The NFL regular-season schedule was released Thursday. That means it’s time for a way-too-early 2017 season projection. I predicted the Cowboys would win the division with a 10-6 record last year, so I was at least half correct. Will they win it again? Re
NY GIANTS 7:30 p.m. Sun., Sept. 10 (Ch. 5) Prediction:
WIN The outcome of this game recently hasn’t had a significant impact on the rest of the season. The Cowboys beat the Giants in the opener two years ago but only won three more times that season. Dallas lost to New York to open the season last year, and then ended up going 13-3.
AT DENVER 3:25 p.m. Sun., Sept. 17 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
LOSS Just imagine the hype going into this one if Tony Romo had been under center for the Broncos. Denver will be tough at home regardless of who is playing quarterback. The Broncos have won 33 games over the last three seasons. The Patriots, at 38, are the only team with more.
AT ARIZONA 7:30 p.m. Mon., Sept. 25 (ESPN) Prediction:
LOSS Arizona has had one of the league’s top defenses over the last two years. They should again be among the best in 2017. It’s far too early in the season to panic, but up to this point, the Cowboys offense isn’t exactly hitting on all cylinders.
LA RAMS Noon, Sun., Oct. 1 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
WIN Although new coach Sean McVay should be good for young quarterback Jared Goff in the long run, there will probably be some growing pains early on. The Rams haven’t had a winning season since 2003. Yes, when Marshall Faulk was still playing.
GREEN BAY 3:25 p.m. Sun., Oct. 8 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
WIN Unless Jerry Jones finds a way to land Myles Garrett in next week’s draft, the Cowboys are again going to struggle getting pressure on Aaron Rodgers. It won’t matter in this one, though. The Rams win gives the Cowboys offense some muchneeded confidence.
WEEK 6: BYE. AT SAN FRANCISCO 3:05 p.m. Sun., Oct. 22 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
WIN Kyle Shanahan’s first season is going to be a rough one. A year after Chip Kelly led the 49ers to a 2-14 record, I’m predicting Shanahan’s group finishes only one win better. The Niners haven’t exactly established a homefield advantage at Levi’s Stadium.
AT WASHINGTON 3:25 p.m. Sun., Oct. 29 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
WIN Jason Garrett has posted a 23-17 record against NFC East teams since becoming Dallas’ coach midway through the 2010 season. The Cowboys have had the most success at Washington during that time, winning five of their last six.
KANSAS CITY 3:25 p.m. Sun., Nov. 5 (Ch. 11) Prediction:
LOSS Andy Reid and Alex Smith were just getting their careers in Kansas City started the last time the Cowboys played the Chiefs. That Week 2 game in 2013 resulted in a 17-16 Cowboys loss. I think this one will be closer to 27-21.
AT ATLANTA 3:25 p.m. Sun., Nov. 12 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
WIN Without Kyle Shanahan calling plays, the defending NFC champions won’t be quite as dominant on offense. Ezekiel Elliott has one of his best games, helping the Cowboys win the time of possession battle and allowing the offense to run out the clock late.
PHILADELPHIA 7:30 p.m. Sun., Nov. 19 (Ch. 5) Prediction:
LOSS Dallas has had trouble winning at home against the Eagles since Jason Garrett has been coach. The Cowboys have only won two of their last seven against Philadelphia at AT&T Stadium.
LA CHARGERS 3:30 p.m. Thu., Nov. 23 (Ch. 11) Prediction:
WIN The Chargers are 3-13 away from home over the last two seasons. The Cowboys will be playing on short rest, but it ends up being a positive as they’re motivated to rebound from losing in the final minutes four days before.
WASHINGTON 7:25 p.m. Thu., Nov. 30 (Ch. 5) Prediction:
WIN Washington lost wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency and that will hurt their passing game early in the season. However, by this time, Terrelle Pryor and Kirk Cousins are on the same page. It’s still not enough to prevent the season sweep, though.
AT NY GIANTS 3:25 p.m. Sun., Dec. 10 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
LOSS The Cowboys drop to 2-4 in their last six against the Giants. The free-agency upgrades on defense paid off last year for New York. Upgrading the offense by adding Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall in March ends up making a notable difference this year.
AT OAKLAND 7:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 17 (Ch. 5) Prediction:
LOSS Having already played the Raiders in their most meaningful, next to last preseason game, these opponents are somewhat familiar with each other. With Derek Carr back healthy, Oakland shows why it is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
SEATTLE 3:25 p.m. Sun., Dec. 24 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
WIN The Cowboys need to win their last two to make the playoffs. Elliott vs. Seattle safety Kam Chancellor ends up being even better than their preseason battle a year ago. Zeke sets the tone early and it motivates the team to play its best game of the season.
AT PHILADELPHIA Noon Sun., Dec. 31 (Ch. 4) Prediction:
WIN The Cowboys fall short of winning the division, but this Week 17 victory clinches a wild-card berth. Dallas reaches the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons with a 10-6 record. The Giants win the NFC East after going 11-5 for the second consecutive season.
The arrival of wide receiver Brandon Marshall (left) will be a notable upgrade for the Giants’ offense. The Cowboys will make their final regular-season trip to Oakland on Dec. 17, and they can expect the Raiders’ fans to have their game faces on.