73rd overall pick). They also added Louisiana offensive lineman Nathan…

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