Cowboys 2013 schedule: Late-season gauntlet includes Saints, Packers

Tom Pennington

If Dallas wants to be considered among the top NFC teams, it will have to prove it late in the year.

The Cowboys won't have an easy path if they hope to turn things around in the NFC East this season.

Sure, Dallas gets to play against the entire AFC West, one of the weaker divisions in the NFL. But the rest of the team's schedule is tough, particularly down the stretch of the season when Dallas has to hit the road for games against the Saints, Giants and Bears.

The Cowboys always seem to play their best football in November and December, and they will need to continue that trend this season.

Week Date Opponent Time (ET) TV
1 Sept. 8 vs. New York 8:30 p.m. NBC
2 Sept. 15 @ Kansas City 1 p.m. FOX
3 Sept. 22 vs. St. Louis 1 p.m. FOX
4 Sept. 29 @ San Diego 4:25 p.m. FOX
5 Oct. 6 vs. Denver 4:25 p.m. CBS
6 Oct. 13 vs. Washington 8:30 p.m. NBC
7 Oct 20 @ Philadelphia 1 p.m. FOX
8 Oct 27 @ Detroit 1 p.m. FOX
9 Nov. 3 vs. Minnesota 1 p.m. FOX
10 Nov. 10 @ New Orleans 8:30 p.m. NBC
11 Nov. 17 BYE - -
12 Nov. 24 @ New York 4:25 p.m. FOX
13 Nov. 28 vs. Oakland 4:30 p.m. CBS
14 Dec. 9 @ Chicago 8:40 p.m. ESPN
15 Dec. 15 vs. Green Bay 4:25 p.m. FOX
16 Dec. 22 @ Washington 1 p.m. FOX
17 Dec. 29 vs. Philadelphia 1 p.m. FOX

Toughest out: New Orleans Saints

Playing in the Superdome is no easy task. It's even tougher in primetime. The Cowboys will have to head to New Orleans to take on the Saints in the second half of the season on Sunday Night Football. Many are wondering whether the Cowboys have what it takes to push for a playoff spot. That game should be a decent indicator.

Must win: Week 17 vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The Cowboys always seem to leave it to the last game, don't they? If Dallas is still in contention come season's end, it won't be able to afford a slip-up against Philadelphia. With late-season games against the Bears, Packers and Redskins before the season finale against the Eagles, that Week 17 matchup becomes all the more important.

Don't overlook: Oakland Raiders

Maybe it's silly to even fathom the idea that the Cowboys could stumble against the Raiders, but Dallas' game against Oakland comes in the week between the trips to New York and Chicago. Will the Cowboys overlook the Raiders while Dallas is in the middle of a stretch of their most challenging games? Could it be a trap?

For all of your Cowboys news, make sure to head to Blogging the Boys.

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