The Cowboys have traded their 8-8 ways under coach Jason Garrett for on-again, off-again playoff trips. Dallas returned to the top of the NFC East in 2018, making it two division titles in three seasons.

The team posted a 10-6 record, only one game better than its output the year prior. So will the Cowboys yo-yo back to out of the postseason in 2019 or build on that success with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott? The Cowboys’ schedule in 2019, which in addition to the typical NFC East rivalry matchups features games against teams from the AFC East and NFC North, makes that an interesting question.

The Cowboys’ projected win total in Las Vegas (8.5) says it could literally go either way. Here we break down the schedule the Cowboys will need to navigate in 2019.

Cowboys regular-season schedule:

  • Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings
  • Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets

The Cowboys’ projected win total in Las Vegas (8.5) says it could literally go either way. Here we break down the schedule the Cowboys will need to navigate in 2019.

WeekDateOpponentKickoff timeTV
Week 1Sept. 8vs. Giants4:25 p.m. ETFOX
Week 2Sept. 15at Redskins1 p.m. ETFOX
Week 3Sept. 22Dolphins1 p.m. ETFOX
Week 4Sept. 29at Saints8:20 p.m. ETNBC
Week 5Oct. 6vs. Packers4:25 p.m. ETFOX
Week 6Oct. 13at Jets4:25 p.m. ETCBS
Week 7Oct. 20vs. Eagles8:20 p.m. ETNBC
Week 8BYE
Week 9Nov. 4 (Monday)at Giants8:15 p.m. ETESPN
Week 10Nov. 10vs. Vikings8:20 p.m. ETNBC
Week 11Nov. 17at Lions1 p.m. ETFOX
Week 12Nov. 24at Patriots4:25 p.m. ETCBS
Week 13Nov. 28 (Thursday)vs. Bills4:30 p.m. ETCBS
Week 14Dec. 5 (Thursday)at Bears8:20 p.m. ETFOX
Week 15Dec. 15vs. Rams4:25 p.m. ETFOX
Week 16Dec. 22at Eagles4:25 p.m. ETFOX
Week 17Dec. 29vs. Redskins1 p.m. ETFOX

Toughest tests: The Cowboys are in the middle of the pack with their strength of schedule (tied for 14th) because their opponents combined for a .504 winning percentage last season. The NFC East competition always provides a tough floor of challenges, and the NFC North only adds to that.

Including two games against the Eagles, who finished second in the division last year, the Cowboys have six games against 2019 playoff teams. Among those, the Patriots, Saints and Bears headline a brutal road schedule.

Biggest breaks: There’s not much here. The Giants and Redskins twice might not work out as nicely as they sound, so the Cowboys need to take advantage of their games against the Jets, Dolphins and Bills from the AFC East.

Bottom line: Counting it all up, one can’t feel confident about the Cowboys hitting 10 victories again in 2019. But if they somewhat take care of business in should-win games at home, finishing above .500 is on the table.

That might be enough to scratch out a wild card in a top-heavy NFC playoff field. Record prediction: 9-7