The complete 2022 NFL schedule, and NFL odds for each week, were released on Thursday, and we’ve dived into the schedule for each team and have identified the real winners of the schedule release: the Dallas Cowboys.
Mike McCarthy’s team will have every opportunity to succeed in 2022 as they face the easiest strength of schedule in the league. The Cowboys have routinely fallen short of expectations in recent years. Will they be able to turn things around in Jerry World by taking advantage of a favorable draw?
Check out our full analysis of the Cowboys’ 2022 schedule and NFL betting opportunities to find out.
Why the Cowboys won the schedule release
The Cowboys won the schedule release for the simple reason that they’ll face the softest strength of schedule in the league. Their opponents combined for only a .462 winning percentage a year ago (a 133-155-1 record), which ranks tied for 31st with the Washington Commanders.
Things aren’t so easy in the first two weeks of the season, as Dallas faces Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 and the Joe Burrow-led Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2. This is the most difficult stretch of the season for the Cowboys, and it occurs at the very start of the year. Tampa Bay is +750 to win Super Bowl LVII in the futures market, while the Bengals are +2,000 after falling just short a year ago.
For a team with the easiest strength of schedule, the Cowboys face the Super Bowl defending champ Rams, AFC defending champ Bengals and Tom Brady's Bucs... all in the first 5 weeks. https://t.co/T9wPVTAxLN— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) May 13, 2022
It’s possible they even falter out of the gates to begin the season, but they’ll have every opportunity to get back in the win column as the season progresses. Matchups with the New York Giants and Commanders in Weeks 3 and 4 offer immediate opportunities to rectify any stumbles that could occur against the Buccaneers and Bengals.
There aren’t many other difficult spots on the schedule, but one that sticks out is a Week 10 trip to Green Bay to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. This will be Mike McCarthy’s return to Lambeau. The good news is that the Cowboys have a Week 9 bye, so they’ll have every opportunity to put their best foot forward in that spot.
Not only is the strength of schedule easy, but the Cowboys have nine home games at AT&T Stadium. Most notably, there’s a three-game home stretch that begins on Thanksgiving against the Giants and ends against the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. This should allow Dallas a chance at a winning streak near the end of the season to build momentum heading into the playoffs.
Advantageous betting spots
The NFL futures market presents potential value on Dallas, as it would seem highly improbable for Dak Prescott and company to miss the playoffs. They have every opportunity to win the NFC East, although what happens once they get to the playoffs is anyone’s guess. Will they finally be able to get past their playoff demons of late?
Dallas is at +130 at DraftKings to win the NFC East, a price that could be on the move after bettors realize the ease of the Cowboys’ schedule. It’d be a shock to see them miss the playoffs altogether, so the -225 price to make the playoffs seems fair if not even a bit short.
Dallas is +900 to win the NFC and +1,800 to win the Super Bowl. With a win total listed at 10.5, the Cowboys are expected to put forth a strong effort in the regular season and may even earn the bye come playoff time. Of course, they’ll still have to win the games once they get there, but those prices seem a little long considering the high win total expectancy.
Weeks 3 and 4 should be a good opportunity for the Cowboys to build momentum after a tough two weeks to open the season. If Dallas struggles to find its footing against the Bucs and Bengals, look for it to get right against the Giants and Commanders.
A tough November 13 meeting with the Packers on the road is made less frightening by the scheduling dynamics. The Cowboys have a bye the week before to prepare for the game, and they have a matchup with the mediocre-at-best Minnesota Vikings the following week. In other words, the Cowboys’ attention should be fully devoted to the Packers as it’s a favorable scheduling spot for them despite being on the road.
The easiest spot on the schedule occurs from November 24 to December 18, when they face the Giants, Colts, and Texans at home before traveling to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars.