The Cowboys’ 2014 season will kick off with a bang on Sunday, Sept. 7, as they are set to play host to the San Francisco 49ers from AT&T Stadium.
The NFL released its full, 17-week schedule for the entire league on Wednesday evening, highlighted by a renewal of the classic Dallas-San Francisco rivalry during the 3:25 p.m. slot in Week 1. That matchup pits two of the league’s most storied franchises against each other, as the two have combined for 10 Lombardi Trophies.
The 49ers have been one of the NFL’s best teams in recent years, as they have reached the NFC Championship Game in each of the past three seasons and the Super Bowl in 2012.
Despite their rich history, which includes seven playoff meetings, the Cowboys have never opened a season against the 49ers. The all-time series is split evenly at 16-16-1, with the Cowboys taking the past three games.
That’s just the beginning for the Cowboys, as this year’s schedule calls for five different primetime games – not to mention the Week 10 game against Jacksonville in London and the traditional Thanksgiving home game.
In an unusual twist, 2014 will actually see Dallas play two Thursday games. The Thanksgiving opponent will be Philadelphia – just the second time the Cowboys and Eagles have played on the holiday. One week later, on Dec. 4, the Cowboys will travel to Chicago to play the Bears on Thursday Night Football.
In addition, the Cowboys will play on Sunday Night Football three times – Sept. 28 vs. New Orleans, Nov. 23 at New York and Dec. 14 at Philadelphia. They also host Washington for Monday Night Football on Oct. 27.
The first half of the season will see the Cowboys spend plenty of time at AT&T Stadium. Six of their first nine games come at home, interrupted by trips to Tennessee in Week 2, St. Louis in Week 3 and Seattle in Week 6.
Conversely, that means a heavy slate of road trips after the team returns from London in Week 10. After the bye week in Week 11, the Cowboys play four of their final six games on the road – including all three division road games. After playing road night games against New York and Philadelphia, the season finale comes Dec. 28 at Washington.
In keeping with league trends, this is the eighth-straight year the Cowboys have finished the season against a division foe. Dallas is 2-5 in its previous seven season finales, including the last three in a row.
This season also marks the first time the Cowboys will host Arizona at AT&T Stadium. The Cardinals travel to face the Cowboys in a noon game on Nov. 2 – one week before the trip to London to face Jacksonville.
Other schedule highlights:
- Dallas and Houston will face off Oct. 5 at noon. It’s the fourth regular season meeting between the teams since the Texans entered the league in 2002 and the first at AT&T Stadium. The two teams have played seven preseason games.
- Texas product Andrew Luck will play his first-ever game against the Cowboys on Dec. 21, when the Indianapolis Colts travel to AT&T Stadium for a Week 16 tilt.
- The Cowboys travel to face the defending champion Seahawks in a Week 6 game on Oct. 12. This is the third time in five years Dallas has played the defending champion – the Cowboys split a pair of games with New York in 2012, and they lost to New Orleans in 2010.
- 2014 marks the second-straight season the Cowboys will travel to Chicago in the month of December. The Bears thumped the Cowboys, 45-28, in sub-zero temperatures last season on Monday Night Football.
- The only other Thanksgiving game between the Cowboys and Eagles happened in 1989. The Eagles won, 27-0.
Source: Dallas Cowboys