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Times Record News, Wichita Falls, Texas, Stephen Smith column

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2014 at 9:13 am •  Published: April 24, 2014

In the heat of the NBA playoffs and the outset of a new baseball season, the NFL steals the spotlight yet again by simply releasing its schedule.

And yeah, there’s not a studio analyst or football guru on this earth or any other that’s going to be able to tell you what’s going to happen five months from now, but — if I may — the schedule makers didn’t do the Dallas Cowboys any favors whatsoever.

Did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones say or do something to get the NFL angry with him and his team?

Is this schedule a plot to show them that rebuilding really is the way to go?

Honestly, if you had to boil the situation down to a single word, that word would have to be “cruel.”

As we peer into an uncertain future for the ‘Boys, there are two major issues to be aware of:

Issue No. 1: The Bye Week

The Cowboys won’t get their bye until Week 11 and with the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and world champion Seattle Seahawks among their first 10 opponents, getting to the break at 7-3 would be a staggering achievement.

But, that might be unrealistic because there aren’t a lot of guaranteed wins outside of the Jacksonville game in Week 10. And — let’s keep it real — we all know there’s really no such thing as a guaranteed win in professional football.

The Houston Texans and New York Giants can’t possibly be as wretched as they were in 2013, so a 5-5 record going into the bye might be actually be much closer to reality.

Issue No. 2: After the Bye Week

After taking a week off to get everyone healthy, or as close as humanly possible, the Cowboys get four out of the last six games on the road and, within that, four games against NFC East opponents.

Cold weather games at the New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins await and the two home games — against the Eagles and Indianapolis Colts — are certainly no cakewalks.

I know it’s April and no one has put on a helmet or even started training camp and that everything is subject to change over the course of five months.

But, this is not good.


©2014 the Times Record News (Wichita Fallas, Texas)

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